For those of us who, for various reasons, are a little light on baseball stories, a few lines on trends in wine - this time focussing more on production.
In a recent post - dedicated, as is this one, to those distinguished tipplers, Anadyr and Jerry Coin - I picked up on recent analyses of variations in global wine consumption, and speculated a little on the implications of these changes.
Now, let's move away from the possibility that China will soon be consuming every bottle produced (regardless of its provenance!), and look instead at what has been happening "upstream", so to speak.
It's interesting. In the USA, for instance - now the 4th largest producer in the world - things have been changing significantly:
a) The total number of bonded warehouses has risen from less than 3000 in 2000 to approaching 8000 today;
b) Every one of the 50 States now makes wine, even Hawaii (from various hybrid wines and tropical fruits). North Dakota was the last state to succumb to the charms of wine production, resorting to winter-hardy hybrids.
c) Top quality wines are now more widely sourced - newer hotspots being the Finger Lakes of New York and the southern shore of Lake Michigan for Reislings; Long Island for rather European types; and Virginia for increasingly fine red Bordeaux blends, Viognier, Petit Manseng and Petit Verdot. And, so it is claimed, a decent Chardonnay can be found everywhere.
d) The traditional users of a handful of turbocharged grape varieties - in California, Oregon and Washington - are now turning towards much fresher, lighter wines that are expressive of individual vineyards rather than cellar techniques.
e) An interest in wine is spreading - witness the growth in wine tourism, something which that doesn't seem to have penetrated the minds, or gullets of Marriott's marketing team. Today an interest in wine is particularly marked amongst those in their 20s and 30s, irrespective of gender. Gosh!
So, it would seem, all is not lost.
As far as trends, as a non Swiss Army knife carrier, I'm pleased to see more and more nice tasting wines are moving to the screw cap (I was growing tired of Boone's Farm and Mad Dog 20-20). In spite of my Virginia pride, it's hard to beat the value/taste combo of California. Delaplane just down the road from me makes a highly touted Bordeaux style, but at $90 a pop, it reminds me of the $30 Cohiba - I've got a lot of tasting to do before I go there.
I'm ready for when it becomes a "shrimp" site:
Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's, um, shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There's pineapple shrimp and lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich... That's, that's about it.
Back to wine. sg turned me on to a great london coupon site for saving money on meals and touristy type stuff. Boy, I bet every third restaurant deal I see comes with prosecco, did you guys take over an Italian vineyard or something?