Because, for whatever reason, the Wine Curmudgeon can’t stop writing about the world’s grape supply and how that will affect wine prices:
• The wine grape bubble: That’s the take from Lew Perdue at Wine Industry Insight, who has seen more than a few crop forecasts in his time. “…[W]e don’t know where the grape market is headed because the California wine industry operates on pretty poor advice and a lack of full, complete and unbiased facts.” He compares the hysteria around this year’s news to previous shortages that weren’t necessarily shortages, and finds several similarities. Also, he throws in a good anecdote about the late 1990s Internet bubble.
• Australia’s never ending grape supply: Remember how the Aussies were working out their grape problems? Not necessarily. “The report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences predicts 5 per cent more grapes will be produced next season and another slight increase in the following vintage.” Which, given that many Australian wineries are selling grapes below cost, and others are going out of business because of low prices, is not the news its industry wants to hear.
• Lakes of European wine: Or so says a report from something called the Independent Investor, which is taking a contrarian position about investing in wine. Like, “Don’t.” It notes the difference between the fine wine market and its hype, as well as putting overall worldwide wine production in perspective: “The wine lake refers to the continuing supply surplus of wine (supply glut) produced in the European Union. A major contributor to that glut is the Languedoc-Roussillon, which produces over one-third of the grapes grown in France.”