The current generation love heroes, those of comic books, films, romances. We need to tell the classic, but also the modern stories reframed in this way so that they identify with the heroes and we remove their fear. They will then identify with the struggle that makes a hero want to fight evil… for example the battle for sustainability, for the land of the vine. Thus identifying the struggles of nature through the world of wine and the heroes of wine.
Stevie Kim and Professor Attilio Scienza swing by the podcast booth, as they are wont to do on Fridays, to field and answer a question from a Vinitaly International Academy community member. In this installment they take a question from VIA community member extraordinaire Jodie Hellman. Listen to the original recording of the Professor's answer to Jodie's question in Episode 294 of the Italian Wine Podcast. WARNING! CONTAINS MATERIAL IN ITALIAN LANGUAGE!
For those that don't happen to speak Italian but are dying to know what Stevie and the Professor are prattling on about, educator Rebecca Lawrence has stepped up to distill the gist of the Professor's words. Rebecca's creative writing follows.
Back to our Roots: an extended Marvel Universe adventure featuring Professor Scienza and the Heroes of Wine (HOW)!*
This week on Everybody needs a bit of Scienza, Professor Scienza and Stevie Kim address the idea of how to get younger consumers interested not just in drinking wine, but also the science behind it, especially if they don’t come from a country that traditionally has a long history and culture of vine growing and wine drinking.
But first, of course, we have to start the episode with the customary salutations and thanks to Monty Waldin, usual host of the pod from whom Stevie and Prof Scienza are stealing the limelight.
With those placations finished we dive straight into the topic at hand. Today’s question comes from Jodie Hellman, Regional Sales Manager for The Sorting Table (Western Region). Her question in full was:
“Here in the US, wine is perceived as part of the culture in Italy and other EU countries but not for us. Growing vines doesn't have the long history that Italy has and people here aren't as tied to the history of grapes in general. What do you think is the best way to get younger consumers interested in not just the science of wine, but simply enjoying it?”
As Stevie says, not only a good question but we also awaiting a commensurate answer from our resident professor (of course he always hopes to give a good answer)!
Scienza begins by recognizing the difficulty that the younger generation has in enjoying both the science and the culture of wine, even those from an Anglo-Saxon background that have a long history of viticulture. He explains that that one of the issues for the younger generation is their distance from agriculture. There is a profound detachment between those that live in the cities and those that live in the countryside - the young generations live in the cities where there is technology, there is life! In the countryside, unfortunately, there are the older generations separate from these services, and thus a connection between the two is difficult.
He goes further by talking about how a little while ago the immigrant population from some counties, such as Canada, the United States, and also countries in South America such as Argentina or Urugurgay had a rapport - a connection with their origins; with Italy, with Spain, etc. And so there was still the opportunity to tell the younger generations of their origins. Now there is no longer the possibility to transmit their memories of the places where not only they, but their wines, originate.
And here is where it gets truly interesting, as Prof. Scienza seems to move into a pitch for a new Marvel movie entitled “Back to the Roots” in which the story of the struggle for sustainability and the history of wine is told comic-book-style for all those millennials obsessed with heroes. And I mean, to be fair, he’s not wrong, superheroes and wine, what’s not to love?
Okay, back to his own words (more or less):
He thinks for these youngsters we need a new mode of communication about wine. Their world is one made of timidness and fear, so perhaps we need to find a mode that reassures. The way of heroes could do this. The current generation love heroes, those of comic books, films, romances. We need to tell the classic, but also the modern stories reframed in this way so that they identify with the heroes and we remove their fear. They will then identify with the struggle that makes a hero want to fight evil… for example the battle for sustainability, for the land of the vine. Thus identifying the struggles of nature through the world of wine and the heroes of wine.
It’s by doing this that we take them “back to our roots” (insert classic marvel trailer voice-over here).
At this point we get a little introduction to Scienza’s pronunciation of English, which according to Stevie is actually more like German! And from which we decide to wrap it up before it descends into a language lesson!
But…watch out for Back to our Roots coming to a cinema near you (maybe, if Scienza gets his way)!
*No relation to the actual Marvel Universe, purely the musings of a gentle science professor!