waiting in line 8 hours to buy a single pint of beer.
That beer is Pliny the Younger. Maybe it's a great beer; maybe there are better beers. What strikes me about the story is this: it's probably the most cultish drink in the world. Who waits in line 8 hours to drink any wine or whiskey?
And it costs $4.75.
No wonder men in their 20s prefer craft beer to wine, a development that has the Wine Market Council a little anxious about the future.
All of the world's most-sought wines are out of reach of not just 20-somethings, but all middle-class wine lovers. It doesn't make economic sense for a wine lover to drink first-growth Bordeaux or Domaine Romanée Conti or Screaming Eagle, and this has been the case for more than a decade. There are many wine lovers in their mid-30s who have never tasted, and will never taste, what are considered the top wines in the world.
DRC co-owner Aubert de Villaine recently whined to Wine Searcher that he doesn't like being in the category of a luxury product, and even "Romanée-Conti [the most exalted cuvée] should be at a price where consumers buy it and drink it."
Hey buddy, put your wine where your mouth is. You want people to have a chance to drink DRC? How hard would it be for you to work out a deal with a wine bar to do something like Pliny the Younger: to sell 10 cases of wine that people could have for $20 a glass, if they are willing to wait in line for it? You could do it once a year in a different city each time. Imagine the worldwide anticipation -- and the excitement of ordinary wine lovers.
Nobody in the wine industry does this. But they should. It wouldn't hurt the bottom line. We're talking about 10 cases. Many wineries donate that much wine to charity auctions, where it stays safely in the hands of the 1%. How about donating some to middle-class wine lovers?
Such an event would be huge news in the mainstream media. Food for thought.