Will America Save the Wine World?

french wine regionsFrom the “implausible titles” file comes this headline from Blake Gray writing for Palate Press.

But Gray may be onto something. While wine consumption is plunging in Europe, wine consumption makes steady growth in the U.S., where wine regions are sprouting faster than prairie weeds. But Gray also argues that American wine consumers are more knowledgeable and curious than our counterparts in Europe. While Americans will buy wine from anywhere and seek out uniqueness and quality:

You don’t see Italians signing up for Italian wine appreciation courses, unlike people all over the US. Try asking a young Spaniard about which other countries produce Garnacha.

I’m not sure why young people in Europe are abandoning their wine heritage. But here in the U.S. this new-found interest in wine is part of the larger trend toward a greater interest in taste. Our interest in wine coincides with the food revolution that has occurred over the past 20 years.

Is this interest in food and wine likely to continue? I suspect so. The interest in artisanal foods and wines seems to be speaking to a need for something unique, intimate, and authentic in our lives perhaps as an antidote to our increasingly corporate, bureaucratized public life.

Wise men have said “plus ca change plus la meme chose” (the more things change the more they remain the same)

But this really does look like a change

It has been 150 years since America imperiled European wine by introducing phylloxera. Our time has come to truly make amends, and we will do it in the most delicious way possible, by buying Europe’s best wines, studying them, swapping them, drinking them, honoring them. Lafayette, we are here, and we come bearing wine glasses.

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