Article from fernandopadinsaez.blogspot.com, blog of Fernando Enrique Padín Sáez. (Twitter @Fer_Padin)
If a survey was done among wine consumers and non-wine consumers asking ‘how many varieties of wine do you know?’, the answer would probably not be a fourth of the varieties made in Spain. If they were also asked about the differences among Champagne, Cava or Sparkling wine or about the grapes used to make Cava, would the know the answer? I am not talking about people linked to the world of wine, but about people and their ignorance.
I wonder if it is really expensive to organise a national campaign where all the regions make efforts to reach normal consumers. It is true that each region has to defend its sale but, I think, it should be a priority for everyone to work together and make the wine consumption in Spain increase.
As we import fashion and passion for some varieties and mixes, we should also see that, in other countries, the reference for the consumption is not in the production area but in the variety or production method. For example, in Argentina, where wine was declared national drink, the consumer looks for an specific variety of wine not thinking about the area or designation of origin. It is really strange that a consumer, not being a wine technician, does not know how a Malbec, Pinot Noir or Chablis tastes.
Therefore, I think that they should bet on monovarietals and not on fashions or author’s wine. It should be a priority for the producers to get to know and educate the consumer’s palate. We cannot know what three or more grape varieties can contribute to a wine without knowing how these varietals taste by themselves.
Nowadays, producers and winery-owners prefer to bet on exportation instead of on the local market. It is understandable if we have a look at our national outlook although the small and family wineries cannot afford the exportations. The cost and the reductions in benefits from the government and relevant institutions make the situation even more difficult.
I think it is more viable to organise a campaign to promote and increase the wine consumption instead of keeping using technical terms, exhibitions and expert tastings and forget the fateful and elitist label which was associated to the world of wines some years ago.
And I always come back to the same example: My neighbour Louise doesn’t know how a Godello, Syrah, Albarño or Pinot Noir tastes and she doesn’t know if any of these goes well with her stews. Anyone could help her?