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Friday, 2 January 2015

Most Searched-For Wine a Shock Result !

A review of our search statistics reveals that while Bordeaux is still a strong performer, whiskey was literally flavor of the month.

Few of us at Wine Searcher can remember a time when Château Mouton Rothschild wasn't the most searched-for wine in our database.

For years it has been one of the world's great certainties: the sun will rise, your mother will always find out what you've been up to and Mouton Rothschild will sit comfortably atop our list of most searched-for wines. Until now, that is.

A quick check of the list now reveals that the most searched-for wine of the past month isn't from Bordeaux and it isn't even French. In fact, it’s not even a wine – instead it is the Yamazaki Sherry Cask single malt whisky, which has racked up a truly impressive 105,763 searches in a month, after being named by Jim Murray's Whisky Bible in October as the best whiskey in the world.

Meanwhile, poor Mouton only managed a relatively pathetic 61,281, but it was still comfortably ahead its first growth cousin – Château Lafite, which had 57,297 people looking for it. The top five are rounded out by Petrus and Château Margaux, signaling the strength of Bordeaux's reputation for fine wine.

The top four wines are impressively costly, too, but it isn't simply a matter of price. Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti might have an average price of $12,839, but it only had 28,295 searches for the month, finishing in 12th place.

That wine lies just ahead of another big mover last month, the Dow's Vintage Port, propelled up the charts by being named wine of the year by Wine Spectator.

The Yamazaki isn't the only spirit in our most searched-for list; Tim Smith's Climax Moonshine maintains an unlikely level of interest for our users, just outside the top 20 with 19,114 searches in the month. Overall, this year it has been searched more than 90,000 times.

Pappy Van Winkle 20-Year-Old Bourbon is at number 33 with almost 14,000 searches and its 23-year-old brother is at 45 with 11,236. There is another Yamazaki on the list too, as well as other spirits – William Larue Weller Bourbon, Rémy-Martin Louis XIII Cognac, George T. Stagg Bourbon, and an 18-year-old Macallan single malt.

Nine spirits in the top 100 doesn't sound that much, but it's an almost perfect reflection of what Wine Searcher users are looking for. Wine searches made up 96 percent of all searches as recently as February this year, but they have fallen to a shade under 91 percent by this year's end, mirrored by an upsurge in spirit (and beer) searches.

It's a sign of how drinking habits are changing out in the real world, as the whiskey wave keeps rolling. Fears of a drought have surfaced among Bourbon fans this year, while distillers in Scotland and Ireland can't build new distilleries quickly enough. The Irish Spirits Association predicts exports of Irish whiskey will double to more than 12 million cases by 2020.

In the U.S., Bourbon producers are increasing production and Brown-Forman is investing $30 million in a new distillery to double production of its Old Forester brand. Japanese whisky is building on the success of Yamazaki, with Suntory's Hakushu distillery getting a $9m upgrade to increase capacity by 30 percent.

Scotland isn't sitting on its laurels either. Chivas Brothers has applied for planning permits to build a new facility at its Glenlivet distillery, which would triple production, in response to demand for its fine golden product.

While wine won't have to worry too much about its place in drinkers' hearts, it seems those drinkers are sharing the love with spirits as well. Look out for a Whiskey feature on these pages in the new year.

Source: http://www.wine-searcher.com/

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