Way too much wine
Posted 24 June 2003 - 04:09 PM
I'd love to hear your prognosis for the outcome of what seems to be a vast oversupply of wine in the world, with wine now being produced and exported from what seem to to be the unlikeliest of places, and acreages in established wine producing countries being expanded every year.
On the face of it, a world wine glut would seem to be a great situation for consumers, but so far, the only tangible result is a lot of bad wine being sold very cheaply.
Do you see any good coming from so much new wine? Specifically, do you envision a situation where countries new to the export market will begin trimming production and concentrating instead on making unique wines that will appeal to discerning buyers around the world? Or will we be swamped by an ever-increasing variety of generic crowd pleasers?
Posted 25 June 2003 - 05:27 AM
Can't quite see new producing regions suddenly deciding to trim production. After all, they're likely to be the ones with the biggest debts to pay off. I think there are already two major impetuses for the new wine producer
a) to make a standout wine that will make a splash and get talked about
b) make a wine that matches up to an already proven market success that sells in volume
Most producers decide to go one way or the other. I agree that those who follow track b) don't set the world alight but you can see how they manage to raise the capital to do it.
I actually do think this grape glut is good for us consumers and I'm delighted there are signs of prices in that vast middle to top quality area softening too. (Isn't it amazing that global corporations jump into wine at the very worst time, just as a glut is about to manifest itself?) Or perhaps not.
I think, as you hint, the range of 'generic crowd pleasers' is widening, with Chardonnay's domination weakening. Hoorah.