Culture of wine:
A heritage of cultivation, appreciation, and diversity
As an enduring cultural symbol of European living, the role of wine has evolved over time, changing from an important source of nutrition to a cultural complement to food and conviviality compatible with a healthy lifestyle. The art of viticulture has also evolved, but one principle that has remained unchanged is the European tradition of presenting and communicating wine, which focuses on the origins, heritage and viniculture. Wine therefore tends to be associated with gastronomy, history, local quality products and dignified social settings. As such, despite the differences in consumption patterns across the EU, moderate consumption remains the general norm and it is only a minority of people that misuse wine.
Europeans’ cultural appreciation of wine reflects the diversity of the European experience, savoir-vivre and culinary habits. The association of wine as a part of a European identity also promotes moderate consumption. However, in contrast to the inherent culture of wine, EU member states are experiencing growing trends in alcohol misuse, particularly among young people, with major health, judicial, economic and social implications. Because responsible wine consumption is compatible with a modern, healthy European lifestyle, today’s culture of wine must include a common stakeholder commitment to ensuring that moderate drinking remains the social norm.