We've all heard the news about how wine is growing in America. Stories about increased consumption, the new generation of wine drinkers, etc. But I'm always skeptical.
That's because wine lovers are a vocal minority who tend to flock together, so all we see and hear is other wine lovers. We insulate ourselves from those who aren't into wine.
But I've been to more than my share of restaurants where there was little appreciation of wine. And don't some or your in-laws find your wine obsession thing to be a little weird? That's why I've always doubted that wine was truly in the mainstream of American culture. Getting close? Probably. Has it come a long way? For sure. Mainstream though? Uhhhhhhh...
But then, I start to see things like the Claritin ad now running on TV. The lead character says, "I've got a vineyard to run," and then he goes on about how allergies can't slow him down. During the voice-over, he walks the vineyard rows and even draws a barrel sample with a pipette. Wine in a Claritin ad?
Then there's that Fidelity Investments ad on TV, where the lead character lists all the bosses he's ever worked for. And how now, he's the boss—and it shows him holding a bottle of wine with, presumably, his name on the label. Wine in a Fidelity ad?
And then flipping through the New York Times over the weekend, there was a real-estate ad, for a new luxury high-rise called the Veneto, of all things. The picture shows a few couples in the kitchen, drinking wine—and with the right stemware and a decanter on the table too. Whomever set up the photo shoot knew what they were doing wine-wise. Wine in a real-estate ad?
So maybe wine really is in the American mainstream now. All this passive use of wine in advertising makes for a compelling argument. Have I been too skeptical?