Robert Parker, the famous wine guru is predicting the future of wine in the October 2004 issue of Food & Wine.
1. Distribution will be revolutionized: I believe this one will eventually happened but latter than sooner.
2. The wine Web will go mainstream: easy, this has already started.
3. World biding wars will begin for top wines: I've read China is now a strong market for fine wines. It is going to be harder to find/buy collectors wines and they will be reserved for speculative wine investors.
4. France will feel a squeeze: easy, this has already started.
5. Corks will come out: I am not so sure that corks will completely disappear. Screw cap closures usage will increase for sure. It could eventually be used for the 95% of the wine production that does not need aging. But I also read somewhere that the cork industry is working on new techniques to prevent cork contamination.
6. Spain will be the start: Spain is definitively enjoying a new birth. But also Southern Italy, Southern France, South Africa, etc.
7: Malbec will make it big: again Malbec in Argentina but also Carmenère in Chile, Nero d'Avola in Sicily, etc.
8. California's Central Coast will rule America: that's the Sideways effect!
9. Southern Italy will ascend: see #6 and #7
10. Unoaked wine will find a wider audience: the popularity of the new Morgan Metallico Chardonnay is an example of a new trend looking for fresher wines showing their fruit and terroir. There is also a worldwide trend to grow grapes in cooler sites.
11. Value will be valued: I believe that wine consumers are getting increasingly educated and are looking for better wines at better prices. But I am also surprised to see prices to continue going up.
12. Diversity will be the word: I think that we'll see more and more wines made of local varietals on the market. Do you know Vernaccia, Torrontés, Counoise or Frappato?
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