There have already been some great comments on my previous post, and as my answers were getting quite long I thought I’d post a response here for all to see.
This seems to be the controversial statement:
“I believe that the average person’s ability to consciously understand and process information is limited, …”
In reality we have to accept that the vast majority of people will not be interested in wine’s messages and will simply keep going with their daily routines.
This isn’t to say they cannot understand, only that they do not see the reason for bothering.
This is the point I have been grappling with since I began to explore the Wine Conversation. You have to care in order to learn something, and if you know nothing, you don’t care. Catch 22.
I don’t think that dumbing down works, as Gabriella says, because it removes the need to care or think.
But 99.9% of the world’s wine businesses cannot afford to change this. As I said to Richard, look how much effort has gone into raising awareness of Climate Change. Think how much it would have cost businesses to get that level of press coverage and yet, despite all this, how little our habits have changed.
We must first capitalise on ‘accidental’ opportunities, such as Sideways, Bottle Shock, rappers interested in Champagne, etc.
The most exciting opportunities, however, would be if we could invent new contexts for wine information that would allow people to ‘get into wine’ from within environments they already understand and are comfortable with.
This is one reason I object to ideas for standardising the way we present wine – that merely entrenches existing differences. If we could come up with such a new way of thinking (the way Reebok & Nike did for trainers, or Apple did for portable music devices) then we might make a difference.
Of course, if I had a ready-made solution I’d stop blogging and start making my fortune! Having said that, I have an idea which I am developing and will hopefully see the light of day. Stay tuned!