My weekly highlights of news from the wild, wacky world of wine:
Chinese New Year is approaching, and with it comes news that China continues its inexorable path to becoming a wine behemoth by overtaking the United Kingdom in wine consumption. Given the relative sizes of the two countries, this might seem like a yawn – but consider the UK’s traditional importance as the consumer driver of the world wine market. China’s rise to fifth place is a definite indicator that the Middle Kingdom is a rising force in determining market trends for vino. Now if we could just figure out what wines to pair with all that spicy cuisine … 😉
Despite China’s rise, the great Doug Frost writes that this is America’s golden age for wine and drink. More wines from more regions are available to US consumers than every before he writes. Also, he writes:
I think the most important development is at least partially local. States other than California, Washington and Oregon are on a major roll. And it’s not just Missouri, New York, Ohio, Michigan or Virginia, each of which has developed strong and laudable wine industries. Entrepreneurial wine enthusiasts in every state are hoping to add to that combustion.
Iowa has more than 80 wineries. Kansas has nearly 30. Illinois, North Carolina and Colorado each has about a hundred. Even Wisconsin, Arizona and Indiana have more than 50 wineries each. Not all of these new regional wineries will prosper, but the fire has been lit.
That sounds like a lot of future venues for DrinkLocalWine.com’s annual conferences!
Mike Veseth, The Wine Economist, blogs about term papers written by his college students on “The Idea of Wine.” The title of his post is “Wine Science: Better Drinking Through Chemistry,” which will certainly get the natural wine folks hyperventilating. But it’s interesting reading about economic and scientific trends in the wine industry, plus the wonderful photo linked here.
Finally, Lenn Thompson, executive editor of the wonderful New York Cork Report and a board member of DrinkLocalWine.com, announced that his annual “Taste Camp” will be held this year in Northern Virginia from May 4-6. Sounds like another great opportunity to sample some of the Old Dominion’s best new wines and experience a little of what Doug Frost calls “America’s Golden Age.”