Grape Expectations

You’ve heard of Two-Buck Chuck? Get ready for Twenty-Yuan Wu, a bargain wine from China. It isn’t here yet, but it won’t be long. Globalization has come to the world of wine. Globalization is in your wineglass and on your grocer’s shelves. The Wine Economist  explains how it got there and how market forces are changing what’s in the bottle, where it comes from, why people buy it and how it is produced.

The conventional wisdom about globalization and wine is that it is a battle between the Old World and the New World; the New World is winning and wine is losing its soul. The traditional methods and subtle taste of Old World wine are being replaced with vulgar industrial plonk. If globalization is McDonaldization, as some have argued, then the globalization of wine is homogenization, Americanization and, worst of all, Parkerization (for American wine rating guru Robert Parker). No matter what you call it, it is not a good thing.

But that’s not what is really happening. The true story of global wine is more complex. There is a conflict, but it isn’t between Old World and New, it is between supply and demand. And it isn’t a new battle – it has been going on for more than a hundred years. Globalization hasn’t created this conflict; it has only intensified it and magnified the consequences. And the biggest changes are yet to come. This is the real story of globalization, wine and The Wine Economist.

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