- Posted by The CorkGuru
A recent survey we conducted of 1000 people from across the US showed that 57.8% of Americans preferred red wine to white wine. We’ve broken down our findings so restaurant owners and managers can get a better idea of what their average diner is looking for when designing their wine list.
Red Wine is for All Ages
A gentle trend in these groups showed a preference for red wine in more mature age groups. The curve rose from 54.7% of those aged 25-34 preferring red to 62.0% of those aged 65+ (with a slight spike at 45-54 at 63.1%). While the preference for red wine claims the majority of every age group, a greater portion of the younger age groups preferred white wines more than more mature age groups did.
Red Wine Is Most Popular in the South
The strongest preference for red wine was found in the South (61.6%). The majority of every region chose red over white, but the strongest preference for white wine was found in the Northeast (47.0%).
Some individual states had more extreme preferences for one type of wine or the other:
- South Carolina preferred red 88.9%.
- Iowa preferred red 74.1%.
- New Jersey preferred red 73.1%.
- Nevada and Minnesota preferred red 71.7%.
- New Mexico preferred red 66.2%.
- Florida preferred red 65.9%.
- Louisiana & Georgia preferred red 65.4%.
- North Dakota preferred white 83.3%.
- Michigan preferred white 68.1%.
- Rhode Island & Maine preferred white 66.7%.
- Washington preferred white 63.2%.
- Mississippi preferred white 63.0%.
Reds Are Preferred by Both the Haves and the Have-Nots
Red wine was favored to an almost uniform degree through income levels $0-$74,999. However there was a considerable spike at the $75,000-$99,999 income level to 70.9%. The next income level, $100,000-149,999 actually preferred white wines 54.4% to 45.6%.
Why Reds over Whites?
America’s preference for reds can be the result of a number of influences. Some wine enthusiasts have observed that there is often a preference for reds in English-speaking countries. Historically, England maintained a wine trade with France’s Gascony region (the seat of Bordeaux) and Portugal, areas famous for their reds. Modern palates may have been shaped by this long cultural inheritance.
Reds are also more often the target of home collectors. With a few notable exceptions, white wines are meant to be imbibed within 6 months to a year after being produced and bottled. They are also considered fairly seasonal with their lighter, aromatic flavor – a treat in spring and summer. On average, red wines should be drunk within 2 years, but some reds are able to age well over many years. Their higher concentration of tannins allows them to develop a more mellow and complex flavor as they settle in storage.
Even more practically, the richer flavor of red wines pairs with a broader variety of dishes. White wines do well to offset light and zesty flavors. Spicy, gamy, acidic (tomato-based), wild poultry (duck and quail), cheese, and umami flavors (roasted meats, mushrooms, earthy stews) all do well paired with a some type of red.
To take advantage of expert wine pairings for the dishes in your restaurant, contact CorkGuru and we’ll help you design the perfect wine list.