Interesting discussion, and obviously all about high end wines. Plenty of good affordable wines in both regions.
"The “older” generations, the Boomers and Gen X, will always think of Burgundy and Bordeaux first, presumably because they still have some chance of affording them. However, Millennials and Gen-Zers I’ve spoken to in the trade have almost given up on ever owning such wines – to many, that’s as remote as owning their own home.
They are more concerned with sustainability and craftsmanship than they are with reputation and tend to prefer to try new things than slavishly follow the beaten path. And, to return to the estimable Mr Healy for a moment, they prefer a wine “for its excellence, rather than the mere paper rosette of fame”"
What a silly article. Apparently Millenials and Gen-Zers are very concerned with reputation if the only Burgundies and Bordeaux they are willing to consider buying are the ridiculously expensive ones.
Hope I’m still around when no one wants the first growths any more and prices tank. Not holding my breath.
I keep hearing the bubble has to burst eventually. The last major correction was in the 1970s. Eventually one of these Chicken Little stories will prove true. When it does, odds are good that wine won’t be the only thing affected. The question is whether I’ll have any money to allocate to wines when that happens.
“And these are genuinely great wines, make no mistake about it, but can they remain widely accepted as great if no one really gets the chance to drink them?“
That’s like questioning if a Ferrari or Lamborghini can be great because no one really gets a chance to drive them.
I don’t think that’s what’s being said at all, just that if nobody but the ultra-rich can afford to even try these upper tier wines and even people in the trades hardly ever see them, they might lose some psychological primacy as they sort of fade into the background as if they were an urban legend or a myth. Heck, judging by how I feel and a lot of others of my generation feels, they might actually become the Lamborghinis and Ferraris of the wine trade, most people I know in my generation think those cars are tacky, corny and embarrassing and have tipped more into a parody of conspicuous consumption rather than a high-performance driving machine. If you gave me one for free I’d rather not be seen driving it.
I think DRC and things of that tier aren’t there yet, but it is going that way, and if they lose some of their luster among people who actually care about wine and only become this thing people in the VIP pop to impress their friends, I do think something substantive about them will be lost.
To the point about focusing on “only top tier wines” heck, even entry tier burgundy can be expensive and honestly there’s tons of better wine than village level bourgogne for the price. Some of the best wine in the new world can be had for less than a village level burgundy from a top producer and for a long time I never bought burgundy for that reason. I only started getting into it recently because I’m a damn nerd and I HAD TO KNOW what the hype was about.
It’s entirely possible that these great wines will never be tasted by another generation…
Talk to young people these days and they have no great hope of ever tasting these wines, even those who are in formal wine training
This may be true for unicorns such as Leroy Musigny etc, but way too much Bordeaux is made for it to ever become truly unobtainable. Merchants like K&L hold paid tastings where you can taste first growths. Is a $50-100 tasting cheap, or even affordable? No but it’s hardly out of reach
And there’s also an ocean of Burgundy out there that is pretty damn good and a fraction of the price of Leroy Musigny. Is a $200-300 bottle cheap, or even affordable? No but it’s hardly out of reach
So we’re left moaning about the fact that certain unicorns exist, none of which have ever actually mattered to your average wine enthusiast’s personal experience. I mean honestly if I pass away tomorrow I’m not going to waste time regretting that I haven’t tasted Romanee Conti - I’ll have other much more weighty things to regret
It’s too late. I’m turning 63 with a cellar that’s half Burgundy, and half Bordeaux. I’m going down with the dinosaurs…
You know, this phenomenon of an in-group moving the goalposts to prevent the filthy noveau riche from buying their way into the group is not a new thing
I’d rather MORE people have access to it than fewer.
Millions of people flock to see T-Rex fossils because of their enormity, beauty, and rarity, and the mythology we have built around them (even as advances in vertebrate paleontology deconstruct that mythology). If Bordeaux and Burgundy are the new T-Rex it sounds like they’re doing just fine.
Anyway, as a millennial with not a lot of money, I’ve always loved Bordeaux and Burgundy when I’ve been able to find good examples affordably. I also love drinking new things most of the time. That’s the thing about wine: it’s consumable. You can drink more than one.
I think this is a pretty facile article. It’s always been the case that some things are only accessible to the ultra-rich. Those things don’t tend to lose their status as a result, and nor does that inaccessibility necessarily hurt other consumers. I can’t afford most 2nd growths but I don’t lose any sleep over it. I just drink one of the thousands of other delicious wines available to me.
I mean for me, I mostly have just written it off and don’t sweat it. If it happens, it happens, it’s like seeing a corpse flower bloom.
This article contains absolutely zero evidence that the claimed phenomenon of young people not drinking Bordeaux/Burgundy is actually happening. (Beyond the ever popular “talk to young people these days”).
I recently was on vacation in California and Oregon and drank wine with a lot of wine lovers younger than me. They were drinking Cali wines and Oregon Pinots priced $30-50 a bottle. There are plenty of good Bordeaux and even some solid Burgundy available in that price range, so if people aren’t drinking them it’s not because they can’t access them.
Admittedly, Cotes de Nuit Burgundy really is getting kind of unaffordable, I think the Burgundy situation is quite different than Bordeaux, which has lots of classed growths from solid vintages available in that $30-50 range, and cru bourgeois under $30.