What wine would you drink with a nice herring on toast in a Liverpool pub? Why, an English white wine, of course — maybe made from the Bacchus grape by Biddenden Vineyards in Kent.
What would you order in a restaurant in China’s Szechuan Province to go with its signature beef dish Gan Bian Niu Rou Si, spiced with ginger and black peppercorns? Try a hearty red merlot by the Chinese wine firm Dynasty.
Wine is going global — and faster than many think. Here’s the world wine outlook for 2014 and beyond.
• Grape-growing regions are shifting north. Warmer weather due to climate change will expand grape production in England, China, Russia and Scandinavia by mid-century, The New York Times reports. At the same time, some fear increasing heat may hurt Bordeaux, Tuscany and Spain.
• England and Wales have doubled their number of wineries to more than 400 in the past decade, the Mail Online website says.
• China, today the fifth-largest wine producer, is on track to become the world’s largest in five years, says Wine-Searcher website.
• When French Bordeaux producers hiked prices sharply during the 2010 economic downturn, U.S. sippers pulled back, and newly rich Chinese wine fans became the world’s biggest importers of Bordeaux, says CNN Money.
• Chinese wine consumption will double by 2016 to 400 million cases a year, making the country the world’s largest consumer, Business Insider website says,
• Global producers recognize the shift in consumption. French champagne giant Moet-Hennessy has launched a new line of sparkling wines — Chandon Nashik — to be produced and drunk in India, says the Great Wine News website.
• Europe is lagging. In France, more than half of adults drank wine every day in 1980; today it’s only 17 percent, the BBC says.
• Italians are turning to beer and colas. Per-capita wine consumption has declined from 29 gallons a year in the 1970s to 11 gallons today, says the Italian wine association Assoenologi.
• Spain is on the same track. Already its sippers imbibe twice as much beer as wine.
• U.S. wine fans, on the other hand, are holding our own. Consumption grew 2 percent in 2012, maintaining for the time being our status as the world’s top wine-drinking country.
• In the U.S., the social media revolution is changing the way we buy wine. Wine lovers are bypassing the old gate-keeping magazine and newspaper wine columnists (yes, like this one) and going online. They’re visiting winery websites, sharing likes and dislikes via wine blogs and buying wine directly from wineries — bypassing distribution middle men, said California growers surveyed by Silicon Valley Bank. It could be a boon to boutique wineries too small to hire national distributors.
• In the future, a global wine shortage looms, says Morgan Stanley Research. Global consumption grew by 1 percent in 2012, while wine production fell by 5 percent to 2.8 billion cases, due to bad weather in Europe and Australia.
• And some fear climate change could hurt California’s warmer growing areas as well.