Millennials and the confidence of the palate
Almost no one who writes about wine respects you as much as I do – in fact, I’m in the middle of a trade magazine story detailing the massive changes you’ll bring to the wine business.
But even I had to giggle when the new Wine Market Council study reported that 7 out of 10 of you who drink wine at least once a week said you could “correctly differentiate a glass of merlot from a glass of cabernet sauvignon.”
That’s saying a lot. For one thing, the two wines can taste quite similar, especially given that one goal of post-modern winemaking is to eliminate the qualities that make them different. For another, I often have trouble telling the difference between cabernet and merlot — and I’ve been drinking wine for a long time.
In this, I’d love to do a blind tasting – for money, of course, because I have all these expenses – to see if you can really do it. I’d enjoy being proved wrong, though I doubt that would happen. It’s one thing to wax poetic about wine at the dinner table with your friends, and something altogether different when a bunch of people are waiting for you to demonstrate the acuity of your palate.
Yet, having said all this, I’m quite impressed that so many of you are so confident about wine. It’s not something that we’ve always seen in the past from younger wine drinkers, who are usually more worried about using a corkscrew than about what the wine tastes like. No doubt this is yet another way in which you’ll change the wine business. I guess I need to figure out to work that into my story.