Wine Consumption

A recent article / posting from Wine Enthusiast magazine suggests that more of you are tossing back wine at home vs. distilled spirits and beer. That’s what this study says. I’m not sure it’s accurate or true, but it certainly gives me something to ponder.

I know I drink more wine and less distilled spirits and beer, but I have been known to enjoy plenty of different whiskeys, scotches and premium beers. (Sorry, I just can’t drink cheap beer – not even in college). But I figured I was in the minority – I live in wine country after all and we’re all wine drinkers here, right? Not exactly, but I’m sure we have a higher percentage.

I have a couple of thoughts on why wine is being chosen over beer and liquor.

One of them is that people don’t have a lot of extra money right now and one bottle of wine can be consumed over several days. Good budgeting, I think. But you could say the same thing about a bottle of vodka or rum or even a 12 pack of beer. So, maybe not.

People are staying in more and cooking for friends and family more. And what goes better with a home cooked meal than wine? Well, nothing (in my house, anyway). But I can think of plenty of houses where wine takes a back seat to martinis or some other mixed concoction. So again, probably not.

I think this is the answer: During these times people are  more introspective and wine is exactly that. You smell what you smell. You taste what you taste. And don’t let anyone tell you you’re wrong. But it’s more than that. It can take you places that other alcohols can’t. It can bring back memories you’ve completely forgotten about. It can remind you of meals you’ve had or the place you bought it from. It has depth, layers, complexity and structure. What other alcohol is described like that?

Wine also changes with every vintage, region, varietal and bottle aging, etc… And for me this is what I love about wine. It’s always interesting. There’s always something new. And if I’ve learned anything about the generation I’m from and the ones that have followed, we get bored. Fast.

Some of us grew up on home cooked meals. Others spent our childhoods sitting in the backseat as our parents went through the drive-thru again. Now, we pace in front of the microwave. You know, because it doesn’t cook the food fast enough.

We also have to be multi-tasking. Why can’t we carry on a conversation without checking the latest facebook updated and tweets? I’m guilty of this for sure. Why can’t we watch T.V. without also having our computer on our laps and our phone within reach? Boredom. We fear boredom. So, we fill our lives with as much as possible.

How does this equate to wine? Well, wine is the quintessential multi-tasker. There’s always multiple things going on: smell, taste, feel (mouth), sight. And each of those have layers as well. It can also change with what foods you put in your mouth. The interaction that happens is quite spectacular. I’ve never had that happen with whiskey or any other alcohol.

The bottom line? Wine keeps things interesting and different. And I know that’s why I keep returning to it.


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