Not even the millennia-old tradition of drinking fermented grapes is safe from the ironic hipster gaze.
Because among the 27,421,931 or so tonnes of wine made every year, there are plenty which are quirky, hard to find, "sustainable," and well-branded. Needless to say, these characteristics speak to the heart and soul of hipsterdom.
But millennials aren't the only ones employing irony in this brave new world of wine consumption. Sensing that "hipster wines," as they have become known, have been getting a bit a little too much attention from young sommeliers, one Aussie vintner decided to release a line called The Hipster, using the very irony that defines hipsters against them.
The Hipster is made from an absurd blend of grapes—42 percent garnacha, 31 percent monastrell, and 27 percent tempranillo—using their Spanish names, instead of their mainstream French names. To add another layer of mockery, The Hipster's label is a thoroughly traditional one; a not-so-subtle jab at the strange, minimalist, and sexually explicit imagery found on many hipster wine labels.
Barossa Valley-based winemaker is Rick Burge is the director of Burge Family Winemakers, and he insists that The Hipster is all in good fun. "Basically 'The Hipster' was a tongue-in-cheek dig at all things hip, and gently taking the mickey out of that special category of wine professionals—the sommelier," he told MUNCHIES.
Burge's family has been making wine for almost 100 years, and for him, any allegiance to organic winemaking is steeped firmly in the past and not the present. "I grow my grapes organically, use only a little tartaric acid if needed, utilise natural yeasts, SO2 prior to barrelling, and a gentle egg-white fining prior to bottling, without filtering. All my wines are clear and smell of fermented grapes looked after in both the vineyard and winery."
Burge isn't the first winemaker to mock Millennial wine tastes with a bottle of wine, but for him, the idea for The Hipster came from a particularly sardonic article mocking young sommeliers. "I was inspired by The Hosemaster, with his irreverent musings on all things vinous, especially his hilarious piece on 'The Great Sommelier Eradication," Burge recounts. "[The Hipster] is for all those narcissistic, beautiful, young people who are always looking for the next 'new' thing."
As painfully accurate as his caricature of Millennial wine consumption is, Burge's vineyard is definitely not having an identity crisis. "My market is people my age [who have] wine knowledge and who don't take life too seriously."
Nor does he foresee a change in his look any time soon—he has a mustache, but it's definitely not ironic. "As a hint to my age, I've grown a moustache since 1976 and I don't have any tats or beard or piercings."