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In Crisis, Opportunity

11:25 AM, Nov 1, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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The bad news is about a global shortage in something critical to the pursuit of happiness. Namely, wine. As Aaron Smith of CNN Money reports:

The [wine] industry is experiencing an "undersupply of nearly 300 million cases" a year, according to a report from Morgan Stanley Research.

There is a possibility that we may be approaching a state of “peak wine,” since "[w]ine has become particularly popular in China, as the economy booms and the standard of living there rises."

So the Chinese will, no doubt, begin buying up vineyards in France and other wine producing nations where the economies and the demographics are in long-term–and perhaps irreversible–decline.   

In the U.S., the news is discouraging--superficially, anyway, as "America consumes 12% of the world's wine but produces just 8%. And the U.S. is only getting thirstier; consumption rose 2% last year."

Still, "[t]he number of American wineries has 'expanded dramatically' in the last 15 years, according to the report. But most of them are 'boutique' operators rather than major producers, so they're not driving any real growth in supply."

The same might have been said of the micro-brew operations ten or fifteen years ago when their product was perceived as being about the same as something brewed by your eccentric cousin in his basement. One suspects that, until the government does something to inhibit it, there will be growth to meet the demand and new vintners will be coming on line and the wine will flow.  

One does wonder, however, if the supply of gushy adjectives is sufficient to support the boom. 

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