What did the grape say when it was rolled over by a beer keg?

Nothing - it just let out a little "wine"!

What we drink says a lot about who we are - if you believe the marketing companies who target the mass markets with multi-million dollar commercials and campaigns. But is this really true?

Enjoying both beers and wines is not a mutually exclusive pastime - I personally drink both and conform with neither stereotypical image of either drinker - I'm not a young stud hanging out with great looking babes in a bar while ice-cold longnecks are guzzled by the truck load nor a wrinkly, liberal-looking, spectacle-wearing foodie with leather patches on my elbows.

The global cultural significance of wine and beer is due mostly to their extremely long histories. The actual inventor of the wine and beer is not known, but what is known is thta they originated from the Middle East and most likely have been around since Neolithic times (around 5000 B.C.) - certainly the ancient Egyptians and various empires based to the East of the Mediterranean Sea have documented wines and beers as well as irrefutable archaeological evidence.

Certainly in those ancient times, there was no such thing as an NFL or Nascar event while cheese & wine parties were not exactly on the social menu. The division of potential consumers using marketing, and by extension, social stereotypes for beer and wine markets has created a false picture of who actually drinks them. Since wine producers in California started making headway in international markets bck in the 80'sWine was the alcoholic drink of the masses in Europe and not the upper crust - beer was drunk as water, simply because it was safe to drink due to the alcohol content and in fact, beer was not brewed for the purpose of getting drunk, at least, not in the beginning but to purify water.

Mass production of beer really started in the 20th Century - in previous centuries other forms of alcohol dominated demand for getting smashed - and wine was one of the dominant beverages. With the coming of mass production also came mass marketing and in the case of beer, blue collar workers became the targeted demographic hoping they would want an ice-cold beverage after a hard day’s work. Girls, cars, smiling friends and being Mr. Popular in the bar were all part of the marketing mix thrown at potential beer drinkers being sold on fizzy, yellow brews. The self-owned breweries that have a good brew have been left out of the mainstream beer industry but appreciated by beer aficionados.

Marketing perception is rarely an accurate reflection of reality, if you consider that wine was discovered probably at an earlier date than beer from the archaeological evidence, wine would appear to have been the caveman's first choice of fermented brew. If a caveman preferred wine to beer, this hardly matches the marketing perception that beer drinkers do not have taste nor being a hard-working macho-man precludes you from enjoying wine. Wine is also a more potent drink than beer for those who are looking to race to a hangover fast.

On the other hand, wine experts and followers will probably point to the labor and skill which goes into creating a fine wine - the reality is that brewing beer also requires just as much artistry and imagination as producing a good bottle of plonk. The plethora of small breweries and family-owned brewers that have maintained their tradition for generations gives testimony to the great diversity of skill, taste, and ingenuity when it comes to making the best alcohol possible.

The bottom line - downing a beer or slurping a wine is not predetermined by social status or marketing categorization - it all comes down to one thing no matter who you are or what you do - your own taste.

By Mark Trumper, the guiding force of MaverickLabel.com, the Internet’s leading provider of labels, custom stickers and custom wine labels. From asset tags, to shipping labels to custom wine labels, MaverickLabel.com can provide all of your label needs. Call 1-800-537-8816.

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