Archive for the ‘Culture and Wine’ Category

Jan 7, 2021

Wine in an Age of Mobs and Riots

Wine has most often in history been used as a tool for mood alteration. The alcohol in wine provides a path to calming nerves, to lighten the mood, to come down from a heightened state of intensity. Today, it’s fair to say, Americans find themselves in a heightened state of intensity and insecurity, and for good reason. It’s not every year you find your world dissolved by an invisible killer, your world-view challenged by growing hordes of ideologically strident partisans,…

Jan 6, 2021

What Makes Wine Great — Reason #2: Symbolism

There are those that decry the “elitism” in wine. The ceremony long associated with so many aspects of wine is labeled snobbery. I want to suggest that these kinds of derogatory labels have emerged and been promoted more heavily of late out of laziness and misunderstanding. But more importantly, these actions and things surrounding wine that are misrepresented as elitism and snobbery are instead reflections of one of the ways wine is great. Those who claim wine is too elitist…

Jan 3, 2021

What Makes Wine Great—Reason #1

Wine is a commodity. The vast majority of wine released for sale every year is drunk casually and within hours or a few days of being purchased by consumers who bought the wine because it fit their budget and the label was pretty. And yet, wine is also an important and permanent item among humanity’s small collection of enduring treasures. Ideas as to what it is about wine that puts it in this exclusive category are many, expressed by thoughtful…

Dec 25, 2020

The Ten Words That Defined Wine in 2020

Words and language are culture. In 2020, certain words and phrases depict how the wine industry interacted with larger cultural movements in the United States and identify the evolution of wine during a year very much unlike others. In no particular order…The top 10 words that defined wine in 2020 were: ON-PREMISE The disastrous demise of ON-PREMISE wine sales in 2020 can’t be overemphasized. The 20% of wine sales that occurred in bars and restaurants in 2019 simply fell off…

Dec 16, 2020

Wine in the U.S. in 2020 — The Top Takeaways

I can’t stress enough just how unique 2020 has been. From a historical perspective, it’s arguable that this year is among the top two or three most eventful and impactful 12 months in 100 years. And keep in mind, those past 100 years included the 1929 stock market crash, the worst years of the depression, the beginning and end of World War II, the Cuban Missle Crisis, two presidential assassinations, the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting acts, 1968,…