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America’s taste for reds on rise

By Dave Buchanan
Americans will consume a record 121 million cases of red wine this year, according to "The Wine Market: Impact Databank Review and Forecast," a report released by M. Shanken Communications,the parent company of Wine Spectator magazine. The report, which analyzes recent trends in the wine market, says Americans this year will drink about 3 percent more red wine than last, the third-consecutive year for an increase in red wine consumption. White wine consumption will grow also but at a slower 2 percent rate to 118 million cases, according to the report. Rosé and blush wines, however, are expected to decline by 3 percent. White wine, thanks to a rise in white-wine cocktails, outsold red wines from 1976 to 2005. Most of the growth in red wine sales, according to the report, is expected to come from variety-labeled brands both domestic and imported. The popularity of red wine is being attributed to Americans having more knowledge of wine, an increasingly sophisticated palate and the willingness to explore new wine styles. Also, recent studies that link drinking moderate amounts of red wine to reducing various health issues have boosted red wine's appeal. Cabernet Sauvignon is expected to remain the most-popular red wine although pinot noir is forecast to grow by 12 percent to 9 million cases. Chardonnay, with an expected growth of 2 percent to 63 million cases, leads the white wine legions.

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