The lecture, included within the cycle 'Culture and Wine', has dealt with the controversial matter of the relationship between youths and wine
Günther Lorenz, Director General of the Official Chamber of Trade and Industry of Ciudad Real, has been in charge of introducing a lecturer as prominent as Ramón Tamames, who he defined as an economist but also a 'Homo universalis'. Professor Tamames has not only been observing Spain's social-economic reality for decades now - quite often from privileged positions -, but he has also interested himself in numerous subjects related with ecology, history and politics. If we add to this his great analytical capacity, his eloquence and a subtle sense of irony, it is not unusual that his conferences are not only highly illustrative, but also indeed entertaining.
The lecture has started with a message of reassurance to the sector. Tamames has commented how in a recent social meeting with important representatives of the Spanish wine sector; a reasonably optimistic sensation could be felt. He specifically mentioned one of the representatives who said it is possible to go from the current export volume (15 million hectoliters) to 20 million in no more than 3 to 4 years. In fact, and despite the global economic situation not being the same, 5 years ago the Spanish wine export share stood at only 5 million Hl.
The professor has also reminded that a figure as influential as Robert Parker has recently, and on repeated occasions, affirmed that Spain will be the great global power in the wine sector in the next 10 or 15 years.
However, one of the less friendly sides to the reality of the Spanish wine sector is the constant decline in consumption that has been observed for several decades now: Tamames attributes a good part of this reduction to the fact that "young people are not immersed in the culture of wine in Spain. They are unable to differentiate a Cariñena from a Rioja or a white Catalan wine from a Galician wine". He also added that "there is a certain conspiracy against wine on the part of some administrations".
His proposal is that the culture of wine must be vindicated at all levels. And, of course, it must not be treated like something toxic, but rather promoted for its hedonistic, social and healthy values.
Günther Lorenz has explained the case of Germany, where consumption stands at about 25 liters a year per capita, and it is now going to be 40 years since the driver's license point system was implanted. It has also been pointed out that the problem of wine and youth is a generational matter, which is very well studied in the case of hard liquor: one does not drink the same thing as one's father. Finally, the case of 'Red Guitar' wine has been mentioned, which is elaborated by Constellation, with three intense market studies, made-to-measure for young American consumers: a million cases are sold a year.