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Snooth User: Philip James

Red and White all over

Posted by Philip James, Nov 21, 2007.

The title comes from an awful joke, where the punchline is a sunburned penguin (black and white, but red all over), but what caught me eye recently is that White wine is still the most popular in the US.

I really like white wine (I drink a lot of red too), but I used to get fed up as people looked down on me with a 'white wine is for beginners' attitude. Pfft! Baby formula is for beginners perhaps, but White wine? Come on. White Burgundy is white wine (Chardonnay in fact) and there's no more complicated region than Burgundy. I could write an entire post called "Why is Burgundy so complex?", but luckily the venerable Robin Garr already has . In less time than you can say Napoleon's Tricorne Hat, here's why its THE connoisseurs region: back in the days of yore, unlike most of France, where land would pass to the eldest male, in Burgundy, the land was divided among all the children. Fast forward several hundred years and what were once a few large baronies, are now thousands of tiny plots, each with subtle variations in soil types and production methods, resulting in a nearly infinite variety of wines. [Note: Burgundy also makes excellent reds (Pinot Noir), but thats another post].

Its true that its not Burgundy consumption that is keeping White above Red in consumption, but rather cheap, basic whites. However, after trying Charles Shaw's 2 Buck Chuck Chardonnay , its hard to argue that even the cheapest wine needs to be bad.

Us White fans can't gloat too much, as the actual figure are very close: "Even after 17 consecutive years of consumption growth for red wine in the United States, Americans still prefer whites: Americans are expected to buy 120 million 9-liter cases in 2007. That figure narrowly beats out reds, a projected 118 million cases sold by year-end. Blush and rosé wines lag far behind, at only 31 million cases."

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