As I write this message today, I am coincidentally enjoying a glass of Pink Door, a one-of-a-kind rosé style wine that blends two whites and two reds. It’s one of our Door County location’s flagship wines, named for the beautiful Door County. While Pink Door is enjoyable for all people, regardless of their experience with wine, it strikes me that often people consider this a “girly” wine.
Doesn’t it seem like almost every social media post or every television scene regarding wine enjoyment seems to show women rather than men? Is this a stereotype or is it reflective of our culture regarding alcoholic beverages? Remember the television series Cheers, Norm and Cliff seemed to only enjoy beer, whereas if someone is drinking alcohol in a Hallmark program, it is always a woman drinking a glass of wine.
A few years back a Gallup poll showed that beer was the first choice of an alcoholic beverage by men at 53% and that wine was the first choice of women at 52%. There is no doubt that this statistic varies by age group and by demographic. We also know that market research shows that 60 percent of wine consumers are women.
It is my contention that wine can and should be enjoyed equally by both genders, and I believe the difference is based much more on culture than it is on our biological differences in our ability to perceive flavors and aromas. The reality is that only 14% of the American public considers themselves as someone who enjoys a glass of wine at least once a week. I believe that this will change as people learn and love wine not for its alcoholic content, but rather for the much more beneficial and enjoyable purpose of encouraging one to gather with those you love to share flavors, moments, and conversations that lead to greater connection. This purpose applies equally to both men and women. No matter what society or culture might depict, men need to satisfy this need as much as women do.
This is not to say that one cannot do this with beer also, as I have been to beer and food pairing events and thoroughly enjoyed them. What I am saying however, is that men, and culture as a whole, should not be depicted as less capable of enjoying a glass of wine as much a woman. There is this sense that somehow men don’t have the ability to enjoy the nuances of wine or that men do not have the same need to socialize and connect as women do. There is something about the nature of wine and its depth of flavor that I believe may cause you to slow down a little bit more and may also increase the likelihood of more thought and thus more talking than does a beer.
There seems to me a tendency for men to focus on the technical aspects of wine and to demonstrate their knowledge of wine whereas women tend to think of wine in terms of its ability to stimulate conversation, friends, and laughter.
My suggestion for us men and for the wine industry, is for men to worry less about demonstrating their knowledge of the product and appreciate more of its ability to promote conversation and enjoyment. My suggestion might be to find wines that have interesting stories and aspects to them so that you can both enjoy the moment. Because in the end that it all there is.