Like the fashion industry, the wine industry, unfortunately, is subject to fads. Certain varietals and styles become in season. Look at, for example, the success of overly oaked chardonnay or Pinot Noir after the movie Sideways. I am not saying these wines do not have their place and, in fact, have played a significant role to increase the number of Americans who are drinking wine on a regular basis. But has the American palate become comfortable and undemanding resulting in mediocre wines being production?
|Courtesy of Yapp Brothers|
Perhaps purchasing decisions are made based on fear. Fear of looking like a wine novice and wanting to drink whats "in." Gravitating to a certain style or brand because so and so said, "its good!" Much the like the point system drives sales of 92 award winning wines, a trend begins to dominate the market resulting in plunk producers trying to copy the style to make a quick buck much like buying a knock-off Fendi purse. These wines get marked at a reasonable price in order to increase sales and the bottom line, forget about the quality of product.
As much as I praise the point system for coming into play when consumers needed help to demystify wines, making them measurable and a way to categorize, it has also created a culture dictating what we should be drinking and doesn't really educate consumers. Consumers should untimely trust their own palates and use additional resources such as Sommeliers, local wine shops, blogs, books, social media, apps etc. to learn.
Wine is about an experience, it is something to be shared, it should evoke emotion. So maybe I have been buying too many fake Fendis lately and hoping to get the real deal, its obviously not working. My palate is bored and awaiting the next trend. With that being said, I really hope the next trend is to follow what you like but to also have high quality from around the world available at the local grocery store. Why can't the local grocery store be a local wine store that sells Vouray, Bugurndies and Chenin Blanc?
So I ask my readers, what resources do you use when making wine purchasing decisions? How do you educate yourself on wine? What trends/fads do you see in the wine industry both good and bad? Do you feel influenced by these trends?