Posted: Jul 25, 2019
Let me preface this post by saying that I'm already predisposed to loving wine. It makes me smile, and I love drinking it. I love what happens when I drink it, and I love what happens when the people around me drink it. And etc.
But, as with any love affair, there are bumps along the way, even for those of us who are committed to wine as a profession. I suspect that many colleagues and friends working in the wine industry are familiar with these bumps that make us question why we've chosen wine (or wine has chosen us) in the first place. With so many other professional paths to choose, many of which may even be better suited to our skill sets, why choose wine with its unique and sometimes enervating lineup of challenges?
It's a reasonable question, and one that merits serious consideration on occasion. If nothing else, that consideration serves as a gut-check for why we're here in this industry at all. That's when most of us come back to the wine that's in our glass, and the conditions around that wine that are so compelling that they help to smooth out the bumps along our path.
Here are five of the most recent reasons I'm loving the wine industry right now.
Visiting Wine Country as a Tourist
This year I'll have several occasions to visit various wine regions not in any official capacity as a writer, but rather as a tourist along with friends and family members who are entirely outside the wine industry. It's been like hitting "refresh" on my vision and perspective on a variety of regions, from Napa to British Columbia to Vermont.
In anticipation of a trip to British Columbia and the Okanagan Valley, for example, I consulted the excellent Lonely Planet guidebook called Wine Trails, United States & Canada: Plan 40 Perfect Weekends in Wine Country. I've been to the Okanagan before, but this time I'll see it through Lonely Planet's lens that's both refreshing and inspiring: "This is a book for casual quaffers; there's no impenetrable language about malolactic fermentation or scoring systems," the book's introduction says. "It is this personal introduction to wine, in its home, that is at the heart of wine-touring's appeal."
I'll raise a glass to that.
Winemakers, for better or for worse, are continually mindful of media attention and critiques of their work. The past few weeks, however, the shoe has been on the other foot as I've heard from winemakers who have responded to my articles in the media. In particular, winemakers who work with hybrid grapes reached out to comment on the attention I paid to hybrid grapes in this article and others. The general consensus? That it's about time for wines to be embraced for their quality and not necessarily their heritage, which is a sentiment I heartily second.
"B Cities" Getting Some Love
Atlanta, where I live, isn't the biggest or most pivotal of the world's wine markets yet the attention it's been receiving from the industry in recent weeks is emblematic, I think, of a broadening perspective on wine's audiences and consumer base. From the Clink Different campaign (hosted jointly by the Bordeaux Wine Council and Wines of Germany) to the To Kalon tour to an exceptional list of fairly obscure natural Italian wines by the glass at Bellina Alimentari, Atlanta's trade and media have embraced the opportunity to expand wine's horizons.
White Wine Emoji
Adding some levity to the subject of wine communication is the hashtag #whitewineemoji campaign, described by my Forbes colleague Jill Barth in her post earlier this week. The intention of adding white wine to the emoji lexicon seems fun and light-hearted but the market influence of white wine is no laughing matter, nor are the 50-plus global partners who are supporting the campaign.
And the Wines...
The bottom line of why I'm loving the wine industry right now? The wines themselves, of course, most particularly the 2017 Lord Sandwich Blanc from Smith Story Wine Cellars in Sonoma, the 2018 Correcaminos Rosé from Microbio Wines in Spain and the 2016 Bizona from Tenuta Macchiarola in Puglia, Italy.
By Cathy Huyghe
July 24, 2019
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Professional consulting to the Food and Beverage industry.www.winebusinessacademy.com
In 2006, Charles Smith created Charles Smith Wines: The Modernist Project, which centers around the trend that most people generally consume...www.go-wine.com/charles-smith-wines
Go-Wine 25 Great Wineries in US selection prioritizes quality, value and availability.www.go-wine.com/great-wineries-in-america
Tasting wine is a nice experience, but visiting the places in which wine is made is a magic moment.