Is the Vatican drinking more to cope with the acceptance of gay marriage around the world?

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Residents of Vatican City drink more wine per head than any other country in the world, according to new figures.

The Wine Institute, based in California, has revealed that, in 2012, an average of 74 litres of wine was consumed by each of the 800 Vatican City inhabitants each year.

That is the equivalent of just over a hundred bottles.

Compared to British consumption, the figure is around three times the average, and double those in France or Italy.

There are several theories as to why the consumption appears to be so high – one is that there is a small tax-free supermarket which serves the whole of the Vatican – another is the use of communion wine.

Strangely, however, the number jumped up from 62 litres back in 2011.

Is there another reason behind the dramatic increase in alcohol consumption?