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The End of "Domestic" Wine?

W. Blake Gray has the story on a winemaker who gets a little hot under the collar when you refer to wines produced in the United States as "domestic". It conjures up, as Josh Jensen of California's Calera Wine explains, images of servants or, as Gray likens it to, gives the wines a bit of a (downstairs) Downton Abbey-esque feel. Jensen would rather you call these wines "American".

Does this seem like splitting hairs or is Jensen onto something? When in a wine shop we don't ask for the "foreign" wine section but rather the "imported". Gray suggests compiling a list of manufactured and or agricultural products and see how they sound prefaced with "domestic" versus "American". Certainly when it comes to wine awards, "Best Domestic Pinot Noir" doesn't have the triumphant ring of "Best American Pinot Noir". I'm not advocating a chest-pounding, jingoistic type of wine nationalism. It's just "domestic" does sound rather bland.

So do you mind "domestic" or would you like to advocate for "American" wine?



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