American wine-drinkers vote with online orders, wine shop purchases and restaurants drink tabs, and Chardonnay is the clear winner. This classic and versatile wine makes up over 13 percent of all wine sales in America, beating out other popular types like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. What makes Chardonnay the most popular wine in America? It may be that Chardonnay is the friendliest wine.
Friendly to Vineyards
Chardonnay grapes are considered low-maintenance among the diva-like fruit of other wine types. Unlike some grapes, these robust vines can withstand very low temperatures and adapt well to different regions and climates. The grapes tolerate higher yields, allowing vineyards to produce more wine per acre than with other types. This versatility in the vineyard leads to an increased production without a drop in quality.
Friendly to the Wallet
The virility of the Chardonnay grape means wine can be brought to market at a lower price. Higher yields and less trouble growing the grapes result in millions of bottles each year. In fact, California vineyards alone produce 53 million cases of Chardonnay each year. Ample supply means a quality bottle of Chardonnay is generally less costly than equal quality white wines of other types.
Friendly to the Table
Like the friendly student who fits in almost any social circle, a bottle of Chardonnay is almost never out of place at the table. With a broad range of flavor and style, Chardonnay can be paired with poultry, fish, and pork. Unoaked varieties provide a fruitful combination that is perfect for Mexican night, grilled foods or spicy dishes. Those new to wine and food combinations can rest assured that a Chardonnay will match well with their meal while experienced wine connoisseurs may keep a bottle on hand for hassle free last-minute pairings.
Friendly to the Palate
The flavor of Chardonnay is decided by processing. French oak aging provides a subtle flavor while American white oak aging delivers a rough vanilla flavor. Vineyards produce sweet, dry, medium or full bodied, sparkling and even ice wines from Chardonnay grapes. All of this variety makes it easy for anyone to find a glass of Chardonnay to please his or her palate.
Chardonnay is a friendly wine that is perfect for experienced sippers and those new to the wine world. If you are looking for a way to introduce friends to the allure of wine, consider gifting them a light, quality bottle of the most popular wine in America.