It's easy for everyone, especially wine lovers on either coast to lose sight of what wine consumption in America is really like. Especially in the cocoon that is the San Francisco Bay Area, it's extremely hard to imagine what most Americans are drinking when we have such a bounty of fine wine available to us nearly everywhere and all the time.
Thankfully, there's someone out there keeping track. Since 1988 Restaurant Wine Magazine has been carefully surveying distributors, consumers, and the restaurant industry to determine, with some accuracy, what are the top wines ordered in American restaurants by consumers. The results (which I've published before) are always sobering, especially to my readers.
So without further ado, here's the list of the top 10 wines ordered in American restaurants in 2005:
1. Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay
2. Beringer Vineyards White Zinfandel
3. Cavit Pinot Grigio
4. Sutter Home White Zinfandel
5. Inglenook Chablis
6. Woodbridge Chardonnay
7. Franzia Winetaps Vintner Select White Zinfandel
8. Yellow Tail Chardonnay
9. Yellow Tail Shiraz
10. Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio
Sobering, isn't it? This is the world of wine that millions of Americans live in, a world that is very far away from Vinography's universe and likely yours as well. So what are we talking in terms of volume here? According to the study these top 10 wines, along with next fifty in popularity make up 30% of all the wine sales in the US, at a whopping $3.5 billion in total spending.
Interestingly a full 34% of these top sixty wines were Chardonnays, and white wines outsold reds by a factor of over two-to-one.
You can read about these stats and more in the full report (107k PDF file). I suggest having a glass of something in hand as you read, and if you want to feel good about yourself, you might make sure that it comes from a bottle that costs more than eight bucks.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
Ridiculous Recommendations about Wine and Pregnancy Vinography Images: Storm Clouds I'll Drink to That: Brad Hickey of Brash Higgins Winery The 25th Annual Zinfandel Experience Tasting: February 27, San Francisco Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 2/1/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of January 24, 2016 I'll Drink to That: Paul Roberts of Colgin Cellars Vinography Images: Forward and Back Martha Stewart's Wine Cellar is a Disaster I'll Drink to That: Vicente Dalmau Cebrián-Sagarriga of Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune