Wine Talk

Snooth User: Vigna

The Future of wine (?)

Posted by Vigna, Jan 21, 2010.

Hi everybody, I'm an italian student and I am writing down a thesis about the future of wine. In your opinion, which wine we will drink in about 10 years and how? I know that it is a complex question but I really need ideas, suggestions, fears and doubt! Thanks a lot!

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Replies

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jan 21, 2010.

That's a pretty good question.

I know in the past we've talked about how climate change is going to come into play. We won't see all of the effects within 10 years, but some of them for sure. For example we might see warming climates giving us wines with more tropical fruit flavors in traditionally cooler regions, and have the possibility of drinking wine from places where no grape could realistically be grown before.

We'll also see the screwcap really take off. Very few bottles that are meant to be consumed within one or two years will be closed with cork.

No predictions, but it's also fun for me to think about where Snooth might be in 10 years.

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Reply by dmcker, Jan 21, 2010.

Welcome to Snooth, Vigna!

My view is that current trends away from past fads aiming at 'modern', 'international' styles of wines will continue. We'll see more of a return to transparency, a focus on 'terroir' and what the grapes bring to the bottle, not what the winemaker can manufacture using technique piled on technique. More of an understanding of the proper role of oak (not no oak, but reasonable use of it), of what varietals are best for each region (and microclimate/piece of terroir within the region), etc., etc.

Part of what I project is personal hope, but it also seems to be a trend that has begun gaining good momentum, not only in Europe but the New World, as well.

Hard to tell about pricing. More places are making good wine, and the economy will still be bad for a while longer, but after its recovery the blue chips of the best Bordeauxs, Burgundies, Champagnes, Californians, Barolos, Tuscans, etc. will likely rise even more in price as large populations of winedrinkers in new areas like China and India make an even greater impact on the marketplace. So we'll see a lot of wines under $20 a bottle, but we'll also see plenty above $100. How the range inbetween shakes out will be an interesting problem.

Oh, and the Internet and online purchasing will become even more important. So also will places to gain knowledge about all the complex variations in the wine world, such as Snooth. As an adjunct of more distance-purchasing of wines, and the rising price of the blue chips, we'll probably also see greater emphasis on technologies and practices that discourage 'fakes.'

Just off the top of my head.... Hope there's something there for you to use. ;-)

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Reply by dmcker, Jan 21, 2010.

Mark, what are you doing working at 6am? ;-)

I also meant to add a comment about organic practices. Whether or not wineries are certified as such, the likelihood is good that there will be more wineries taking this approach, even if only as a subset of those focusing more specifically on the terroir and the grapes themselves, rather than machinations that lead to overblown fruitbombs.

And Mark, any way to get a post-posting edit function?

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Jan 21, 2010.

Hah. I had some things to check with the servers. Everything's fine.

Post-posting edit (for 15 minutes after posting or something like that) is on the list. It's not going to be available imminently by any means, but definitely good to get the reminder that it's a wanted feature!

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Reply by amour, Jan 21, 2010.

We would see more and better wines from areas which are
not very productive presently.
This would be as a result of climate change.
There are predictions, for example, that ENGLAND would
significantly increase its production and quality
as some southern vineyardlocations experience
PROVENCE/FRANCE climate.
This change would quite likely attract new entrants.

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Reply by guymandude, Jan 21, 2010.

Places outside the USA where the Euro is kicking are butts, once that levels out you will see some real QPR there.I hope it goes in the direction of letting the vineyard and varietal take stage and stop making wine in the "lab", which we're starting to see some in CA now.After years of over oak fruit bombs.

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Reply by Degrandcru, Jan 21, 2010.

I also predict a widening gap of price/quality (actually already happening). For example in the US wine consumption is on the rise, but the average price per bottle is falling. So there will be a huge amount of cheap mass market wine made for common international taste flooding the market (see Oak leaf wine sold in Walmart). On the other hand prices of higher quality wine will increase as smaller quality oriented growers have to raise prices to cover their cost.

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Reply by chadrich, Jan 21, 2010.

No real factual basis for this opinion, but I've never let that get in the way before!

I think we're going to see a widening in the spectrum of popular white varieties. Some continued fall-off in Chardonnay and a rise in the prominence and acceptance of things like Gruner Veltliner, Godello, Verdejo, etc.

On the red side, I think we'll see price acceleration from the current value areas of Agrentina, Chile, and Spain. I think there may be a price rationalization to come (already underway?) for California Cab. And Australia will regain some of its currently tarnished shine, though perhaps not back to the level it once was.

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Reply by The Gourmet Bachelor, Jan 21, 2010.

It's funny you ask....during the market research for my new cookbook, we discovered that roughly 50% more Americans are drinking wine today than just 10 years ago. So I included a basic wine guide and had each dish expertly paired with wine to feed Americans rapidly growing obsession for wine. Trading Up: The New American Luxury , describes how Americans have traded up to mainstream, luxury products like Robert Mondavi Cabernet, commonly referred to as masstige. Now, mainstream, big brands are loosing market share and forced to create boutique brands to feed Americans need to find that special boutique product. So my prediction is that Americans will continue to buy rare, vintage expensive wine and also search for bargain, boutique wine leaving those dusty $20-$40 bottles of wine unsold on the shelves. I would rather buy (9) $10 boutique bottles and (1) $100 bottle over (10) $20 bottles as a general guide.

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Reply by amour, Jan 21, 2010.

This is so me !!!
THANK YOU FOR ADDING THIS POST, GOURMET BACHELOR.....

