There is an interesting evolution around wine. While you may think “aged” when you think wine, there is a new “younging up” of the audience now learning about, drinking, and even embracing wine as their beverage of choice.
Welcome to the younger generation of wine enthusiasts.
Oh, they won’t brag about their knowledge. No, if anything, they are quick to point out how little they know.
And, they won’t necessarily buy the bottle for the table. They save up for the by-the-glass experience, carefully choosing the one wine to go with dinner.
But, enthusiasm? It’s there, in spades.
We observed it during Wine Week at Smith & Wollensky in Chicago. The restaurant was filled with younger people, either doing business or celebrating the occasion with their friends. These are the ones who were intently listening as their glasses were filled with ten different wines for just $10.
The Veuve Clicquot, a Champagne.
The Esperto, a Pinot Grigio from Italy.
The Franciscan, a Merlot from Napa.
The Joseph Phelps, A Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa.
Of course, that’s just a few—and add to the mix the new signature wine on display from Smith & Wollensky, a new Sauvignon Blanc created for them by the Kunde Family Estate in Sonoma.
Incidentally, Zach Long, Director of Winemaking at Kunde Family Estate, agrees that younger people now know more about wine. “I think the main difference,” he said, “is there is a younger group going into wine. It used to be 20- and 30-year-olds were not big wine consumers. Now they are interested in wine earlier. When you start earlier, there is inevitably more knowledge that builds.”
And, thanks to Wine Week, by the end of each meal, every patron in the place had a new understanding of wine, and the foods that pair well with it.
Perhaps the 20- and 30-something crowd is the group willing to take risks, expose what they don’t know, and experiment. We think, though, that’s it’s also the desire to have something to talk about. After all, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube are large beasts to keep fed.
Might as well feed them wine.
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