Different cultures and customs make the world a beautiful place. In a recent conversation with The Vines of Mendoza’s Wine Director, Mariana Onofri, I learned a lot about how the average Argentine’s palate grows to appreciate different wines.
Wine is a large part of life in Argentina from an early age. Spanish and Italian heritage have played a role in influencing how soon someone starts to taste wine. Some grandparents will often put drops of quality wine in glasses of water for children. Nine year olds, who could one day be sommeliers, can sometimes take the last few drops from a glass and guess the type.
Mariana shared with me that there is almost a natural progression for tasting wine when young people get to a legal drinking age. She shared, “In the early 20’s a lot of people are drinking fizzy manufactured wines to be social at clubs. By the mid 20’s they move into a stable wine like Malbec or Chardonnay. Later they expand into more refined wines like Pinot Noirs. Their exposure to our culture shapes the wines they are interested in.”
In the United States, there is generally a more conservative approach for giving young children alcohol, even just to taste, but the Millenial generation in particular is embracing wine. A recent Washington Post article stated that this age group is drinking more wines, and better wines, than other U.S. generations before them. One reason stated for this is that they are traveling more and learning more about other cultures. The culture in the U.S. may give a later start to learning the intracacies of wine, but appreciation and popularity of fine wines is growing rapidly.