“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





14 January 2009


M. Robert Beynat, Big Cheese at Bordeaux's forthcoming Vinexpo

Major Frog Kicks Ocker Teeth
Numbers War Hots Up As Everything Changes

OK. It’s official. By 2012, the United Kingdom will be world’s biggest importer of wine.

While France’s wine consumption tumbles, along with its Cognac and Armagnac guzzle, the French are hitting the Scotch whisky big time, with an eight per cent increase.

Meanwhile, the Japanese, Chinese, and Russians are following the Poms to reverse the Frogs’ trend away from wine. They're into it.

So. What’s new?

This news from Reuters’ reporter Marcel Michelson is the first of a huge wave of numbers and propaganda that we can expect from the powers that be at Vinexpo, the world’s biggest regular plonkfest, held every second year in Bordeaux.

It's on this year in June. We all hope they've got the airconditioning fixed.

Robert Beynat, chief executive and co-founder of the Vinexpo has opened the squirt by prophecying that the world will continue to drink more wine in the next few years.

Champagne and other sparkling wines will increase by twelve per cent, he forecast.

This may explain why the French have recently, suddenly, made the precious appellation of Champagne quite a lot bigger, in spite of global warming simultaeneously forcing Champagne producers to begin eyeing land in the south of England, where it is now warm enough to make wines as good, perhaps better than, Champagne’s. The geology, after all, is identical. The white cliffs of Dover are made from the same precious Kimmeridgian chalks that give Champagne and Chablis its class.

With typical Gallic aplomb, M. Beynat dumped big time on Australia.

"China will enter the top 10 producer countries while Australia is dropping out," he said, citing our water issues, new heat and “export problems due to long distances”.

“Italy, which overtook France as biggest wine consumer country in 2007, and the biggest wine producer in 2008, is set to lose the former crown to the United States in 2012 when Americans will buy some 314 million cases of wines with an 11.9 percent rise between 2008 and 2012 following a 14.8 percent gain over the 2003 to 2007 period.

“Spain will see a further 6 percent decline in 2008 to 2012 to 92.2 million cases and will drop behind Russia that will have a growth of some 25 percent in the 2008 to 2012 period.

“That compares to a baffling rise of 60 percent over 2003-2007 and remains below the 36.6 percent expected growth in China in the period 2008-2012.

This follows recent news that Australia’s exports have suddenly dropped eleven per cent in gross volume, due partly to difficult exchange rates. What made things worse was the value dropped even more – eighteen per cent.

Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation senior analyst Peter Bailey confirmed that the fastest-growing market for Australian wine was China, which spent $74 million on our product in 2008, up 32 per cent from 2007, and making the nation the fifth-largest market in value terms.

Reflecting the growing wealth of Chinese drinkers, sales of bottled wine were up 27 per cent while sales of cheaper bulk wine were down 68 per cent, lifting the average price per litre sold by 58 per cent to $4.92.

But the gains in China were not enough to offset declines in the US, Australia's second-largest wine export customer, where sales were down just 5.6 per cent by volume but plummeted 26.5 per cent by value.

At the same time, the biggest producers report increasing international sales in their more expensive brackets as they inch away from their inexplicable long-term addiction to the discount bins of the UK and USA.

Adding spice to the soup is Fosters’ claims that their up-market sales have improved, while rival Constellation is dumping a huge lump of its low-end spirits manufactory, a move, some suggest, to cash up for the purchase of Fosters’ gutted wine division.

I can't help feeling that these great prophets, bean-counters and money-changers are even more hopeless than the finance gurus which failed to forsee the recent disappearance of all the money in the world.

They obviously have no real handle on issues of climate change, the new heat, the disappearance of the water, or the true issues associated with transport of a totally unneccessary, fashionable commodity which just happens to be a major recreational drug and one of the most scary depressants available.

Wayne Young said... Let's do some math... "In 2012, the US will consume more wine than Italy".

For the sake of comparison let's use some current statistics: Approx consumption: 300 million cases per year. Italian population: 60 million. US population: 300 million. Italian consumption per capita: 5 cases per year. US consumption: 1 case per year.

When we get American consuming HALF what Italians consume, per capita, that will be news.

1 comment:

Wayne Young said...

Let's do some math...

In 2012, the US will consume more wine than Italy. For the sake of comparison let's use some current statisitcs:

Approx consumption:
300 million cases/year

Italian Population:
60 million

US population:
300 million

Italian consumption per capita:
5 cases/year

US consumption per capita:
1 case/year

When we get Americans consuming HALF of what Italians consume, per capita, that will be news.