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February 07, 2010


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Well, I went through the list and here's my take - though a bit long!
1. Sustainable. This is a necessity in the EU, will be more common in US. Local is particularly strong due to recession now. The 2010 Wine Market Council and Nielsen report shows downturn in organic/biodynamic; though prices are usually the same, general consumer feel is that O/B costs more. Plus wineries haven't figured out how to make a big deal out of fact they are using biomass, gray water etc... or doing biodynamic vineyards without signing up with Demeter (they trademarked "biodynamic").
2. Boxed wines. The Wine Group is the big winner here, huge increase over past few years and will continue.
3. Wine glut. Well, this depends on whether all the wine-related marketing gets more people to drink wine! And the WMC report says marginals are bailing during the recession. Actually, it depends a lot on currencies. If Argentina decides to devalue the peso (as is predicted) then those wines will get even cheaper. Same with EU if euro continues to fall apart (could be a good year to buy those 2009 en primeurs??).
4. Finer wines. Likely to be on increase as many have fallen in price. And not all wine drinkers are on unemployment.
5. "New" varietals market is already surging. After all, who knew what Torrentes was three years ago? Want to know how many varietals are permitted by TTB? 327. http://www.ttb.gov/wine/wine-faq.shtml#w9
6. Health. This is sticky for wineries but not for those who write about it.
7. Millennials are already soaring in wine categories. With improved APS and mobile marketing, don't see any way but up – at all price points.
8. Classic varietals. Didn't know we'd left them.
9. Familiar countries, unfamiliar regions as a sales point?– I don't think so. Most people don't know the regions anyway except for Bordeaux (actually the wine equivalent of California – not the 57 appellations) and Napa Valley.
10. White wine. As you say, it never left our glasses even during the oak era (which is fading, too bad more people didn't just buy Chablis...from France).
11.Sparkling wines. Love 'em. There is a difference between Champagne and sparkling but as long as it costs more than Cold Duck, pour on.
12. Other fruits, less alcohol. Two very different concepts. Look at the wines from the middle of America for fruit wines. Alcohol is a big deal and even in Napa, winemakers say they are trying to bring it down. Meanwhile, see Portugal and buy Vinho Verde (9-11%) or Germany or Loire, France.
13. Chilean. Good wines. Could get killed if Argentine peso devalues.
14. Consumption and sales. Yes, will grow as long as millions of Millennials turn 21. Which I assume will happen.
And 20. Online wine buying will grow. As soon as it can be ordered easily on my mobile.

Now you tell me how wineries can cope with multiple demographics in states that are direct shipping, control, and three-tier in addition to preserving price points, shelf space and fighting global competition in a recession while learning multiple social media? Whew!

El Jefe

Last night, a cold and rainy night, I poured at a gala for the local theater company. I almost didn't even bother to bring a white. Turns out the most popular wine of the night was our Viognier. Go figure.

(Shameless plug relative to prediction #5: Anyone interested in Tempranillo and other Iberian varieties should check out TAPAS. Links:




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