Unsure about the economy's strength? Then answer this question: when was the last time you bought a bottle of wine?
David Duncan, president and CEO of California-based high-end winemaker Silver Oak, told CNBC in a recent interview that wine consumption can be a decent gauge of how the economy is doing. Consumption is hitting record levels in the United States, as collectors and connoisseurs have caused sales to surpass the notorious oenophiles in some European countries.
Duncan said that his company's sales nearly follow the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, a closely watched economic indicator that is a barometer of economic activity. According to data from The Wine Institute, 2013 was a record year for U.S. consumption, which flirted with 900 million gallons of wine sold.
And if those sales are any indication, consumers are feeling mighty fine, indeed.