My latest poll has now ended. The poll question was: Which Drink Do You Most Often Have With Dinner? The possible answers included: Wine, Beer, Spirits, and Non-Alcoholic Drinks.
The #1 answer, with 19 of the 25 total votes, was Wine. Beer and Non-Alcoholic Drinks tied at second with 3 votes each. The results were not that surprising but it was the comments that were more interesting.
It seems that a number of wine-lovers may not have adopted a wine-culture mentality whereby wine accompanies nearly every meal. When they drink wine, it may be usually with a meal. But that accompaniement is not every day, and may be half or less of the time. Thus, in that regard, we still have a way to go in becoming more of a wine culture. Wine is still not an integral, every-day component of our lives.
So, why is this the case? Why don't we drink wine with nearly every meal? Are we still viewing wine as something special, and not just a normal component of our meals? Are we worried about the effects of drinking wine every day? Are we working toward that goal but just have not gotten there yet? Does U.S. culture still frown too much on daily wine drinking?
For me, I have found myself drinking wine with more and more of my dinners, yet it is still not every day. Though it is improving. It is a significant change and such can take time. I know most of my local wine buddies still rarely drink wine with dinner. I think it is a cultural barrier that takes time to erode, to feel more normal. It takes effort and perseverance.
I think the advantages of having a better wine culture in the U.S. should be fairly obvious. I doubt many wine lovers would disagree that the U.S. could benefit from becoming more European in their outlook on wine. Yet it is also obvious that we have far to go.
So how can we promote more of a wine culture in the U.S., especially when many of us do not drink wine every day with our meals? Or can we promote a wine culture without drinking wine each day? Wine consumption in the U.S. continues to rise each year yet we are still a long way from becoming a wine culture. Is it even possible though for the U.S. to become a wine culture?
Obviously the more wine bloggers promote wine, the more that is written about wine, helps promote a better wine culture. It helps to normalize wine, to make it more accessible to all. Yet I think getting people to taste wine may be one of the most important aspects.