Just in time for Halloween, a spooky threat looms across wine enthusiasts world-wide; the threat of a global wine shortage. Thanks to a popularity spike in both the United States and China, people are drinking more fermented grape juice than the market can keep up with. Consumption has quadrupled in both of these areas over the past five years, while the homes of the vineyards that supply this guzzling habit, like Italy, Spain, and and France, are facing trouble keeping up with demands due to poor harvests, land disputes, and bad weather.
The supply has only “barely exceeded demand” for a while in the states, as well; and consumption has been rising steadily over the years. This makes way for grade-school level economics; demand goes up, production goes down, and prices shoot through the roof.
It’s not as if wine producers aren’t trying, however. There are about one million wine producers on a global scale, and they make a combined output of 2.8 billion cases each year. Despite all this production, wine sales are facing an under supply of about 300 million cases each year, and poor weather conditions, as well as other troubles mentioned above, are making the toll even heavier as European areas, which supply about half of the world’s wine, are negatively affected. That spells out trouble for wine lovers everywhere.
Unfortunately, it looks like things must get worse before they start to get better; grape crops will need to improve in Europe or “new world” areas, such as the United States, Australia, and South Africa, will need to step up their game and yield larger crops.
This unfortunate news has some New Yorkers “shuddering at the thought of a world without cheap wine,” but many still seem resilient in the face of such a crisis. Makeup artist Natasha Liebel was quoted as saying, “It would be horrible, but we can survive without it. New Yorkers are resilient. — there’s always beer or tequila.” Daniel Benca, another wine enthusiast, chimed in by saying, “I’d just make my own. Hopefully there’s no grape shortage.”[Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.]