Wanted: the USA's Missing Wine Drinkers
Hmmm . . .
"The strange truth about US wine consumption is that between 16 and 20 per cent of US citizens manage to consume 90% to 96% of the wine (these figures vary, depending on source). There are 40-80 million occasional wine drinkers in the US, but in reality around 36 million adults put away almost all it. Respect!"
As opposed to the percentage that casually and routinely dine at the likes of Spago, Bernes, Aliena, Lugers, and Per Se?
If anyone ever wondered why there are wines like Menage a Tois, If You See Kay, Wine by Joe, Josh, Layer Cake, Cupcake, Planet Oregon, JCB #69, Two Hands "Sexy Beast", Bitch, Black Box, Goat Bubbles, Red Truck and Two Buck Chuck...these are wineries trying to unlock the 108 million person riddle that is the US wine market in regard to the irregular drinkers of wine.
And BTW, I don't think this is a bad thing. Some of these wines (and the list is a bazillion times larger than the wines mentioned) are really good.
Though I'm a committed wine drinker, I have to say that I think the craft beer makers have it all over the wine industry in the US when it comes to interesting the broad public and getting quality product available at a fairly low price point. Brewpubs and such spring up in all areas of the country, and in most urban bars you can get a pint of something for $5 offering the same depth of complexity as a $15 glass of quality wine (where the same bar will be serving crap wine).
Plus, every week or two there's a nice article in the local press celebrating a local beer club or the new seasonal beers, so the press is a willing promoter as well. There are wine articles, but I think the learning curve is still a little intimidating for a lot of people.
I was going to start a thread on just this subject, but since I noticed this article, I thought it might fit in here.
BTW, the article mentions Chinese suspicion of fakery in wines. As someone who enjoys tea, I can tell you there's a lot of fakery of tea in China too, and probably lots of other products, so that carries over into wine. They even make fakes of their own quality teas, right down to labels and design, the kind of thing that would get litigated immediately in the West.