Wine in the Wake of Charlottesville

Do Americans drink more during moments of cultural upheaval? Do they reach for the bottle when its culture and people are ignited and roiled by doubt, consternation and the unknown?

We know Americans drink more when they collectively celebrate. Just ask beer producers around Independence Day. Talk to wine retailers about their sales in advance of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Query sparkling wine producers about sales on December 31.

As we watch the Charlottesville debacle and tragedy play out, are we examining our thoughts with the aid of booze? I don’t know. But I am curious about this.

I wonder if Americans drank more during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Did we mix more drinks as the Watergate hearings played out? Did the Challenger Disaster lead Americans to uncork an extra bottle of Cabernet?

The way we use alcohol is somewhat complicated. While it is and always has been a product we use to help us celebrate and mark momentous occasions, alcohol is also a tool we use to help numb and soothe our stressed psyches. While I don’t have data (yet) on whether or not the Charlottesville Moment resulted in increased sales of alcohol, I suspect it has.

If you believe this post is insufficient as a public response to the shocking events of Charlottesville or that it is a somewhat crass way of addressing the events of the past week, I’d only remind you that this blog has for more than a decade primarily been aimed at the business and marketing of wine.

Posted In: Culture and Wine


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