Wine has evolved as part of life, culture and diet since time immemorial. As an enduring cultural symbol of fine life, 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 and winemaking has also evolved. Nevertheless, in this long historical path, one thing remains unchanged and has never been neglected; the association of wine with gastronomy, history, tradition, origin, local quality products and dignified social settings.
Cultural appreciation of wine reflects the diversity of the wine regions, the savoir-vivre and culinary habits. Quality products incite moderate consumption patterns, as it is only by savouring wine moderately and slowly that its unique complex flavours and character can be fully appreciated and enjoyed.
The wine sector and its economic operators, make an invaluable economic, social, agricultural and environmental contribution. Wine regions across the world produce an endless variety of superb products. While wine remains a natural product, technological innovations have provided better hygiene and control of the production process, contributing to the production of wines suited to contemporary consumers' palate. Today, with the overall consumption of wine declining, consumers increasingly choose higher quality wines to be enjoyed in moderation as part of a modern, sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
However, in contrast to the inherent culture of wine, many countries are experiencing concerning trends in alcohol misuse, especially related to so-called binge drinking amongst a particular socio-economic and age group, with major health,legal, economic and social implications. Despite the differences in consumption witnessed worldwide, studies show moderate consumption remains the general norm; only a minority of people misuse the high-quality beverage that is wine.
Recognising the health dangers and the negative social and economic consequences that can be caused by the misuse of alcoholic beverages and the fact that responsible consumption patterns of wine can be compatible with a healthy lifestyle, today’s culture of wine must include a common stakeholder commitment to ensuring that responsible and moderate drinking remains the social norm.
"Responsible and moderate consumption of wine must be promoted: wine is only appreciated to its fullest in moderation."
The famous vineyards and cellars of Champagne and Burgundy were added to the famous Unesco World Heritage List last 4 July joining other wine regions already included on the list.