Text Size:-+
08.30.2008

Church Attendance Down? Try Installing a Wine Bar.

At one point in the glorified history of Western civilization, people were beaten or berated if they failed to show up for religious services. You didn't simply put money in the collection box, it was taken from you. But we're in the 21st century, and the church must rely less on force and more on marketing if it wants to hold onto its market share in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

In a move that may have been inspired by scripture itself ("Wine was created from the beginning to make men joyful, and not to make men drunk. Wine drunk with moderation is the joy of soul and the heart. Ecclesiastes 10:19") The Church of England recently suggested that there might be a very easy way to get people to visit one of its cathedrals more often: install a wine bar.

Of course, this wasn't some stuffy bishop suggesting that a glass of Chardonnay under the light of stained glass windows might be good for the soul. Rather, this was the "director of hospitality and welcome," whose job, it seems, is to "rejuvenate a the brand" of the Church, which has seen a gradually dwindling stream of visitors to its Cathedral in Birmingham.

I'm all for this sort of approach. The world would be a better place if we all sat down and had a glass of wine with each other more often, and I can think of a lot worse places to do it than some of England's beautiful cathedrals.

In fact, this could be a whole new frontier for converting England's beer drinkers into faithful followers of the grape. France, with its dismally dropping population of younger wine drinkers would be wise to consider such a move as well. Even the Catholic church could find an angle in here, and the the process they could significantly increase the quality of that communion wine.

Presumably there will be some limit to the amount of drinking one can do in such an establishment, however. Dancing on the pews does not seem like it would go over very well.
Read the full story.


Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Wine and Beauty Explained San Francisco's Lost Sommeliers Finding Pirate Treasure With a Corkscrew Vinography Unboxed: Week of March 1, 2015 Vinography Images: Sonoma Spring Siduri Wines: Rewarding the Search for Flavor Vinography Unboxed: Week of February 22, 2015 Vinography Images: Frost and Fog The Glory of 2013 Napa Cabernet: Tasting Premiere Napa Valley A Dose of Claret: Visiting With 2010 Bordeaux

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

Archives by Month

 

Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud