America has a drinking problem.

As I was listening to a lecture on Tuscan wine the other day, it struck me how deeply rooted wine is in the Tuscan culture. Shoot, how deeply rooted it is in the Italian and European cultures in general. It isn’t something you drink to get drunk or wash away your sorrows with while watching The Notebook alone on your couch. Wine is simply a part of life.
Says Carolina Zappa, an international student from Italy, “This whole getting wasted thing doesn’t happen where I’m from. I’ve had wine with dinner since I was little and it’s not a big deal.”
In Europe, the open relationship people have with wine promotes control, knowledge and appreciatio. In America the constraint put on alcohol consumption causes misuse, overuse, abuse, and self-destructive behavior. It could just be me, but something seems a little backwards about that.
 Edward LiPuma, anthropology professor at the University of Miami and avid wine drinker, discussed with me these differences in culture.

“There are more fast-food restaurants in Nebraska than all of Italy. People there are more willing to spend more on food and wine, on quality products, because they appreciate what they put in their bodies. Wining and Dining is a communal experience. It’s meant to be done communally and slowly. The Europeans have that down.”

That sounds so much more appealing than sneaking alcohol into your dorm room and getting obliterated, doesn’t it?