There are a number of stories popping around about how the USA is turning from beer to wine, such as this...
Beaujolais has beaten the Busch. For the first time since the Gallup Poll began keeping track in 1992, more Americans say their alcoholic beverage of choice is wine, not beer. According to Gallup, 39 percent of U.S. drinkers said they imbibe wine most often, while 36 percent said beer is their favorite. The rest prefer liquor, and a small percentage rate all three equally. Technically, the pollsters said, wine and beer are statistically equal, considering the margin of error. Why the shift? Experts say wine is more affordable and more available than it used to be. They also cite the quality of California vintages, studies indicating that moderate wine drinking can have health benefits, and even wine's featured role in the film "Sideways."But this US wine vendor points out a truth:
They happily sell $8 bottles - provided the wine hails from family-run vineyards that value quality over quantity, artisanal authenticity over mass-market domination. That $6.99 Yellow Tail he keeps spying on tables at BYOB restaurants in Collingswood and Philly? It makes Moore cringe a little. "Industrial wine" robbed of character by mass production, he frets. "A shame" to drink. "Penitential." And that is why David Moore isn't exactly thrilled that more Americans are choosing his drink of champions. "If they're drinking Yellow Tail, they don't really care what they're drinking," he says. "Wine is so much more than just another delivery mechanism for alcohol. It's an experience."But for now in the USA, access to affordable quality still is with the brewers according to a New Jersey Brewer, Gene Muller of Flying Fish Brewing:
For Muller, good news is selling 300 cases at the WXPN-FM music festival on the Camden waterfront last weekend. Or finding a way to donate his spent grain to local farmers for cattle feed. Or getting another local pub to give his porter a taste test. Bad news is realizing that, judging by the Gallup poll, "Americans are getting dumber." Beer, Muller points out, is usually marked up about 30 percent. Bad wine sells for 50 to 100 percent more than it costs.I think this mirrors my experience. When I can buy 750 ml of 9% great Belgian style ale for 8 bucks why would I spend 8 bucks for 750 ml of 12% bottom of the line plonk? Wine is a racket. Real beer is an obsession.