When it comes to buying booze, Alberta is leading the charge.

Statistics Canada numbers released Thursday show Alberta saw alcohol sales — including beer, spirits and wine — increase 7.0 per cent in 2013 from 2012 numbers, compared with a 2.2 per cent hike nationally.

Total sales in Alberta were $2.4 billion while Canada, overall, rose to $21.4 billion.

And while beer remains the province's favourite drink, Albertans appear to be picking up wine more often.

According to the federal agency, wine sales in Alberta showed the highest growth rate in the country — up 11.0 per cent to $1.1 billion — while Cananda saw wine sales jump 4.9 per cent to $6.8 billion.

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  • New Brunswick

  • Alcohol sales in New Brunswick were down -1.9 per cent to $407,140,000.

  • Nova Scotia

  • Nova Scotia saw alcohol sales down -0.7 per cent with $623,628,000 in sales.

  • Quebec

  • The third lowest increase in alcohol sales in the country was Quebec with a -0.6 per cent decline and $5,342,362,000 in sales.

  • British Columbia

  • British Columbia saw alcohol sales increase by 2.4 per cent to $3,096,440,000 in sales

  • Canada

  • Across Canada, alcohol sales rose by 2.2 per cent in 2013, translating to $21,356,713,000 in sales.

  • Ontario

  • Alcohol sales in Ontario in 2012 rose by 2.9 per cent from 2012, for a total of $7,505,714,000 in sales.

  • Prince Edward Island

  • Prince Edward Island saw alcohol sales rise by 3.4 per cent in 2013, for a total of $88,868,000 in sales.

  • Saskatchewan

  • Saskatchewan saw their alcohol sales rise by 3.6 per cent in 2013 to $624,200,000.

  • Manitoba

  • Manitoba saw alcohol sales increase by 3.6 per cent, to $710,127,000 in sales.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Newfoundland and Labrador saw alcohol sales in Canada increase by 3.2 per cent to $441,754,000.

  • Alberta

  • Alberta was the province with the highest increase in alcohol sales in 2013. The province booze sales grew by 7.0 per cent for a total of $2,420,655,000 in sales.

Albertans are enjoying more of the good things in life, including the odd glass of wine. According to Statistics Canada, wine consumption in the province has nearly doubled over the last two decades from 9.5 litres to 18.5 litres per person per year,” Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial, told the Calgary Herald.

“That’s slightly higher than the national average of 17.4 litres."

Hirsch says the increase in wine consumption in Alberta is due to a few factors, including the affluence enjoyed by many in the province, an aging demographic whose preferences are shifting from beer to wine, and more wine education and knowledge that comes from good marketing.

Owner of Cork Fine Wine, Chris Sikorsky, told 660 News he thinks the wine trend is here to stay.

“Absolutely, I think it’s worth any trend where people are becoming more and more aware, regardless of whether it’s food or even products that they’re wearing, but people are a lot more conscience about what they’re actually consuming and putting into their bodies, so I think definitely there’s going to be a sub-set of the population to definitely accelerate this trend and keep it moving forward.”

Per person, Canadians consumed 506.6 million litres of wine last year (up 3.9 per cent) and spirits consumption increased by 2.7 per cent to 222.4 million litres, reports the CBC.

Per capita, that's 17.4 litres of wine per person, per year, and 7.6 litres in spirits.

Alberta beer purchases also rose 4.5 per cent in 2013, bucking a national trend that saw Canadians buying less beer and sales down 0.1 per cent.

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