Facts are facts: beer and whiskey have dominated the American booze scene for generations, for better or worse. The US-of-A simply was not born and raised a wine drinking nation.
However, a few things have changed. All of those changes hold delicious consequences for wine lovers everywhere, and Americans in particular. As it turns out, The United States has become the most important wine consumer market in the world. Yes, the great wide world.
California’s emergence as a producer of world class wine changed the game for Uncle Sam. Equally exciting and enticing vino popped up in Oregon, Washington and New York. Then came sleeper states like New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Virginia and Maryland. All of these young and increasingly accomplished regions have given us domestic options that rival the likes of France, Italy, and Germany.
As one of the most health obsessed countries on the planet, we’re also starting to recognize the benefits of drinking two (or three) glasses of red with dinner instead of a few cans of beer or a couple of cocktails. While Americans go through this wine awakening- embracing the simple pleasures and health benefits of drinking wine -Europeans are slowing their pace significantly.
As a consequence, wineries in Europe need American drinkers more than ever. Combine all that with the emerging hipness obscure and overlooked wines, and voilà. You’ve got folks drinking sparkling Teroldego from upstate New York in a bistro across the street from a Dunkin Donuts in Oakland, CA.
Though it still sells less than Bud Light and action movies, there’s no doubt that wine is now a hugely important component of American dining and entertaining culture. Winemaking is a thriving agricultural and artisan industry in pretty much every state. I’ve tasted (and loved) wines from states that I didn’t think were capable of growing grapes.
Wine and its culture is being embraced by everyone: retirees, hipsters, teachers, CEO’s, supermarkets and corner stores. Even Starbucks is looking to add wine to its core offerings. Vino is here for good, and that’s a very good thing.
So let’s toast to an exciting new branch of American culture with delicious wines that are- you betcha’ –Born in the USA.