FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000

American Wine Comes of Age

As the quality of American-made wine improved, consumers began to notice. Between 1968 and 1972 Americans doubled their spending on wine, much of it from California. Foreign travel and increased prosperity contributed to what Time magazine called a “growing ease and worldliness in American lifestyles.”

“A Wine and Cheese Party,” 1970

“A Wine and Cheese Party,” 1970

Julia Child taught Americans about wine as well as food. She devoted a 1970 episode of The French Chef to a wine and cheese party, encouraging viewers to learn about pairing wines with cheeses. Most of the wines on the table are from France.

Photo by Paul Child; courtesy of Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University