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7 Hours' Work Needed to Afford a Bottle of Wine

Workers of the world have to toil from as little as 14 minutes to nearly 60 hours to earn enough money for a bottle of wine
© iStock/Wine-Searcher | Workers of the world have to toil from as little as 14 minutes to nearly 60 hours to earn enough money for a bottle of wine
How long must you be at your desk to pay for a bottle of wine? It depends on where you live.

Wine remains a luxury for many of the world’s citizens, with a new French survey revealing that it takes the average worker more than seven hours to earn enough money to buy a standard bottle.

Out of 109 countries, Luxembourgers take just 14 minutes to earn the requisite amount of money – one minute less than Austrians, who take second place. Similarly, wine lovers in Denmark, Switzerland and France need to work for less than 20 minutes to buy the average-priced bottle of wine.

In fact, the 19 countries where wine affordability is greatest are all in Europe, with Australia just sneaking into the top 20, two minutes ahead of Greece. The U.S., by contrast, is in a comparatively lowly 27th position, with thirsty workers having to toil for 44 minutes – a positively scandalous amount of time when judged by European standards.

Unsurprisingly, wine-producing countries tend to fare better than non-producers, as reduced transport costs and fewer import charges translate into lower retail prices.

The figures have been compiled by French online wine magazine La Feuille de Vigne, using statistics from Numbeo, a cost-of-living database, and the U.N.'s International Labour Organization.

La Feuille de Vigne explains that the figures relate to the average price of a bottle of wine bought in a retail store in each country, along with the average hourly wage.

Luxembourg's top-ranking 14-minute score is the result of the country having the highest average monthly salary in the world ($4,089 in 2012). By contrast, the average Argentine earns just $1,108 per month, meaning that nearly 3 hours of work is required to pay for a bottle of wine, despite a thriving wine industry.

Indonesia and Bangladesh are close to the bottom of the table, followed by Iran, where a combination of low wages and high prices means that those whose religion allows them to drink must work for almost 60 hours in order to buy a single bottle. The international average is 7 hours and 15 minutes.

And you thought you had it tough.

The chart below shows the top-scoring countries included in the survey.

© La Feuille de Vin | Minutes of work needed to buy a bottle of wine, by country

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