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When choosing a career, one of the first things you should remember is that you are not looking for a job. A career is much more than a job. A career may be thought of as a series of jobs, but there is more to it than that. A career is an area of expertise, learned and perfected over the course of a working lifetime, and applied within the framework of employment. Some careers offer a series of jobs that are very similar, but come with increasing responsibility. Other careers offer a variety of jobs that are very different but rely upon the same basic expertise.
The wine industry is like that. Over the course of a career it is possible for an ambitious wine professional to serve wine in a tasting room, buy wine for a restaurant, advise patrons on wine selection as a sommelier, make wine, manage a winery, and even grow grapes.
The wine business has grown dramatically in the United States in recent decades. Americans still do not drink as much wine as Europeans, but annual per person consumption of wine in this country rose from 1.7 gallons in 1995 to 2.8 gallons in 2013. There has also been a steady growth in American wine production, from 437 million gallons in 1995 to about 755 million gallons in 2013.
The quality of American wine has risen dramatically, too. It was only a few decades ago that American wine was looked down upon as cheap jug wine suitable only for unsophisticated palates. Today, American wines hold their own around the world, both in competitions and in markets.
The business is still growing. American wine consumption of 2.8 gallons per year may sound like high, but Italians put away about 10 gallons per year per person, and the French each drink on average 12 gallons of wine per year! You can see there is room for growth in this country.