Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The 12 predictions of Robert Parker

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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