Dramatic, and Welcome, Changes in the Wine World

It’s clear that in years to come there will be much greater diversity in people who describe themselves as frequent wine drinkers.


Demographics are changing in America, so it’s to be expected that the profile of the wine devotee will also shift. And though the statistics included in the story “The Changing Face of Wine” don’t represent dramatic changes today, they clearly signal a gradual, steady, important and very welcome enough evolution in the years and decades to come.

African-Americans and people of Asian and Hispanic descent are enjoying wine in greater and greater numbers. Women are increasingly making the wine purchasing decisions in their households. As evidenced by the Millennials, people are embracing wine at an earlier legal drinking age, and through social media are communicating about it in a whole new way.

Numbers aren’t needed to tell the whole story: look to your own experience. How much more often are you choosing “ethnic” restaurants? And where you might have reached instinctively for a beer when having Mexican, Chinese or Thai food, now wine is increasingly an option: wine lists in these restaurants are growing as people realize there are wines—Pinot Noirs with their vivid fruit and balance, Rieslings with a touch of sweetness, Sauvignon Blancs with their refreshing acidity—that cut the spice and offer a lighter alternative.

It’s often said that America’s strength is in this diversity…and let’s add, continuing diversity. These changes bode well for the wine industry—and the consumer.

Also in this issue: paradise. Is there any place on earth more beautiful, teeming with life lived to its utmost, than Italy’s Amalfi Coast? In "Touring the Amalfi Coast," Monica Larner maps out an itinerary from Sorrento to the town of Amalfi that offers many opportunities for fine wine enjoyment, great food, splendid scenery and interactions with some of the most lively and friendly people anywhere.

Senior Editor and Tasting Director Joe Czerwinski presents wine varieties that you might not associate with Australia: Zinfandel, Malbec, Sangiovese, Tempranillo and many more. These wines, with all the forward fruit that Australian wines are known for, also exhibit the distinctive profiles of each variety.

A primer on how to find the wines you read about in our magazine or on a wine list, a profile of the major wines of the Loire, tapas recipes and wines that seamlessly pair with them—you’ll find diversity in every issue of Wine Enthusiast.

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Reader Comments:
May 11, 2011 12:30 pm
 Posted by  loshelley

As a Hispanic woman, I can clearly see the changes toward wine. It had been very hard to find people who even drank wine when I turned 21, it seems that now people are more open to enjoying wine without complaining about headaches.
I feel this is happening because of the growing trend of wine tastings in the city where they offer low cost or free tastings plus magazines like yours that now caters to people who seek knowledge about the different wines, grapes and even how to pair them with regular dishes rather than lofty creations from foo-foo chefs.
I like this trend, I like talking to people about wine without feeling like I have to have a degree in order to do so. I like going to a wine shop or winery and be able to ask questions without feeling like I'll be snubbed because I asked.
It's been so much fun drinking wine that I just subscribed to WE to gain more knowledge and hope to use this to get others to consider drinking wine.

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