What the pairing of Indonesian skewers and low-end Burgundy can teach us about the real reason why California wine is struggling.
Bravoi! A great post. My experience is that if people like a wine style such as unoaked, medium bodied whites, even people who are relatively new to wine will recognize and appreciate affordable better quality wines in that category. They don't need the "training wheels" of formulaic factory wine. They are ready to move up to better quality now.
I love this piece! I began drinking wine on my generations starter wines. EEWWWW! Mateus! ( I think I want to find it and taste it now ) Ripple! red Ripple! pagan Pink Ripple! Blue Nun! And then I decided to only buy the wines from France that I could afford. And I did.
Those Chardonnays from the Maconnais coat even less in France - it’s no wonder wine is like water there!
I sat for several hours several years ago with a California winemaker who wanted to get his wines in the mouths of more younger wine drinkers. And I explained that the competition from craft beers and cider and now but not then - canned and bottled cocktails!!! - well you know the rest. You just wrote about it!
And every year on the third Thursday of November I think it is, I buy a couple of bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau because it’s tradition, and then the next day I go for the Beaujolais Villages.
I didn’t know what the answer was when winemaker and I talked over this topic for hours. I still don’t .
But I think it is more complicated -
I think younger people want to know about wine and drink better wine? but as you write about satay - they are fearful.
As an older person in Joel Robuchon Atelier in Paris with one of my clients, I was asked to select the wjne, I chose lol a white burgundy and then for the red a Bordeaux. These were not inexpensive wines. The sommelier gave me a look when I ordered the Bordeaux and I said I wanted something earthier than a Pinot Noir, And I would do it again.
My only point is that being older might give one the sense of confidence or authority to make a wine decision-and it does take time to learn. So, I bought an 11.49 Sauvignon Blanc the other day when I was in a wine shop and they were doing tastings. It’s perfectly fine for an every day table wine - and that’s what people learn and have access to in France but we don’t here - even our inexpensive California wines cost more than inexpensive French wines here and in France- inexpensive wine is plentiful and pretty pretty okay!
Plus how wine is sold in the US is very different state by state. So maybe marketing could work but spending money on celebrity spokespeople - I don’t know . Just because Sting owns vineyards and a winery doesn’t mean I want to drink it.
So there’s price point and fearfulness ...