Award-winning wine writer Tim Atkin opened the Fine Wine 2010 conference in Ribera del Duero with some very pertinent comments and thought-provoking observations about fine wine. Here are a couple of the issues that he touched on:
— The average quality of wine was probably higher than any time in history and the knowledge of wine consumers is growing but from a very low base.
— Despite this global increase in the quality of wine around the world, the wine industry and consumers’ perception of what constitutes a fine wine regions and grape varieties has barely evolved in the last 100 years
— The global overproduction of wine, globalization and increased competition is driving prices down and pushing many medium and small wineries into bankruptcy.
— The concept of fine wine is actually irrelevant to most consumers, who don’t want complexity and aren’t prepared to pay for it.
— The wine press is very influential but many journalists are not doing a good job covering the wine industry.
— Social media allows more people to share their opinion about the wine and great a more diverse input into the conversation.