Using his Twitter account, leading wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. recently shared 15 wine-related predictions for 2014. He’re a sort of re-tweet, but edited together to one post and with some copyediting. I’ve commented some of them of my own in italics.
1. More resistance to very expensive wines from mediocre vintages – think Europe 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Seems reasonable. But we’ll see if the wine merchants’ worries about “who’s really going to buy 2013 Bordeaux en primeur in 2014?” is a true reflection of end consumers’ changing attitudes, or just a way to try to talk down the price so there’s a chance that the wine can sold at a handsom profit once it’s bottled and delivered, just like in the “good old days”.
2. California profits from two glorious years of quality and quantity – 2012 and 2013.
3. The undefined scam called “natural” or “authentic” wines will be exposed as a fraud – (most serious wines have no additives).
Although I’ve somehow taken a middle ground on these wines, I don’t mind a strong and polemic position now and then. I can understand how someone who truly enjoys classical wines could get irritated at some of the viewpoints coming from the “natural wines” crowd, but seriously, this sort of looks like pouring petrol on the flames. I must say that I haven’t really followed the US debate on the issue, though, so I don’t know if anything specific has irritated him. To me, it rather seems that Parker’s statement indicates that the debate on “natural” or “authentic” wines are gong to rage on and continue to divide wine critics and wine lovers.
4. Argentina will continue to excel for malbecs and their crispy whites from Torrontes.
5. Spain, southern Italy and France will dominate for high quality wines under $20.
6. Pinot noir lovers will go bonkers over Oregon 2012s and California 2012s and 2013s.
7. Wine will continue to become less elitist and populists will rule the day over insufferable snobs.
It sounds attractive but I’m not entirely convinced. Surely, the long-term trend has rather been that wine market has become more “segmented”. I’m sure populists already rule over cheaper branded wines, but with many classical fine wines out of reach of many wine lovers who could once have bought them, I fear that those who still can buy them will be snobs rather than populists. Let’s just hope that they will be regular snobs rather than insufferable ones.
8. Wine fraud will reach into the sanctus santorum of several auction houses which will be found to have turned a blind eye to red flags.
He’s probably right about the magnitude of the problem – at the level of the more expensive wines. I hope he’s right regarding the effects on those with the blind eyes, because they would have deserved it.
9. The Coravin wine preservation system will profoundly change the way we drink rare and limited production gems.
It’s an interesting invention, but will it really have that dramatic an effect and in the short term? Decanter’s article on Coravin. Jancis Robinson weighing in on the issue.
10. The government will finally require all wine labels to reveal caloric and ingredients.
11. Wine bloggers will continue to complain about their failure to monetize their sites and earn respect 🙂
So now you know that you don’t have to take the things I write too seriously, and you don’t have to pay anything. 🙂
12. Eastern & mid-Atlantic wineries will pick up consumers support based on the strength of 2012 & 2013, & consumers seeking new “experiences”.
13. More BYO high quality bistros & trattorias will burst on the scene in response to over-priced, excessive mark-ups at other restaurants.
14. Expect more mobile food trucks-featuring Korean, Mexican, South American, and Asian fusion offerings.
15. Look for Prosecco and Cava sparkling wine sales to erode some of the profit and glamour from Champagne.
I agree that better examples Prosecco (but why not Franciacorta and several other traditional method “spumante” as well?) and Cava could become more wide accepted as a good alternative to Champagne. I could see this erode some profit and volume from the high-volume producers of standard Champagne and those of indifferent quality (and they are fewer than they used to be). But I don’t really see this reduce the “glamour” or the “status” of Champagne, since I don’t believe that the long-term trend of increasing demand for Champagne has been broken.