'Bridget Jones' effect making Brits shun chardonnay

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London, May 27 : Chardonnay, a green-skinned grape variety used to make some of the world's greatest wines, was a great hit among people - until Bridget Jones came along.

As a singleton in her thirties, Bridget Jones' romances almost always ended in failure and to overcome that pain, she took refuge in large amounts of her favourite drink - often chardonnay- following disappointments in her quest for a husband. Seeing her do so has made British drinkers shun the wine, according to one of Britain's best-selling wine writers, Oz Clarke.

"Chardonnay has made some of the world's greatest wines. Everyone appreciated it - until Bridget Jones," The Independent quoted Clarke, as saying.

"Bridget Jones goes out on the pull, fails, goes back to her miserable bedsit, sits down, pours herself an enormous glass of chardonnay, sits there with mascara running down her cheeks saying, 'Dear diary, I've failed again, I've poured an enormous glass of chardonnay and I'm going to put my head in the oven.' Great marketing aid!" Clarke added.

Across Britain fewer people are seeking solace - or enjoyment - in chardonnay.

In the past 12 months, 7.5 million fewer shoppers bought it compared to the previous year, according to the retail analysts TNS. Meanwhile, rivals such as sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio are rising in popularity.

However Clarke, who starred in the TV series Oz and James's Big Wine Adventure with the Top Gear presenter James May, defended chardonnay and called for it to be rehabilitated.

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