When Americans go out to eat, what wines do they drink? White, by a striking 2:1 margin, according to the latest annual survey of restaurant wine sales by the magazine Restaurant Wine, as just reported by Wine Business Insider.
Aren't steakhouses booming? And isn't red wine the beverage of choice with beef? Yes and yes, but you wouldn't know it by the figures tabulated by Restaurant Wine publisher Ronn Wiegand of Napa, who bases his yearly calcuations on interviews with numerous restaurateurs, distributors, importers and wineries.
All top 10 wines sold in U.S. restaurants during 2006 were white, at least in name (technically, three of the 10 were pink, though they're called "white zinfandel").
The single best selling wine in the nation's restaurants last year was the Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay. Rounding out the top 10 were the Beringer Vineyards White Zinfandel, the Cavit Pinot Grigio (from Italy), the Sutter Home White Zinfandel, the Woodbridge Chardonnay, the Inglenook Chablis (from California, despite its name), the Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio (from Italy), the Yellow Tail Chardonnay (from Australia), the Almaden Mountain Chablis and the Franzia Winetaps Vintner Select White Zinfandel.
The most popular red wine, placing 11th on the list, was the Yellow Tail Shiraz (from Australia).
Overall, chardonnay easily was the most popular varietal at restaurants, accounting for nearly 43 percent of sales, and 41 of the 105 wines in the magazine's complete list. Pinot grigio looks to be the wine rising most dramatically in popularity, accounting for 10 of the 105 wines, eight of them from Italy.