You may find yourself some time sitting in a restaurant listening to the waiter give you the list of wine specials and expect to hear a long list of French wines peppered with wines from other regions, perhaps one being from the US. Would you be surprised if I told you wine consumption is shifting and the types of wines being consumed have changed drastically over the last few years making the US the biggest national wine market? Yes, the US is big, and not going anywhere any time soon.
Currently there are 275 wine makers in Virginia and more than 77,000 in the US. Wine production here has gone up with the help of varied climates, whereas in Europe, consumption has gone down. Why the shift? Blame it on Barefoot.
With wine specials at every grocery store varying from deep sales cuts to bulk discounts, Americans are buying wine by the dozen, and stocking up. The French have become more selective about the wines they choose to consume, choosing quality over quantity. How very ‘French ‘of them.
Europeans as a whole are also working longer hours, taking shorter breaks, and choosing more on the go meal options as opposed to sitting down as a family and leaving the old adage of treating dinner as an event rather than a means to an end behind. Sound American? Well, it is. Americans are enjoying and appreciating wine more and more and our population is larger. Wine is still a mystery to our newbie country, so it’s no surprise we as a nation have become so fascinated with the plethora of choices there are to choose from.
We are fortunate to live in an area where we can explore many of these wines in our own backyard! Plan a day to journey in the world of wine with friends, colleagues, or any other group you like to drink with and discover what many Americans have already found: we make some damn good wine.
So, the next time you find yourself sitting in a restaurant listening to the waiter go on and on about their wine specials, stop him or her and ask, “So, what can you tell me about your Virginia wine selection?”