Adam Strum, editor and publisher ofWine Enthusiast Magazine, has just published his annual list of the top ten wine stories of the previous year. Below is a brief overview of his top ten and you can read about them in more detail here.
— The “new normal.” Continuing to scramble the board in the face of ongoing economic uncertainty, fewer consumers are willing to pay luxury prices, with predictable results on sales at every tier.
— Changing of the guard. Winery executives and owners are trying to figure out if they’re going to stay in the game or sell out, especially family businesses wondering if the next generation is going to take things on.
— European wine flexes its marketing muscle. The European Union followed up the market reforms it instituted in 2008 with the promised funding: over a four-year period, well over 828 million euros to support the marketing of European wine.
— Continued export growth for Argentina and Chile. Both countries managed to beef up export numbers globally and to the U.S. in particular, and in a soft market.
— Climate change. France is dry, Portugal is hot and California is cold.
— Green wines. Wineries ponder the economics and marketing appeal of green wines—not just organic or biodynamic, but focusing on the issues of sustainability and carbon emissions.
— Exchange rate fluctuations.
— Oversupply. Wine in oversupply in various parts of the world and price segments are making this a buyer’s market, but at a time when consumers struggle for a sense of economic security.
— Château Lafite-Rothschild in Asia. Vintages of this iconic winery have become an outsized status symbol above and beyond the other first growths in Asia.
— State sales of alcoholic beverages in the US.