Wine News Update – US Wine Prices Are Going Up

Wine Country

Hello everyone and welcome to another Wine News Update here on Blog About Wine! We have had an incredibly busy month so far with eight days spend in Australia and New Zealand, of course enjoying some incredible wine! Now that we’re back state-side we are getting back-into the pulse of the wine world and as we like to do, bringing you along for the ride.

Enjoy the latest wine news below, hand-picked by us so you’re only reading the good stuff!

U.S. wine prices headed higher for consumers-report

U.S. consumers are going to be faced with a choice this year: pay more for a bottle of domestic wine, settle for lower quality, or buy cheaper imports, the Silicon Valley Bank forecast on Tuesday.

SVB, a commercial banker to the wine industry, said in its latest “Annual State of the Wine Industry Report” that it expects vintners to raise prices as the supply of grapes declines and evolves “into a state of shortage that will last for some time domestically.” (Read More)

A Slice, and a Relaxed Wine or Beer Pairing

I’m reading a new book, “Tastebuds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food, Wine and Flavor’’ by François Chartier, an extraordinary high-wire wine-and-food pairing equivalent of molecular gastronomy. Not surprisingly, the book is endorsed by Ferran Adrià and Juli Soler of El Bulli, with whom Mr. Chartier, a French-Canadian wine and food writer, worked closely for several seasons at their restaurant. (Read More)

No More Nouveaux Bordeaux for Nouveaux Riche

One of the more rarefied markets of the rich is the “en primeur” system, also known as the wine futures market.

Each year,  French chateaux sell vintages just months after the grape harvest, with the wine still in barrels. Merchants and investors buy the futures and take delivery of the barrels years later, when the wines are more mature and closer to drinking age.

The system was originally created to give chateaux money to finance their next year’s wine production. But like many of today’s trading markets, “en primeur” has become financialized, prone to wild speculation, manic  price swings and over-pricing. As wine prices have soared in recent years, the system also cut the producers out of some of the gains, since they’re essentially pre-selling their wines. (Read More)

New Zealand Wines Keep Focus On Core Varietals, Look To Maintain High-End Image

New Zealand wine shipments to the U.S. totaled more than 3.6 million nine-liter cases in 2011, up 4.2% over 2010, when shipments soared by 39.6% according to Impact Databank. The strong New Zealand dollar is still posing challenges, but major U.S. importers are holding the line on prices. This year’s lighter harvest will ease concerns about future price erosion—an issue that arose in bumper-crop years of 2009 and 2011.

Most New Zealand wine importers are focused on existing product ranges, with little emphasis on innovation. Some have dropped underperformers to concentrate on Sauvignon Blanc, which comprises more than 90% of New Zealand wine sales in the United States, according to trade group New Zealand Winegrowers. (Read More)

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