Wine & Spirits Magazine Publishes 25th Anniversary Restaurant Issue, April 2014

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April's issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine marks the 25th Anniversary of their ground breaking Restaurant Poll. Capturing the sales and trends of on-premise wine sales in America's most popular Restaurants each year since 1989, the look back is truly enlightening.

The results of Wine & Spirits Magazine’s 25th Annual Restaurant Poll are in, showing the greatest strength in restaurant wine since the Great Recession of 2008: 70 percent of respondents report that wine sales have increased as a percentage of their restaurant’s total sales.

Cabernet sauvignon is helping to drive that sales increase, with prices for the most popular cabernets in restaurants at an all-time high. Familiar brands have staying power on premise, with the five most popular brands in the Restaurant Top 50 all represented in the original Top 50 list from 1989, the first year of the Poll.

But much has changed in 25 years: Chardonnay, once the dominant variety with 44 percent of the most popular wines in restaurants, has given way to cabernet and pinot noir and a host of other varieties. Today, sommeliers report increased interest in wines from Greece and Portugal, as well as strong sales of Sancerre and Argentine Malbec. Interest in Central and Eastern European wines is also surging.

“In 1989, when we mailed out the first Annual Restaurant Poll, sommeliers were becoming an increasingly influential force in the wine community,” says Joshua Greene, Editor & Publisher of Wine & Spirits Magazine. “In tasting with leading sommeliers on our panels, we noticed a tension between the wines they liked themselves and the wines that were popular among their guests. So we thought it would be interesting to ask them about the wines that were selling in their restaurants, to look at the most popular wines in the most popular restaurants, and then follow up with the sommeliers about their own take on consumer tastes.”

The Poll Report includes a timeline of wine trends in restaurants over the past 25 years, as well as this year’s Restaurant Top 50—a list of the brands that received the most mentions from participating restaurants. Of those 50, the Top Ten Most Popular Restaurant Wine List Brands of 2013 are:

1.    Cakebread Cellars
2.    Jordan Vineyard & Winery
3.    Duckhorn Vineyards
4.    Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards
5.    Silver Oak Wine Cellars
6.    Frank Family
7.    La Crema
8.    Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
9.    Decoy
10.    Franciscan Oakville Estate

Also in the Anniversary issue are profiles of the three Master Sommeliers who earned their credentials in 1989, a roundup of the most exciting new restaurants and bars in New York, and an interview with Randall Grahm and Ceri Smith on Tuscan wines at San Francisco’s Tosca. The issue will be available at newsstands and bookstores as well as in digital format on March 11, 2014.

Copies of Wine & Spirits’ April 2014 issue featuring the Poll results are available by mail for $9, including postage and handling. Members of the press interested in receiving the publication or scheduling an interview with Joshua Greene may contact Samantha Groseth at (415) 255-7736 ext. 2 or sgroseth(at)wineandspiritsmagazine(dot)com.

Founded in 1982, Wine & Spirits is published eight times a year and read by over 200,000 members of America’s wine community. Consumers and wine professionals read the magazine for information on established and up-and-coming regions and producers, the art and science of viticulture, industry happenings and food and wine pairing. Wine & Spirits, the only wine publication to win the James Beard award five times for excellence in wine writing, evaluates more than 13,000 bottlings every year.

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Samantha Groseth
Wine & Spirits Magazine
(212) 695-4660 Ext: 31
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