The surveys and studies are in, and the results are official: The recession is lowering wine prices.
Not big news to regular visitors here? It is to the Winestream media: "For the next two to three years, the consumer can expect deals on higher-priced wines. ... [T]hose wines usually start at about $15 a bottle."
The cause of all this is what the Wine Curmudgeon has noted before: Consumers have all but stopped buying high-end wine (most wine, in fact) in restaurants and they're buying less expensive wine at retailers. So everyone is cutting back on wine inventory, and we have what has been termed the "inventory reduced-recession."
To be fair, this story by Elizabeth Strott at MSN Money is one of the best explanations that I've seen abut what's going on. The crisis in the wine business is not about over-supply, which would be easy to fix -- make less wine. It's about demand, and it's specifically about demand for wines that cost more than $15. There isn't any, and this comes after several years when the industry was focusing on wines that cost $15 and more, making more $15 and up wine than the world needed.
In the short term, this means wineries will go out of business and jobs will be lost. Over the long term, it means -- hopefully -- a more rational approach to winemaking, in which expensive wine is made not just because it's expensive, but because it offers value.