To be honest, I wanted to say it out loud
for a long time......I HAVE NO TIME FOR THE $20.
things....I write about them, I taste them ...yes....i buy them yes...one or two..yes
but I am into extremely fine wines.....I can afford them
if only because I have enough $5. and $10. ones which I so love....for everyday
...like those out of CHILE...out of SOUTH AFRICA.

YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD !!!
thanks again, gourmet bachelor.
amour....CHEERS....CONCHA Y TORO....mid-week quaffer !!! and so good

THE WEEKEND...LA TACHE....! OR NICOLAS POTEL!!!!

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Reply by Vigna, Jan 21, 2010.

Thanks everybody for your answers! It's all very interesting. In my opinion there are 2 main trends: 1.natural and organic wines and 2.wines less full-bodied and less fruity. For example, In Italy there is a widespread "renaissance" of less important but regional variety of grapes. What do you think about that? Besides, don't you think that the supply is bigger than the demand?Will Chine drinks all this wine??

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Reply by Degrandcru, Jan 21, 2010.

@Chadrich: no, no facts at all, just a thought. I was reading this a few weeks ago in an US wine guide, which stated that the wine consumption in 2008 grew again, but the average price per bottle fell to a ridiculous price of about US$5 per bottle (have to look up the exact number again)

The waste number of wine consumers is pretty uneducated about the subject and for them wine has to be fruity and somewhat pleasant. I think demand for easy-to-drink wine will grow rapidly, I just hope it won´t have a negative affect over the overall quality (like in Germany in the 60´s and 70´s when demand grew rapidly with a horrible affect on the quality).

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Reply by gregt, Jan 21, 2010.

In 10 years I hope to be drinking some of the wines I put away the past few years.

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Reply by chadrich, Jan 21, 2010.

Degrandcru, just making sure you know I was flinging that "no facts" comment at myself, not you.

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Reply by Degrandcru, Jan 21, 2010.

Ahh.... don´t worry, would apply to all my posts as well.

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Reply by dmcker, Jan 21, 2010.

Nice one, GregT. Regarding changes in my personal consumption that about sums it up for me, too... ;-)

Vigna, I'd avoid use of a term like 'natural'. What exactly is that, anyway? Very imprecise and too fuzzy for any kind of school report. ;-)

And winemakers getting better at matching proper varietals to specific plots of land was one thing I mentioned. That includes an increase in exposure for varietals that currently have less exposure but that are a good match to local growing conditions and have good things to offer to consumers...

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Reply by amour, Jan 21, 2010.

Such an interesting topic.
Do not forget to familiarise yourself with the
latest information on WineTourism.
A few conferences have been held.

There is also discussion in some quarters
(and actual practice) of educating children
on wine-making from a biological, chemical,
social, philosophical, ethical, and political
perspective.

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Reply by WVTIM, Jan 21, 2010.

After reading some of the posts I see that I am not alone in my observations. With the current economy and the increase in education about wine I think that the new wine drinkers will be looking to get the most out of their money and still have good quality. The best fit to both is South America. The wines are increasing in quality and the price is great. Malbec will probably become more common and even Torrontes for the beginner. I have tailored the wine list in my restuarant to fit the high quality low cost market. Half of the list is under $30. Also since I am in Michigan I have to plug the growth of the Michigan wineries, they are winning medals all over the world now. The whites have always been good but the red's are becoming better and better. Blackstar Farms had their Accapella Ice Wine served at the Whitehouse for Obama's first State Dinner. Hope this helps with your thesis.

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Reply by amour, Jan 21, 2010.

Congratulations to you WVTIM and to MICHIGAN!

My sister lives there and is following Michigan
on Snooth.

Thanks for this piece, especially about the icewines of Blackstar Farms.
Cheers!

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Reply by Sidoc, Jan 21, 2010.

Vigna, the future of wine comes down to two words for me, balance and terroir.

When it comes to terroir I'm not a Francophile by any means, in fact I'm a New World Aussie. However the trend back to organic and biodynamic practises in wineries, a continued search from fine wine producers the world over for greater individual expression, and a better educated and higher level of expectation from us consumers says to me that in the future we will understand and be more specific about exactly where our wine comes from, its terroir, and not just the grape its made from.

Terroir seems to be something so precious and detailed for the French (maybe because there's no word in English for it) and I think expression of terroir is picking up pace in the New World too. It just adds so much more to the wine experience to understand the sometimes subtle, sometimes large, difference between grapes grown in different areas of the same vineyard, particularly if they're the same variety. Greater focus on terroir encompasses climate change also which may be subtly changing the location of grape varieties around the world and I see this as an exciting change in most instances.

Dmcker hits on it with matching proper varietals to specific plots of land. It may be about winemakers being prepared to try different varietals despite the history of a specific variety in a specific region. No chance of that in France of course..


Balance, because this is what makes great wines stand out for me. Whether thats in the $10 bracket or the $1000 bracket. Fruit, wood, alcohol, acid and tannin in appropriate balance is such a key to good wine, even at the easy drinking end of the spectrum. Us Aussies have been guilty for many years of heavy handed use of oak, particularly in our Chardonnay and heavier red varieties. We've also ramped up the alcohol level on a lot of our red wines, which is fine as long as the winemaker can keep it in balance. Fortunately these practises are moderating now as tastes change. I see the focus on, and search for, balance continuing not just in Australia but as I drink across the wine world.

Maybe I've overthought it and all the greater population wants is a pleasant, easy to drink wine as degrandcru suggests. For those of us who love the stuff its our job to educate them differently.

Do your bit for the cause, Vigna!

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