Been drinking less expensive wine lately?
You're not alone. Most industry sources
(see "related links") suggest that although wine
industry growth slowed significantly after September 11, unit
sales could be perceived as only slowing by 1%-2%. What's
really happened, in a nutshell, is that although high-end
(over $20/bottle) wine sales have experienced quite a dip,
the $8-$20 dollar wine has enjoyed brisk sales, with smart
buyers exploring the excellent values that have always existed
in this range, especially with European wines.
Other Market Patterns:
Interestingly, for just about every market
segment in which a slowdown is seen, there's been compensation
in another segment. For instance, where restaurant & hospitality
consumption of wine was off by as much as 25%, retail store
sales of wine & hard liquor for home consumption typically
offset this slump industry-wide, with a resulting decrease
in sales estimated to be around 2% for 2001. This is not to
be confused with figures for decreased growth. Higher grape
prices in most areas of California are putting a squeeze on
profits, especially for smaller players.
The general industry buzz is that wine sales
both nationally and globally should remain on the rise. However
"the bubble" has passed, according to most reps
to whom we've spoken. Look for some consolidation to happen
in the industry in general, with rough going for some specialty
vineyards that don't have a solid base for their particular
market. This has always been a unique aspect of wine-related
alcohol sales -- The top 25 brands represent just 7 percent
of sales worldwide. In the case of beer and hard liquor, the
top 25 brands garner 31 percent and 18 percent of sales, respectively.
Picks For Wines Under $20.00...
Russian River Valley 2000 Pinot Noir, Lot 4 Selection - Only 325 Cases Made! - $13.99
Luzon Merlot, Spain - Joey Says:
"...If ever there were a perfect Merlot..."
Spain - 2000
Old-vine grenache, unfiltered. Looking
for something a little different? $14.29
du Rhone du Vieux Chene (Grives) - You
can always count on even an average Rhone to offer
some bang for the buck - $9.99
Sicilia Colosi -1999
Messina, Italy - $8.99
Sources & Links for
of Wine Growers, Feb. 2002
New York Times
December 5, 2001 - find a reprint here