Being a part of the millennial generation—the largest group of red wine drinkers—and growing up around one of the best wine producing regions in the world, it is amazing to see how wine culture has changed over the years.
Wine continually exerts a stuffiness and yields a snobbish crowd; however Fred Franzia, along with others, has decided to turn this around. Fred Franzia, one of Bronco’s founders, became an icon for the winemaking industry. He developed a reputation as a visionary, a winemaker who was unafraid to buck tradition in a very traditional craft. As wines in California became more exclusive and expensive, Fred Franzia turned industry eyes when he dared to suggest that good wine didn’t have to cost a lot. The 1991 purchase of Charles Shaw Winery gave Fred Franzia a proving ground for his challenging theory. He nurtured the Shaw wine brand and made it the surprisingly low cost, high value wine that’s affectionately known as “Two Buck Chuck,” because of its $1.99 price tag at Trader Joes. Fred Franzia created a new category of “super value wines” that made both consumers and vintners sit up and take notice.
In response to intimidating wine lifestyle mags like Wine Spectator, Wine X magazine, currently only in an online edition, has come to support and entertain a new batch of red wine drinkers. Wine X is a young adult lifestyle magazine with wine and other beverages grafted on to it. With regular features on music, fashion, videos, books, travel and other relevant young adult culture, it’s specifically designed to create a comfortable forum in which young adults can learn more about the tasty juice without the usual intimidation. In no other publication will you find a more concentrated effort to inform, entertain and enlighten a new generation of wine consumers with such a fresh, cutting-edge approach.
Over the past few years Gary Vaynerchuk has brought wine education down to earth with Wine Library TV. It always troubled Gary to observe the stuffiness of the industry–conceited sommeliers, snobby shopkeepers unwilling (or unable) to educate their consumers, and seemingly mystical conventions all combine to make wine seem intimidating to the uninitiated. Wine Library TV has reinvented the concept of wine tasting for a new generation. In addition to encouraging straightforward wine tasting, Gary educates viewers about the effects of regional factors (soil, sun, wind) on wine flavors, and how to buy wine. Debunking myths (red vs. white, big name brands vs. independent growers, the pitfalls of wine ratings, etc.) is another ongoing theme of the show.
Here at Borracha, we support everyone in all their wine endeavors, no matter how large or small. So be brave, go out and try all sorts of wines; just don’t forget your Wine Wipes!
Tags: Charles Shaw, Fred Franzia, Gary Vaynerchuk, red wine, Two Buck Chuck, Wine Library TV, Wine Spectator, Wine X Magazine