Has the global trend for wine peaked?
The biggest wine consuming country in the world is America, explains Great Grog's Richard Meadows.
However, it looks like their steady increase in consumption over the last decade has come to an end.
Initial figures show that in 2019 they drank one per cent less than in 2018. This has had quite some impact on producers such as Penfolds and Wolf Blass who are reliant on the USA market.
They are owned by the huge wine group Treasury and their shares have dropped by 30 per cent in the last few weeks.
I don’t think that a one per cent drop in consumption is the end of the world. I have read Treasury’s statement on this drop in share value and, having read it, I can understand why it has happened…
“A loss of execution momentum, contributed to by unforeseen changes in regional management, was exacerbated by the persistence of challenging conditions in the US wine market which accelerated in Q2 post vintage,” said Treasury in a statement.
Anyone who can write and spout such gobbledygook doesn’t deserve to be selling wine, in the US or anywhere else for that matter.
The British wine market has also joined the Americans in shrinking. Our shrink may also be speeding up.
The only major wine consumers in the world that are still growing (over the last five years) are Italy, Spain, Russia and China.
Who would have thought that the Italians could fit any more wine into their days?
Consumption in Italy has gone up by just under 15 per cent over the last five years. Now, in my books, that is a hefty increase in wine consumption for a people that always seemed to have a glass in their hand anyway.
The French are still in the lead per person though.
The French used to drink 120 bottles of wine per man, woman and child per year but are now only managing to put away around 60 bottles each (60 million people drinking 360 million bottles per year).
Some of them drink the odd beer and pastis on top of that too.
The 330 million Americans by contrast only drink about eight bottles each per year.
I think the global trend for wine drinking has peaked for the moment but I am glad to report that I don’t think wine is trendy, so it doesn’t really matter. Wine is the most interesting, varied and healthy beverage that you could possible hope to sip on. It has stood the test of time. Wine has longevity on all kinds of levels. It is enduring, can age well and helps you age well too.
What’s not to like?
If you want to follow trends, rum is apparently going to be the new gin.
Richard Meadows worked with a national wine chain for 10 years before setting up his own company in Edinburgh in 1999. Richard, a regular visitor to the Highlands, now employs 15 people and sells all over the UK via mail order and the internet as Great Grog.