Talk about a change in lifestyle.
Tom Higgins was living in New York City and working in the tech industry. By some measures, his quality of life was fabulous. By other yardsticks, it could have been a ticket to a heart attack.
So he left the hustle and bustle of the big city, and the 24/7 hours of the high-tech life, and started his own winery in upstate New York.
Higgins’ tale was used to frame a story that ran recently on CBS’ “Early Show” that detailed how the United States has become the No. 1 consumer of wine in the world.
Given America’s vast population and overall prosperity, it may come as a surprise to some that this country wasn’t already No. 1. But that distinction historically has belonged to two of Europe’s wine capitals—France and Italy.
No more. And Higgins’ experience provides a fascinating backdrop for telling that story, which can be viewed here.
In addition to that video, you’ll find a link to Morley Safer’s 1991 report on “The French Paradox,” which aired on “60 Minutes.” That story was largely credited with fueling the red wine boom of the 1990s in America.
A boom that eventually led to America’s new No. 1 ranking in the world.
I can remember when Safer’s story aired, and how he chronicled the perceived health benefits of wine as a regular part of the Mediterranean diet. Almost overnight, sales of red wine soared—particularly of Merlot, a variety that is accessible and enjoyable at a younger age than America’s leading red, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Did you see Safer’s story when it first aired? Did it help to transform you into a wine drinker? Please share your memories (if you’re old enough!) in the comment box below.