Wine: The Manly Choice - IMBOLDN
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Imagine this: You’re with a bunch of your guy friends, hanging out, having a great time. Your server asks what you’d like to drink, and instead of beer like the rest of your buds, you ask for a glass of wine. Some of your friends may scoff at you for being pretentious while others may tell you to stop trying to ‘impress’ anyone and just stick with beer. It seems like wine for the ‘male species’ is more about showing off than being an actual preference, at least to some degree here in the U.S. It could be a cultural thing, but there’s no stigma attached to drinking wine among Europeans, as most people grow up enjoying wine over a nice family dinner — although young European men seem prefer beer these days.

It is definitely difficult to generalize, but at home we still don’t see the wide acceptance of wine like other cultures. Wayne Gretzky, a God within the world of ice hockey and an NHL legend, used to spend his time after each game drinking beer with his friends. After getting into wine, his wine recommendations to his friends were only met with harsh comments, accusations of being a show off, and telling him off to drink beer “like a man”. However, if you compare the 5% alcohol content in beer to wine’s 12-15%, couldn’t you say that wine may be the more masculine drink? Gretzky not only enjoys wine til this day, but is also the proud owner of his own winery, Wayne Gretzky Estates — an achievement that seems a bit overzealous of him, if he was indeed just showing off.

So what it is about wine, or the perception of wine that seems to create a barrier for us men? It could be that we’ve been conditioned by the media to associate wine with a certain class of people or behavior. When guys get together, we drink beer; when girls get together, it’s over a cosmo. It could also have something to do with the plethora of rules and etiquettes that are associated with wine, establishing itself as a drink that’s not easily approachable. Seemingly, it’s always the well educated and well healed that enjoy wine, a stereotype that only seems to be reinforced by the media. However, in Europe, where wine originates from, it’s a beverage that is easily accessible at casual family dinners or even during their break at work.

Nevertheless, wine seems to be a popular choice these days, with a variety of price points on offer at the local liquor store. Despite this growing popularity and acceptance, there are still some people out there using wine as a tool to impress, rather than to purely enjoy, possibly using the stigma attached to wine to their advantage.

In the following weeks on IMBOLDN Digest, I plan to divulge my secrets about wine that you can use in the real world and make wine more approachable. Are you planning to use it just as a tool to impress someone? That’s alright. It shouldn’t matter whether you get your feet wet by just showing off or in an attempt to fit in. You will soon grow to like it, as I am a living proof. It has been 10 years since I started drinking wine to fit in and during those years I have studied abroad to learn more about wine and now I make a living out of it.

So I raise a glass to warmly welcome you into the gates of wine hell. You will enjoy every minute of it.