Oh, The Horror: Wine Shortages | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Oh, The Horror: Wine Shortages

Oh, The Horror: Wine Shortages

Prosecco may run dry, Sauvignon Blanc certainly will.

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In our age of sheer abundance and seemingly endless variety, it is difficult to wrap one’s head around something like a possible wine shortage.

There are tens of thousands of wineries across the planet, after all, including nearly 9000 in the US alone, with nearly half of those just in California. Apparently, though, the global thirst for wine is not so easily quenched. According to a recent Vinexpo and the IWSR drinks industry report, annual wine consumption will increase to 273 billion cases by 2018. As pointed out by Wine Spectator magazine, that is equivalent to 32.8 billion bottles or enough to flood Manhattan. That’s a lot of wine.

Producers seem all too eager to try and meet demand, however. So despite wine being a remarkably tough business to succeed in, the number of new wineries and wine brands being started and the sheer acreage of cultivable land being newly planted with wine grapes are steadily increasing the world over.

Of course, when we recall that wine, not in the abstract but in the particular, necessarily comes from this or that place in a fixed point in time, shortages seem less farfetched. Thus, late last month came news that the world may soon run out of Prosecco. As USAToday reported, “a shortage of the Italian bubbly could occur as a result of high demand and rainy weather, according to Roberto Cremonese, the export manager of the popular prosecco manufacturer Bisol.”

Prosecco is a sparkling wine made in the Friuli, Venezia, Giulia, and Veneto regions of northeastern Italy. There are some lovely, jolly good, kosher Proseccos on the market. Consider, for example, the Deccolio Prosecco ($11; sold at Whole Foods Markets), which offers floral, green apple, and tangerine aromas that develop into honey, pear, and lemon flavors in a medium bodied, nicely effervescent frame with hints of mineral and spice in the finish.

In truth, this “shortage” may also just be a marketing wheeze to drive up prices — note the “could occur” turn of phrase. By contrast, The Drinks Business, a trade publication, days ago reported: “News of an upcoming Sauvignon Blanc shortage has been confirmed by New Zealand Winegrowers as the 2015 vintage is almost one third smaller than last year.” The quality of the 2015 vintage is expected to be great, due to a fabulous summer creating excellent conditions for ripening grapes, but the crop yields were diminished by 27 percent due to an unexpected spring frost.

So while Prosecco “may” experience a shortage, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc will definitely suffer a shortage, so expect prices to increase. Fans should buy and drink now, while the price and weather is right.  A great kosher New Zealand option is the classically composed Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 ($20) that opens with citrusy floral aromas and hints of grass with peach, herbal, and melon flavors in a smooth frame nicely balanced with lemon and green apple.

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