US Buys Wine (Lots), But Misses Wine Culture

Americans just don't see the fruit of the vine as integral to eating ... and to life itself
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2009 5:42 PM CST
Gourmet's Laura Shapiro questions why wine hasn't become more of a cultural fixture in the US.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Lamenting that the US has become the world’s largest wine market despite Americans who are “stubbornly, doggedly, foot-draggingly unwilling to get with the program,” Laura Shapiro outlines a laundry list of vino's benefits in Gourmet: “slowing down for a meal, tasting what we eat and drink, spending time with people we care about.”

“The heart of the problem,” Shapiro sighs, “is that wine doesn’t have any obvious role to play in American culture. Of course it’s a reliable intoxicant, but apart from that, why should Americans bother with it? Wine isn’t a bit useful. … All it does is round out a meal with incomparable charm, which for most people is nice on an anniversary but definitely beside the point on a Tuesday night at home.”