'So what are you drinking during quarantine?'
First world problem, I know. However, the question has been asked of me, and I have asked it. For myself, however, the answer seems to be a bit unexpected: I’m drinking more beer. It is unexpected because I’m a wine industry professional, who has access to many great wines at industry pricing, not to mention a stash of wine which I’ve been building over the years. What you may not know, is that it’s super common for wine industry people to geek out over beer, cider, spirits, ‘booch, and even non-alcoholic cocktails. Anything but wine seems a popular option for us before, and even during quarantine.
My thoughts are that this is likely due to the fact that we’re constantly surrounded by wine in our professional lives, usually tasting, smelling, looking at, writing about, cleaning up, moving, selling, filtering, and on, and on…about wine. So much so, that maybe we choose not to enjoy wine at home, out of deference for it, out of not wanting to be so mindful of each of wine’s nuances, out of wanting to leave it on the pedestal for which it provides us with our livelihoods. We want to leave work at work.
At home I want to be able to enjoy a beverage which isn’t often analyzed for every single detail, to the point of which, you end up looking for flaws, rather than strengths. Maybe at home I want to be comfortable, with no surprises. A 6 pack of IPA? Sounds great. Same taste, every single time; no surprises; complete homogeneity is the goal. Of course there are a plethora of craft beers on the market, but again, buying something completely different and unique defeats the point I’m trying to wax on about: that I don’t always want to analyze what’s in my beverage. By the way, did you know that the Brewers Association classifies a small brewery as one which produces not more than 6 million barrels of beer annually? That’s 186 million gallons. Of beer. Per year. Wines Vines Analytics, on the other hand, classifies a small winery as one which produces the wide margin of 5,000 to 49,000 cases annually, which is about 12,000 to 117,000 gallons per year. Just some food for thought.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love wine. Its stories and uniqueness are what drew me into the business, and are what keep me here. Wine study groups, and books like the Wine Bible, both full of stories and knowledge, were formative in my young cementing to the wine industry, and I’ve enjoyed my journey to the temple of the grape. I’ve been led to Metas Altas, where I hang my hat, and what I have begun to shape as my career. Is it the culmination of it? Close, but we’ll see. But it’s definitely the place for me to practice what I’ve learned, and to test what I can accomplish.
I guess what I’m saying is that I need a beer fridge AND a wine fridge. A place to store all the wine and beer that I’ve had delivered to me during the COVID-19 pandemic (as well as the wine I’ve purchased when I’ve been adventurous enough to go out wine tasting). Just like you, I want to enjoy my freedom to drink what I want, and express myself however I want, without having to stay team X or team Y forever.
So, then, what are you drinking?