Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Glass warfare

There are so many differences between the European and the US wine markets, but I'm beginning to think that one of the most significant is the popularity of serving wine by the glass in American cafes and restaurants. Around three quarters of wine drunk outside the home is sold in this way. Now, the figure in the UK is probably pretty high too, but on the east of the Atlantic those glasses are more likely to contain basic sweet pink wine or generic Pinot Gigio, Chardonnay or Merlot and to be consumed in bars as an alternative to Bacardi Breezers or beer. In the US, since the 1980s, the "wine-by-the-glass" programme has enabled countless people in restaurants to explore and discover wines they might never have dared to buy by the bottle. Sadly when they sit down to eat, Europeans remain far too committed to the 75cl bottle...

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