Red wines and their growing popularity
The story of red wines in our culture is an interesting one. Conventional wisdom dictates that the more wine a person drinks the redder and drier his or her palate will become. That is certainly not the rule, as many folks find a lovely glass of Riesling suitable in any time or place. But the progression citied is generally how most taste buds evolve over a number of years of tasting.
That being said, some background on red wine consumption from Kevin Zralys iconic Windows on the World Complete Wine Course might be interesting.
In 1970, about 76% of all the wine consumed in this country was red. The statistics probably reflect that in those days, wine was NOT the beverage of choice for most Americans. And those who did drink wine drank French and probably lots of it. California had not yet emerged as a force and the rest of the country was pretty much producing sweet Catawbas. The serious and honed palates plus those ethnic families, s for whom wine had always been a way of life, favored reds.
By 1980, several states, including Missouri, Virginia, Ohio and New York began to expand their local wine production. In doing so, they introduced some easy to grow, easy to enjoy light and fruity white wines to the public en-mass. European advertisers began pushing brands like Blue Nun and Reunite on Ice is Nice -- thank you very much. The percentages changed to 47% red and 53% white.
In the subsequent decades as more and more research around the world reinforced the red wine and healthy story, the trend has continued. Today, pie chart shows that red wines approach 60% of all wines sold in the country. And while the folks at the Welch Juice Company have joined in the chorus by talking about healthy Concord juice with its anti-oxidant Revestrol components, the real winners continue to be the American wine producer. Grape juice is fun, tasty and healthy but wine..ahhh, it is a whole different ball game.
No one would ever encourage over consumption in the name of health, but with a great grilled steak, or some rich and zesty pasta, a glass of wonderful red wine beats the bejabbers out of a glass of lemonade, grape juice or ice water.
For additional information: dwinchell@OhioWines.org
About the author:
Donniella Winchell, Executive Director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association...