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2013 Wine Market Trends

- u.s. #1 in wine consumption
- champagne sales struggle
- global wine output down

2013 Wine Market Trends

2013 is starting off as an interesting year in the world of wine. Here are the reports and trends of note so far for 2013:

U.S. #1 in Wine Consumption Globally
For the first time, Americans consumed more wine in a year than any other country - 325 million cases of the stuff, or 13% of the total amount drunk globally in 2012. This is due in part to increasing consumption in the U.S., but also reflects changing trends in typically wine-heavy European countries, France and Italy. In part, younger generations in Europe are choosing beer or spirits over wine.

Now, Americans still have a lot of ground to make up on a per capita basis. Because the U.S. has such a large population, we topped the list on a total basis but are still 53rd in global per capita wine consumption. The Millennial generation, ages 19 - 36, are helping move these stats forward, but for many Americans wine is an occasional indulgence, pulled out for the Thanksgiving table or other holidays. Nonetheless, the times do seem to be changing, not just for the U.S. but in Europe as well, eh?

Read More:
Winston-Salem Journal: Americans No. 1 in Wine Consumption
FT Magazine: Why the French Went Off Wine

Champagne Sales Struggled in 2012
Sales of Champagne fell more than 4% in the first eleven months of 2012.
This drop in sales will largely due to weakness internally within France (see above on declining consumption rates for the country). Unlike for other types of wines Champagne did not see this loss made up from large increases from North America and the emerging wine markets in Asia. There, buyers stay focused on red wines and haven't yet shown the same affinity for sparkling or Champagne.

Also, notoriously expensive Champagnes are being swapped by many consumers for more affordable bubblies like Cava, Prosecco or domestic U.S. bottlings. The marketing engine for Champagne has been on a sustained campaign to re-brand Champagne as the only fine sparkling wine (has anyone else been inundated by their radio ads?), and is also considering new regulations to further focus on very high-quality production.

Read More:
Global Post - Champagne Sales Lose Fizz in 2012
France24 - Sign of the Times as Cristal Gets Swapped for Cava
Journee Vinicole - Champagne upbeat despite global decline

2012 Global Wine Output Down to Lowest Level Since 1975
Despite the fact that wine consumption is on the rise globally, the production of wine saw a sharp decrease in both the Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere harvests for 2012. This was largely due to weather reducing crop yields in many wine regions so doesn't mean we'll continue to see low levels of wine made in future years, but the 2012 harvest marked the lowest global wine output since 1975.

In some regions, like France, Italy and western Australia, crops were reduced by weather conditions, but while there's less wine it should be concentrated and high-quality. Unlike these other areas, California saw a bumper crop with a large vintage. As a wine drinker what does this mean to you? Expect to find some good values from California from 2012, but higher prices for bottlings from Europe and Australia/New Zealand. If you're a collector, there may be some very fine bottlings - but again you may be paying more due to the powers of supply and demand.

Read more:
Wine Spectator - 2012 Southern Hemisphere Harvest Report
Huffington Post - European Wine Harvest the Worst in Half a Century
The Drinks Business - Global Demand Rises Despite Poor Harvests

What do you think of these trends? Share your thoughts with us at amyandmike@easyfoodandwine.com

Next Article:     New Year's Food & Wine Resolutions: 2013
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