Red wine leads white

If you are searching online to buy wine online or prior to going to a store, odds are you are seeing red.

On the other hand, if you are pushing a cart at your supermarket or wine store, white still possesses a place on your palate.

According to, seven out of 10 of their sales are red wines, 20 percent are white, and the remainder rosés and dessert wines.

According to in-store numbers compiled by the Department of Commerce, 47 percent of in-store sales are reds, 40 percent are whites, and 13 percent are blush.

As recently as the early 1990s, whites ruled with 41 percent of the market, followed by blush at 34 percent and reds at 25 percent. The rush to red comes at the expense of blush.

There are several explanations. The red trend began in the 1990s when reports suggested red wines help reduce heart disease by encouraging good cholesterol and providing other health benefits. Drink red wine and live longer is a pretty effective sales tool.

The red trend also tracks with America’s wine explosion. More people now drink wine, and more people drink more wine. More people appreciate wine, and more appreciate good wine. For the most part, although this is inaccurate, people think red wines are more serious than whites, and blush wines are more like wine Kool-Aid than real wine.

Understandable. If your training-wheel wine was white zin, you are proud to show friends you now wear big-boy pants (or power woman slacks) and can roll with red.

This is heartening for retailers. Research shows buyers are almost five times more likely to do an online search for red wines priced over $100 than for similarly priced whites. Even among value wines under $15, searches for reds beat searches for whites two-to-one. Money talks. Red rocks.

Tasting notes:

• MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir 2012. Silk in the mouth pleasure; cherry, pomegranate, cola, whisper of vanilla, oak; delicate, delicious winner. $23

• Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2010. Deliciously layered fruit; blackberry, dark cherry, spice; supple, smooth, lively; food-friendly acidity; lingering finish; the legend continues. $50

Last round: I wish I could trade my heart for a liver so I could drink more wine and care less.