Future wine

Back in 2002 a US supermarket chain launched a wine known as Two Buck Chuck. The price ($2) was unprecedented, and 800 million bottles were sold. Customers never knew where the wine came from, only that it was made from grapes.

At a recent conference the theme was how wine will be made and sold in two or three decades. Primarily of course it is climate change that will be the biggest influence. Australia will cease to be a bulk wine producer, with recent droughts reinforcing this view. 'New' wine countries, such as the Ukraine, Poland, Slovenia, etc, should be ideally located to produce both quality and quantity, and will eventually be considered in the same category as France today. Current European wine-producers will be of little importance, unable to compete on price and with each year's production lower than previous ones, although obviously there will be pockets where some great wines may still be made.

England, even Scotland, will become the home of champagne. A big winner will be Canada, and California will cease to be important. Mexico and Brazil will reach the same quality levels as Chile and Argentina by their sheer size and variety of altitudes, having nothing to fear from global warming. For the same reason China will be the absolute winner, both in quality and quantity. Although still bereft of regions where superior wines can be made, imported know-how and home-grown knowledge will soon put the country in an unbeatable position. Most of the bulk wine drunk anywhere in the world will in future be sourced from China.

Wine will not be sold in glass bottles, but in unbreakable lightweight containers. Stoppers (corks will have long since disappeared) will contain microchips using blockchain technology to guarantee the authenticity of the wine and eliminate fakes.

Frankly none of this sounds very exciting, and indeed a bit boring, so it may be better to enjoy wine the way we are accustomed to at present, and leave the grey days of the future to our children and grandchildren - poor things.