The Snowballing of Moderate Wine Consumption
The way by which facts, ideas or myths become accepted and common knowledge among the broader public is an important dynamic. Politicians and marketers in particular study the mechanics of how something moves from below the radar to above it.
In public relations one of the rules that govern the practice is that if you say it over and over and over again, eventually "IT" will become common knowledge.
The idea that wine in moderation is good for you first came to light not as a result of it being said over and over. It was an idea catapulted into the national consciousness by a report on 60 minutes some years back that looked at the so-called "French Paradox". That report noted how the French, who consume much more fat than Americans seem to be healthier and have less heart disease. The main explanation was that they drink more wine than us. This single report helped increase the consumption of red wine in the U.S. dramatically.
The report opened eyes, elevated the idea that wine is good for you to water cooler status, got people talking and even affected sales.
However, now I think we are seeing the idea that moderate consumption of wine is good for you moving into the status of common knowledge. And this transformation of an idea that is talked about into an idea that is well-known and accepted has resulted from the rule of "saying it over and over and over again."
For the past several years we have seen at least two or three well publicized studies showing that moderate consumption of wine has positive affects on some aspect of health.
The most recent revelation is that moderate consumption of wine among women makes them less likely to experience dementia when they age and keeps their mined sharp. The study has been reported everywhere from Wine Country to China. The number of studies that show other positive affects of alcohol consumption are too many to note, but this story touches on them.
All this is good for sales of wines and I believe any continued increase in consumption of wine in America will be partially reflective of this idea becoming common knowledge.
The next step is to see wine being recommended by those who take a real risk in doing so: Doctors, lawyers and government agencies. While many doctors do not recommend people who don’t drink take it up, they do often recommend note to patients that moderate alcohol consumption is good. And the recent dietary guidelines issued by the U.S. government, while not a full endorsement of drinking wine, did suggest there was nothing wrong with moderate consumption.
I’m convinced that this snowball is just beginning to gain steam.