The Quandary of California Chardonnay

From the Jul 31, 2014, issue

California Chardonnay is in a quandary. Chardonnay is the most popular wine in the United States. It accounts for more than 20 percent of all the domestic wine consumed in America, according to Wine Spectator's sister publication Impact, and has enjoyed steady growth for years. Yet if you scan wine lists at trendy restaurants, Chardonnay is losing ground. White Burgundy remains wildly popular, but its West Coast cousin has largely fallen from favor. And sommeliers are likely to respond to requests for California Chardonnay with recommendations of whites from the Southern Rhône or Spain or Greece. America's favorite white is so popular, nobody wants to drink it.

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