Wine’s Gradual Globalization

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    Until the 1970s, wine was a product produced and consumed almost exclusively in the Mediterranean region and the nearby Levant. Today it is enjoyed in a much broader range of countries. Yet notwithstanding the dramatic recent globalization of this product, the total volume consumed is very similar today to what it was in the 1960s. This chapter explains the apparent inconsistency between these two facts. It points to the rapid growth in New World wine production, to the gradual move by consumers from other alcohols to wine in previously beer- or spirits-consuming cultures, to wine’s near disappearance in North Africa in the 1960s once the region became independent from France, to the huge decline in wine consumption in the most wine-focused countries, and to the dramatic rise of East Asia as a wine-importing region. Also characterizing these changes has been a steady rise in the quality of wine being consumed around the world - even though the overall quantity has not grown. This premiumization has occurred despite fears by wine tragics that the accompanying emergence of multinational wine brands would lead to the homogenization of wine styles. The bottom line is that most wine consumers have never had it so good. The exceptions are those addicted to rare iconic wines, particularly from Bordeaux and Burgundy, whose prices have risen to stratospheric levels - to the immense financial benefit of owners of the best wine assets in, and finest wines from, those iconic regions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHandbook of Eating and Drinking
    Editors Herbert L. Meiselman
    Place of PublicationCham
    PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland
    ISBN (Print)9783030145033
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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