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Wine Wednesday

California Wines Net $20 Billion

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California wine.

© Kate Mathis

Americans are drinking more California wine than ever before—nearly 212 million cases in 2011, according to new numbers released by the Wine Institute, a California trade group. The retail value of all that wine was almost $20 billion, a $1.5 billion jump from the year before.

The group attributed some of the growth to Moscato, the grape currently favored by rappers such as Drake, which now accounts for 4 percent of the U.S. wine market.

How to choose a bottle?

In the April issue, F&W's Ray Isle identifies the state's top winemaking trends and recommends more than 25 wines, like the crisp, intense 2010 Husch Vineyards Mendocino Chardonnay ($15) and the tea-scented 2009 Kutch Wines Sonoma Coast  Pinot Noir ($39).

Related: California Wine on Tap
F&W's Guide to Napa
In Praise of Powerful Cabernet

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