The Wine Narrative is Slowly Changing—In a Bad Way
It’s a word that has come to be used more and more over the past decade to describe a given explanation or story concerning one topic or another. Most often you see the term “narrative” used to describe how the media is telling a particular story. For example, “the current narrative is that the Trump team worked with Russian representatives to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.” That’s a narrative. It may or may not be true.
I want to raise a concern about a “narrative” that is developing concerning alcohol vis-a-vis cannabis. More and more I see both alcohol and cannabis linked together as alternative ways of getting high. It’s true that alcohol (including wine) is a means to get “high”. But alcohol (and particularly wine) has also long carried an alternative narrative: a beverage that accompanies food and dining that has a long cultural and social history that is linked to land and agriculture. This latter narrative is very positive. It also has the benefit of being true.
But consider the narrative embedded in this paragraph:
“BUT: DIFFERENT OCCASION HIGHS. Still, these two “high” makers are largely different occasions. For example: for 46% of people who consume both alcohol and cannabis in fully legal states for marijuana, they do not see the two substances as fitting for the same times.”
This is a single paragraph inside a Beer Business Daily story on the intersection of alcohol and cannabis. It’s a good story, but notice that both alcohol and cannabis are categorized as vehicles for getting high. I’ve been seeing alcohol (wine) and cannabis conflated in this way more and more of late where alcohol (including wine) are both described as vehicles for getting high. It used to be that wine in particular was described this way primarily by anti-alcohol or neo-prohibitionist types. It wasn’t a mainstream perspective.
Ask yourself what happens when this “narrative” of wine being nothing more than a vehicle for getting high, no different from cannabis, moves into the mainstream. What happens when consumers and, importantly, policymakers are regularly confronted with this narrative? I know what happens. Wine becomes no more than just another drug, like cannabis, cocaine and opiates.
This is one more reason why the wine industry ought to be working very hard right now to do whatever it can to disassociate its product from cannabis. They are two entirely different things and ought to be portrayed as entirely different things. And here’s what’s going to happen. If the wine industry does not begin to actively disassociate itself and its product from cannabis, the narrative is going to slowly change to the point where wine and cannabis are simply two vehicles for getting high. How does that help the wine industry?