Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The 300

Beatrice and Arthur challenged me to write something in 300 words or less; a length that wouldn’t lose their generation. I have been on the road, working out of hotel rooms, long hours. So that could be easier than usual.

Today I see many new faces in the wine scene. Young men and women just starting out on wine trail, needing to learn about wine. They are moving through the stages of wine faster than previous generations. What’s that mean? Usually one would start out with fruity or sweet wines, Riesling or a fruity Zinfandel, moving on to Beaujolais and then on the Cabernet and then on to Burgundy. Something like that. But in a time span of maybe 5-15 years. Now we have youth in the 20’s who say, great, Napa Valley Cabernet, what's next? For me that is a revelation. Also, these newborns aren’t afraid of the $20 price tag. Hey, they are driving BMW 3 series and plunking down payments on urban loft spaces. They are expecting the good life. Minor concern is they cycle through the process so fast they keep sailing right out through the exit-chute. Then we are left with the next cycle of bambini and the process of exciting, educating and keeping them engaged in this profession.

What can help? Travel, tasting and talking to different folks in their world of wine. When you see that you belong to a small global community of like-minded people whom you can have friendships with, it makes up for perhaps not having the biggest paycheck in your peer group. Challenging yourself to the mastery of something is an honorable endeavor. I stand along the trail with my pitons and haul bags, ready to help any and all, on their way up the summit.

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