BKWine bigger than Wine Spectator? Well, it depends how you count. We were surprised recently when we saw that BKWine TV had more viewers than WineSpectatorVideo on YouTube: 4796 against 4290. Fun! We actually have more than 70 video clips today, the most recent being a mini-series with a biodynamic grower in the Rhône valley, and we have some 250 video views per day (our site, bkwine.com, has around a thousand visitors per day). Read more on this below.
What kind of year will 2009 be? It’s started in a bit of a gloomy mood, with the credit crunch and North Pole weather in Paris. It can be a good idea to cheer up with a nice bottle of wine. And our ambition is to help you find them (without having to break your credit limit).
We, Britt, Per and Jack, our correspondent reporter in Stockholm, sat down (virtually) and tried to pin down what we think will be some wine trends the coming year. Here’s our list:
France will slowly edge towards a more market orientated wine production – in view of coming winery bankruptcies, classification debacles, export market share losses etc some winemakers will catch on and make an effort to think about what the market and the customers want. (“we make our wine and then the courtier deals with the contact with the negociants and we deliver the wine. We never deal with the market ourselves”, today a common thing to hear at top Bordeaux chateau, less so in the future)
The rule of oak will fall, fruit will make inroads – producers will focus more on emphasising the fruit in the wine and will avoid flavouring them too much with oak (barrels, planks, or chips). Both for red and white, and in particular chardonnay.
Residual sugar levels will go up – primarily in “simple” wines where producers will keep more sugar in the finished wine to make it easier to drink (more populist if you wish).
Luxury wines face difficult times – top Bordeaux, luxury champagne cuvees, the rarest burgundies and Californians (et al.) will not sell their wines so easily. Will prices plummet?
Environmental concerns – firstly, organic wines will win market shares, and no doubt also biodynamic, since the difference between the two is not well understood neither by consumers, nor by journalists and other wine people. Secondly, wine producers will focus on reducing the environmental impact of wine growing and wine making.
More local grape varieties – big interest in other grape varieties than “the international” ones. If you’re not yet familiar with alvarinho, vermentino, alforcheiro, xinomavro, antao vaz, petit manseng, negrette, fer servadou etc you will soon be.
What about low-alcohol wines? – We’re doubtful. It is difficult (impossible) to make wine with less than a certain level of alcohol (“the only way to make a decent Bordeaux with less than 12% is to mix the wine with water” as one producer said). You do actually need to have ripe grapes. But there is the possibility that there will be a slight shift in demand – less Priorat, less Amarone, less body-building Californians (no, this is not a political opinion) and Aussies – and more northern wines perhaps. A boom for German wines? Hardly. (And, by the way, unfortunately.)
If you have any comments, do send us an email or post in the blog.
Britt & Per
PS: Recommend to your friends to read the Brief or forward it to them !