This week’s wine news: U.S. wine sales have been flat for two years, plus current wine trends and wine as a cure for writer’s block
• No gains: Wine sales in the U.S., as measured by dollars and volume, have been stagnant for the past two years. That’s not my ranting, but Nielsen numbers, and if you can’t trust Nielsen, then we all need to go home and find something else to do with our lives. I mention this for a couple of reasons: First, because of the suspicion that this would happen given premiumizaton; and second, because I have been getting such criticism for suggesting that it might happen or could be happening. Again, wine is not immune from the basic laws of economics. As prices go up, consumption doesn’t. Why the wine business doesn’t understand this is beyond me.
• Wine trends: American wine drinkers are drinking sparkling, getting younger, aren’t fussy about the corks vs. screwcaps debate, and are looking for lower alcohol options. Those are the conclusions of on old pal, Katie Myers, writing for the Padilla PR firm Buzzbin site. I think she is mostly spot on, though I’m still not sure the world is ready for wine in cans. And how could I argue with this? Younger wine drinkers are “frugal consumers – demanding quality at an affordable price point. …”
• Who is kidding who? Austrian researchers claim that wine will help cure writer’s block, reports Decanter, the British wine magazine. This, no matter how much science is supposed to be behind it, is a foolish conclusion. We’ll ignore for the moment the alcoholism that has bedeviled so many of my colleagues over the years, famous and not so famous. What is important, and this comes from someone who has been known to run around the house wailing because he can’t write, is that wine makes me want to do everything but write. So I’m not sure how a glass or two will get me to the keyboard to work.