How Social Media Has Influenced Traditional Wine Culture
Since the 1970s and ’80s, young people going into wine, whether they were the next generation of a winemaking family or new to the wine world, have often traveled to other countries for internships and working stints in other wine cultures. They’ve brought back what they’ve learned and integrated it into their own bottles.
Over the years, perhaps, they were able to maintain relationships and touch base when gathering at festivals and events around the world. Now the internet has enabled this integration to continue, over time and instantaneously.
At one point, globalization in the wine world prompted fear that homogenization was paramount, that the great diversity of grapes and wine styles would dwindle, and the world would drown in a stultifying sea of chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon.
Instead, the opposite has occurred. The world continues to embrace and explore the potential of grapes both new and old, from places long esteemed and areas dismissed for generations.
A greater understanding of wine science, increased confidence in local grapes and traditions, greater curiosity among consumers — all are responsible for this current wealth of diverse wines. And so are the new communities that have allowed newer wines to flourish.
I think of the natural wine producer in Australia or the syrah producer in Sonoma. At one point they each might have been outliers in their areas, considered eccentric or iconoclastic. They might have felt isolated, maybe even unable to reach their potential for lack of support.
Now that support is available, and the result is not wines that taste like those halfway around the world but wines that transmit the singular qualities of where they live and work, their own terroirs.
It’s commerce and connection, and maybe also a new wine culture.
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