The wine2wine Business Forum, a prominent event in the wine industry, is scheduled to take place in Verona, Italy on November 13 and 14, 2023. During this conference, attendees will delve into an exploration of the top 150 Italian wines that frequently appear on the wine lists of American restaurants.
This data is attributed to the expertise of Somm.ai, a wine and spirits list database founded by David Kong, who was honored with Forbes 30 Under 30 recognition in the Food & Drink category in 2022. The rankings are determined based on the number of on-premise accounts within the Somm.ai client base, and the pricing information is also provided by Somm.ai.
Jeremy Hart, chief strategy officer and co-founder of Somm.ai, expressed in a press release that this list will serve as a valuable resource for producers, aiding them in making informed decisions, gaining a deeper understanding of U.S. consumer behavior, and navigating the intricacies of the on-premise market. He stated that “the restaurant industry is a dynamic and constantly evolving environment, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and consumer preferences can be a challenge.”
The list predominantly features wines from Tuscany, Piedmont, and Veneto, constituing the majority of the selections. Additionally, wines from Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Abruzzo, Lombardia, Umbria, and Sicily are also included.
Prosecco emerges as a standout, with La Marca Prosecco claiming the top spot on the list. This reflects the growing popularity of Prosecco in the U.S. Earlier this year, the Prosecco DOC Consortium reported a nearly 2 percent increase in production and an impressive 11.5 percent lift in sales value with the 2022 harvest. This translates to approximately 639 million bottles sold and a total estimated value exceeding 3 billion euros. Over 80 percent of this production is exported, and with approximately 20 Prosecco releases appearing on the restaurant roundup, there’s plenty for diners to enjoy. According to data from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, consumers are increasingly savoring sparkling wines, with many reporting that they uncork a bottle more than once a week.
Many Order a Tuscan Red
Tuscan red wines, accounting for more than 50 selections on the list, particularly appeal to restaurant customers in the U.S. This region is driven by Italy’s most abundant grape, Sangiovese, and boasts a remarkable array of origin labels. Tuscany (Toscana) is home to 11 DOCGs, shares the title of most DOCs in Italy (tied with Piemonte), and is home to six IGPs, according to the Italian Trade Agency. Notably, the list includes beloved Super Tuscans, which are highly sought-after by diners willing to indulge in bottles like Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Masseto, Antinori Tignanello, and Sassicaia with their meals.
Top 10 Italian wines served in U.S. restaurants
Here are the top 10 Italian wines served in U.S. restaurants, along with their respective regions and prices:
- La Marca Prosecco, Veneto Sparkling White, $48
- Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, Veneto Still White, $59
- Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie, Veneto Still White, $40
- Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT, Tuscany Still Red, $250
- Tenuta San Guido Bolgheri Sassicaia, Tuscany Still Red, $462
- Ruffino Prosecco, Veneto Sparkling White, $45
- Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia, Tuscany Still Red, $453
- Lunetta Prosecco, Veneto Sparkling White, $45
- Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany Still Red, $135
- Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale, Tuscany Still Red, $60
Stevie Kim, managing director of Vinitaly International, emphasized, “The list of the 150 top-selling wines in American restaurants provides a fascinating insight into the consumer habits of American drinkers and is essential reading for any Italian producer interested in the American market.” Kim added that this list also offers valuable perspectives on pricing and consumer spending preferences, making it an indispensable resource for on-premise beverage managers.