Posted by: jmbwineblog | May 8, 2012

Wine in the News, including snippets from myself.

The following post, could be seen as some unglorified self-promotion of who I am and what I do, and if you feel aggrieved then look away now. 😉

Last year, I was able to take part in a few wine related news pieces, both of which were interviews regarding my thoughts on various different wines. The first was an article that appeared in the China Economic Review and was related to Australian wine exports into mainland China and forecasted growth. Whilst my interview didn’t have a large number of quotes in the main piece, it was used for the Q&A section of the piece.

Here is the link to this article and the Q&A section:

http://www.chinaeconomicreview.com/en/content/grapes-hope (for the main article).

http://www.chinaeconomicreview.com/content/oenophilia (for the Q&A section).

These were published on the 1st August 2011 and as such the answers in our fast moving global economy may already seem a touch dated. Especially with a correction in the price of Bordeaux wines and a growing number of independant wine shops that have subsequently  sprung up in Hong Kong and also on the mainland itself.

The next interview was an on-screen slot for Reuters, talking about the new Indian wines that Waitrose have begun to import into the UK. The Link is below:

http://in.reuters.com/video/2011/10/09/indian-wine-hits-uk-store-shelves?videoId=222395132&videoChannel=102

These wines were perfectly decent and worked nicely with the food that we tasted, as I have mentioned in the video (from October 2011). At present, I haven’t been able to look into how these wines have performed since their release, but when the video was made Waitrose had already released press statements saying that the wines had sold very well.

Questions about future market trends.

Both these news stories bring to light some potentially important questions and issues surrounding the world of wine consumption and production in emerging markets.

As I mentioned in the China Economic Review interview, a challenge for producers to sell their wine is persuading the local populations that their wines are greatly superior to local equivalents and charge higher prices. On top of this the tax regimes in these nations (excluding Hong Kong) are defensive and designed to make local produce seem cheaper. This makes the job of foreign wine-makers even more difficult in this regard. Who then is to say that with a small increase in the quality of local wines in these emerging markets, where wine is becoming popular, that the local population won’t simply purchase their own and shun the wine from outside. This would have a drastic effect on many a business model, whether it be the struggling wineries of the traditional producing nations, or whether it be those wine investment funds who have proclaimed that everyone in China will “drink wine tomorrow”. Well, Yes, but who can tell WHICH wine they will drink.

In India, the growing legion of wine drinkers are pretty much forced to drink their own local produce like Sula Vineyards because of restrictive tax regimes, even if they would prefer to pay more for a foreign example of higher quality. They would pay triple, but perhaps not six or seven times. Then think about the improvements they are making… the locals even at the top end are more likely to drink their own produce if the quality improves as quickly as their economic growth. We have already seen a Chinese wine (Winery He Lan Qing Xue’s Jia Bei Lan 2009 Cabernet blend) won the Red Bordeaux Varietal Over £10 International Trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2011. Ominous signs for those wishing to break into these emerging markets.

We should also look out for these wines in our own markets. We may soon be inundated, and if they are cheap and also good, they may be fighting for the market share of the tried and tested wines that we have loved for so long. Food for thought, on all fronts.

The Decanter World Wine Awards winning 2009 Jiabeilan.

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