Wine in the recent past was a beverage for the aristocrats and the wealthy educated few. But today wine has taken over beer as the drink of the masses. While there is still some snobbishness attached to the subject of wine, most consumers are no longer fearful about choosing wine, and are confident in experimenting with something new.
Wine has lost its mystery and intimidation in todays global, smartphone world. More and more information is now available to consumers about specifications of different wine from countries with a different language. More literature has been published about wine in the last 30 years than the last 2000 years put together. Even old world countries are opening up to the world and sharing their traditions with their neighbours. Today is a very exciting time to be part of the world of wine.
Below are some of the factors that have influenced the changing image and appeal of wine over recent times.
The wine of the New World is probably the most important factor with a huge amount of wine being produced and sold to consumer in a way that a person who before, hardly knew much about wine could select a bottle of red or white wine and know which grape varieties were used in the winemaking process and how it was made. Wine from the old world were not user-friendly, and usually had no language translation.
Wines today are much cheaper than previous years with more variety to choose from and large wine brands producing quality wines at a bargain price.
Supermarkets are also a huge factor, which has lead to an increase in wine popularity. The supermarket price competition has made wine affordable. The quality of wine buying is high in most of the major supermarkets; this has taken some of the risk out of buying wine.
Ease of global travel today has opened the door for people to travel overseas to wine producing locations. This exposure promotes the image of wine as a luxury product.
Wine has benefited from increased coverage on TV and in the media. Most national papers have wine columns and the internet has exploded with wine blogs and websites. Wine has also been featured in big budget movies.
Wine has also become more popular and common with the scientific articles written about wine health benefits. The large amount of reports suggesting a link between red wine drinking and reduced medical problems have improved the image of wine (See Is the French Paradox a Myth).
So where do I think the image of wine is going? I believe wine is evolving into the beverage of choice for all society. It will only increase in popularity, and quality of product will only increase as wine producers have improved technology at their disposal. Wine is becoming more natural. Already today more and more wine producers are turning to organic and biodynamic methods of viticulture and oenology. I see a huge shift in the way wine is made; wine will become more organic and biodynamic, these methods will be incorporated as the norm. Knowledge of subtle energies in the earth and from the filament will influence wine producers into relocating to areas which is more favourable for growing grapes organically and biodynamically. Overall I see a clean, green and delicious evolution in winemaking techniques and in its image.