Friday, June 11, 2010

Coffee and Bordeaux? Neaux, Neaux!

According to a May 2010 article in the New York Times Style section by Eric Asimov, Bordeaux is no longer popular among younger wine drinkers, who perceive it as stodgy and fussy, a drink for rich older people, a wine with not much excitement to recommend it:

Bordeaux, some young wine enthusiasts say, is stodgy and unattractive. They see it as an expensive wine for wealthy collectors, investors and point-chasers, people who seek critically approved wines for the luxury and status they convey rather than for excitement in a glass...

''The perception of Bordeaux for my generation, it's very Rolex, very Rolls-Royce,'' said Cory Cartwright, 30, ... ''I don't know many people who like or drink Bordeaux.'' ...
To be fair, Asimov writes broadly of problems and perceptions of the Bordeaux brand. But according to the article: "For young Americans in particular, Bordeaux has become downright unfashionable."

Coffee is another product beginning to lose its lustre. An article in Mindfood (June 2010) - "Trendy Tea Consumers Revive Industry" by Miral Fahmy - suggests that tea is "attracting younger, more discerning fans."
Elsewhere on the web are instructions and suggestions for different kinds of tea parties (not the political kind!).

On a recent visit to the local mall, I was surprised to see a new tea store, selling prepared tea drinks and loose tea and bags to prepare at home. I was also surprised to pick up a package of Starbucks coffee and see the possible new branding Starbucks Coffee and Tea. Sounds like tea is a slam dunk already.

Trends are interesting things, based as they so often are on the tastes of one's peers and so often not on the actual objective attributes of any particular item, be it shoes, wine, or tea. We all succumb to it.

I have often wondered, though, with my own generation's trends and those of others, just what our preconceived notions keep us from experiencing. How much pleasure and knowledge do we let go by because it's not "in," because no self-respecting________(fill in your own blank here) would ever enjoy something so not in style, so old, so loud, so irresponsible? So passe.

Sometimes it is all about identity. I well remember a friend's then seventeen-year-old son having a near meltdown when his dad won the bet that the son's favourite band's so popular song was a cover of a song from a band of dad's era -  twenty years before.  It wasn't about the song, but about who was cool, who owned cool, who invented cool.

I'd like to have it all - the coffee and tea, the bordeaux and burgundy. Fashion also loses some of its lustre as I get older - but that's probably not so cool - and the word "cool" is probably s-o-o-o o old-fashioned!


Cooper said...

Bordeaux is expensive, and with the discovery of decent enough wines in other places I don't think it has much to do with anyone thinking it's stodgy.

When wine goes out of fashion in general - then start to worry. way.

Pearl said...

yes, cool, status, prestige, group behavior is a big part of it. En masse people find out what happens to the body when more and more and more of a thing gets consumed and then there's a rebound effect.

chocolate bars get bigger and then the suprise kind is a small size you can actually eat. chocolate drifts up from low cocoa to 100% then shifts off to macha tea or some berry.

human fickle palate needs to mix it up.

now if only the next fashion trend picks up on the 20s instead of this 70s and 80s thing...

ChrisJ said...


Although I do love Bordeaux, there are indeed some great, much cheaper wines - I'm enjoying Spanish and Argentinian reds these days.

ChrisJ said...


I'd go for the twenties revival!

One of The Guys said...

This was a fun post! Cool in fact!

I actually think the word Cool has stood the test of time.

Tea certainly seems a bit antiquated, but I like it. That probably proves it! :)

As far as wine goes. I like whatever's cheapest.

ChrisJ said...



lifeshighway said...

What, when did tea become trendy? Dang, I am always one step behind.

For people who own small businesses, these trends are very serious and can make or break them. Does anyone remember frozen yogurt?

ChrisJ said...


Gosh, I didn't know frozen yogurt was over - that's more than one step behind!!

askcherlock said...

I have always preferred white wine, though I have family with a vineyard that puts out a fine red wine. My drink of choice will always be coffee. I never really followed trends. They are so fleeting and "everything old is new again!"

ChrisJ said...


How lucky is that - a family with a vineyard!