2013 is starting off as an
interesting year in the world of wine. Here are the reports and trends of note so far for
U.S. #1 in Wine Consumption
For the first time, Americans consumed more wine in a year than any other
country - 325 million cases of the stuff, or 13% of the total amount drunk globally in 2012.
This is due in part to increasing consumption in the U.S., but also reflects changing trends in
typically wine-heavy European countries, France and Italy. In part, younger generations in Europe
are choosing beer or spirits over wine.
Now, Americans still have a lot of ground to
make up on a per capita basis. Because the U.S. has such a large population, we topped the list on
a total basis but are still 53rd in global per capita wine consumption. The Millennial generation,
ages 19 - 36, are helping move these stats forward, but for many Americans wine is an occasional
indulgence, pulled out for the Thanksgiving table or other holidays. Nonetheless, the times do seem
to be changing, not just for the U.S. but in Europe as well, eh?
Winston-Salem Journal: Americans No. 1 in Wine Consumption
FT Magazine: Why the French Went Off Wine
Champagne Sales Struggled in 2012
Sales of Champagne fell more than 4% in the first eleven months of 2012. This drop in sales will largely due to weakness internally
within France (see above on declining consumption rates for the country). Unlike for other types of
wines Champagne did not see this loss made up from large increases from North America and the
emerging wine markets in Asia. There, buyers stay focused on red wines and haven't yet shown the
same affinity for sparkling or Champagne.
Also, notoriously expensive Champagnes are being swapped by many consumers for more affordable
bubblies like Cava, Prosecco or domestic U.S. bottlings. The marketing engine for Champagne has
been on a sustained campaign to re-brand Champagne as the only fine sparkling wine (has
anyone else been inundated by their radio ads?), and is also considering new regulations to further
focus on very high-quality production.
Post - Champagne Sales Lose Fizz in 2012
France24 - Sign
of the Times as Cristal Gets Swapped for Cava
Journee Vinicole - Champagne upbeat despite global decline
2012 Global Wine Output Down to
Lowest Level Since 1975
Despite the fact that wine consumption is on the rise globally, the production of wine saw a sharp
decrease in both the Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere harvests for 2012. This was
largely due to weather reducing crop yields in many wine regions so doesn't mean we'll continue to
see low levels of wine made in future years, but the 2012 harvest marked the lowest global wine
output since 1975.
In some regions, like France, Italy and western Australia, crops were reduced by weather
conditions, but while there's less wine it should be concentrated and high-quality. Unlike these
other areas, California saw a bumper crop with a large vintage. As a wine drinker what
does this mean to you? Expect to find some good values from California from 2012, but higher
prices for bottlings from Europe and Australia/New Zealand. If you're a collector, there may
be some very fine bottlings - but again you may be paying more due to the powers of supply and
Wine Spectator - 2012 Southern
Hemisphere Harvest Report
Huffington Post - European Wine Harvest the
Worst in Half a Century
The Drinks Business - Global
Demand Rises Despite Poor Harvests
What do you think of these trends?
Share your thoughts with us at [email protected].
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