|Author as a burgeoning sommelier (1982)|
|Artist Kathy Womack's depiction of today's wine lovers|
|Optimal consumer segment: female, early to mid-30s.|
|Ancient Lodi vines: strong sense of place|
|Barrel topping in Halter Ranch Vineyard, Paso Robles|
There are already, of course, tons of American wine lovers who are into that. They are enjoying American wines the way classic European wines have always been enjoyed (not, mind you, the modern day European wines that also employ 200% new oak to kiss up to the critics). It’s only a matter of time before significant chunks of more wine lovers go for that, too. And when that happens, most American wine producers will feel less compelled to produce wines kowtowing to 100-point critics (and maybe, just maybe, even the critics will develop more sophisticated tastes). Praise the lord, and pass the bottle.
True-blue, crazy-about-wine consumers, after all, aren’t exactly stupid. They’re just doing what they’re supposed to be doing – continuously learning, and expanding their horizons – along with our nation’s growers and producers. For me – after all these years in the business of tasting, buying, selling, and writing about wine – the process is still an exciting one, and gets better by the day!
|Millennials: the face of future and present-day wine consumers|