Steve Heimoff, a very thoughtful, and talented wine writer with Wine Enthusiast magazine posted a new entry on his blog questioning the interest "millenials" (those folks under 30) have in wine. The conclusions he cites don't make the winemaker's heart sing.
Those cited claim that colorful cocktails have taken the place and the dollar that wine had 5 years ago. Our recent experience at Steven Kent belies this, however.
I have absolutely no evidence for this except for my own, often bleary, anecdotal observations, but I think the number of young people who have visited us in the last year or so has increased dramatically.
And I think the chief reason for this is the same reason that gives me hope that we are building a true, wine-loving culture in California: wine isn't that big a deal any more.
By no big deal, I mean this new group of people ( I hate those generational labels!) is the first that has seen wine as a regular part of their every day experience. Mom and Dad weren't celebrating an anniversary, they were celebrating surviving the day. They knew that the wine they chose would not only ease the cares but also make the food they were eating taste better. A shared bottle of wine was the vehicle for re-connnection, for new-memory making.
In this case, familiarity breeds comfort. As the under-30's (sorry!) find the beginnings of their careers and the income that goes with it, the natural consequence, it seems to me, is that they begin to find their wine legs. The underpinnings have been erected; now they place their own favorites on this framework.
Welcome to wine and to Steven Kent!