Like zombies in The Living Dead genre, Generation Y lurches forward inexorably, upending the wine world.
Generation Y (people born between 1980 and 2000) drink alcohol more than any generation in history—and part of that cohort is not yet even old enough to legally drink.
Game changer: surveys show Gen Y’s prefer wine over other alcoholic drinks.
Twenty-eight percent of Gen Y’ers report drinking wine daily, and more than eight out of 10 say they prefer wine because of its taste.
Great news for wine makers. Mixed news, however, in the big picture.
Fifty percent of Gen Y’ers surveyed admit to sometimes drinking themselves into a hangover. Realtors, police officers, retail employees, waiters, and chefs were most likely to self-report as “wine flu” sufferers.
Wine’s medical scorecard is a mixed bag. Moderate wine consumption appears to decrease heart disease. On the other hand, it may increase certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.
Alcohol abuse contributes to early dementia, social problems, traumatic accidents of all kinds, crime, and fetal alcohol syndrome. Typically wine is the least problematic of the spirits-wine-beer triumvirate, but it is not without risk.
Weight gain may be the biggest whack on wine. Wine is high in calories and sugar carbs. A glass of wine can have as many calories and carbs as a can of soda pop. While daily wine consumption packs on pounds, it also lowers inhibitions, leading to food decisions that result in fabulous meals, but also lead to ruinous rendezvous with scales.
This discussion may seem strange in a column dedicated to wine’s joys and pleasures, but it does track with belief wine is marvelously complex, delicious, wonderful—and is best enjoyed in moderation.
• Leese-Fitch Chardonnay 2014: Golden apples and citrus; widely distributed, priced to please. $10-12
• McPherson Les Copains Dry Rosé 2014: Delectable Texas rosé well worth a sip. $15-17
• Kim Crawford Pinot Noir South Island 2014: Easy drinker, nice price for this quality of pinot. $17
Last round: Sitting in a wine bar with a friend, I pointed to two old winos sitting across from us. “That’s us in 10 years,” I said. He said, “That’s a mirror.”
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