Let’s uncork some truth. The New Casual is the new normal. The days of trying to correct the sommelier are a thing of the past, and the days when the sommelier has 200 billionaire bottles on an over-curated wine list have gone the way of the dinosaurs, too.
Wine culture has long been criticized for being a group of highly-paid actors performing an insular and snobbish play. But the culture is changing. Part of it has to do with the casual approach to millennial marking, and part of it has to do with the fact that serious wine drinkers are taking themselves a lot less seriously. Digital wine shopping is an integral part of modern wine culture’s New Casual approach. Here are 7 reasons why digital wine shopping is the hottest craze since vino in a box.
1. Because you can pair wine with mac and cheese (or Oreos) and nobody will judge you
What happens in your home stays in your home, or the first rule of wine club is there is no wine club. Either way, the waiter won’t shoot you daggers and threaten to ban you for life when you dunk an Oreo in your Reisling or pair a box of electric-orange Kraft mac and cheese with a juicy Sauvignon Blanc. Just add Netflix and call it a night.
2. Because when you’re sipping a nice cab in your kitchen on Saturday night, you won’t have to listen to some stranger at the bar tell you that wine is so over and that 2019 is the summer of hard seltzer
….unless of course your son or daughter is there with a White Claw in hand telling you it’s Gen Z’s version of Zima.
3. Because you’re over-worked, over-stressed, and it’s easier to order wine online than participate in wellness trends
Life is hard, so drinking should be easy. There’s nothing convenient about a convenient store when you’re a super-commuter who spends almost six hours a day on the road. And even if you aren’t a super-commuter but just an average commuter, tracking down your favorite wine can be a Herculean task. And if you can’t track down your favorite wine, well, finding a spa that specializes in Gong Baths, Ashgtanga Salutations, or some other wellness trend is as likely as finding a 2004 Penfolds Block 42 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon. Keep the wine purchasing simple, and save wellness trends for corporate raiders on retreat.
4. Because you and the girls (or guys) can gossip, cry, and hug-it-out like an episode of Oprah Winefrey
Sometimes you never know how that third glass of merlot is going to go down. Are you going to be as mellow as the northern California sun or are you going to turn into a reality TV nightmare, accusing a friend of thirty years of never being there for you, bringing up that time at college, insulting the husband of another friend, or jumping on the wine bar’s leather couch like it’s a trampoline and you’re Tom Cruise circa 2005 losing your mind in public. There are days when it’s just better to drink at home.
5. Because if you go out for wine-by-the-glass every week, you blow the budget and can’t save for a trip to Zuccardi
The inaugural list of The World’s 50 Best Vineyards –a spin-off of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants –was released this year. If you want to visit Alsace, the alpine-vine loveliness of Switzerland’s Valais region, or Zuccardi, which, ranked number one on the list, is located at the foot of the Andes in the Uco Valley of Argentina and features a starchitect-designed wine cellar and upscale restaurant, you need to ditch happy hour and save money. Having wines delivered directly to your doorstep at a discounted rate will help cut the bar bill.
6. Because you’ll never wait in line again
On Friday night, the line at your local Wineporium looks like something you’d encounter at Disney World, and let’s face it, “the happiest place on earth” is a place where you don’t have to wait an hour to buy a bottle of Chardonnay. Click, ship, and sip.
7. Because adaptation is part of survival
Digital wine shopping. Screwcaps. Sommeliers wearing jeans as they serve grand cru Burgundy. This is the age of the New Casual. If you don’t adapt, well, we all know what happened to the dinosaurs, right?