image: Publix Grape
Just a quick hit to let you know that the Winter 2015 edition of Publix Grape Magazine should soon be available (if not already), and that I’ve once again penned the In Focus section (as well as some other items in that issue).
This time, In Focus focuses on screwtop closures, with some insights from irrepressible Bonny Doon winemaker Randall Grahm. It gets into the background history of both cork and screwcap closures, and that research, for me, was always the most fun part of that Grape Mag gig.
I write “was” because, alas, Winter 2015 is the last printed edition of Grape, which will be moving to an online/email publication titled Publix Wine Program. As they say in Jolly Ol’ England, I’ve not heard a dickie bird about whether or not I will a part of that new program, and I’ve no details on if/how the traditional Grape content will be changing, apart from what’s been published publicly on the Publix website (sorry!).
I’ll miss the gig; it was a blast. And it had some seriously sweet food porn photos in it, too. I find at these moments, it’s best to look back with gratitude on having been a part of the experience for so long, and having the opportunity to work with such professional people. And to drink sparkling wine… lots and lots of sparkling wine…
If you read Lettie Teague’s recent WSJ column entry, titled How Millennials Are Changing Wine, you will find some interesting data suggesting that Millennials are not, in fact, changing wine nearly as much as many of us think that they are.
First, you’ll have to wade through polemics such as the opening quote from New York sommelier Jason Jacobeit, who decries his generation’s focus on feeling connected to a brand when it comes to purchasing wine: “A lot of mediocre wine is being sold on the basis of a story.”
I’ve got news for you, Jason: “a lot” is too subjective a term (a lot of money to me, for example, isn’t a lot of money to Bill Gates), and “mediocre” even more so, but based on what we know from real wine sales numbers, a lot of wine that we might generously call “so-so” or “mind-numbingly-boring” is sold to every generation of wine drinkers, in volumes that far eclipse what we might collectively think of as higher quality – or at least more interesting – vino.
Back to Teague’s WSJ piece: I’d also advise you to skip the latter section of the article, in which Lettie recounts a tasting with a “mini-focus group” of millennial wine drinkers. Given that this group consisted of “two men and two women ranging in age from 25 to 32,” it’s laughably dangerous from a statistical standpoint to draw any conclusions whatsoever on millennial wine drinking habits from the results of their conversation.
The real meat of the WSJ article lies in the sneak peek that it gives to an August Wine Opinions study of 2,634 wine drinkers, spanning in age groups from Millennial to Gen X to Baby Boomer. Through that study’s results, we get some fascinating insights into how U.S. wine drinkers actually approach buying their wine…
Read the rest of this stuff »