04/11/2014 12:52 EDT | Updated 04/11/2014 12:59 EDT

Alberta Liquor Sales Lead Rest Of Canada

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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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Alcohol Sales Across Canada

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.