Will the world's wine supplies run dry?

According to research released this month by Morgan Stanley, global wine production is decreasing, but we’re guzzling more and more of the stuff.

It’s a sobering thought. According to research released this month by Morgan Stanley, global wine production is decreasing, but we’re guzzling more and more of the stuff. The report finds that wine production peaked in 2004 and has been steadily declining since to reach its lowest level in 40 years. Globally, wine consumption increased 8 per cent between 2000-2012. “The data suggests there may be insufficient supply to meet demand in coming years, as current vintages are released,” the report concludes.

Interestingly, wine consumption is decreasing in old world wine countries. Although in France in 1980 51 per cent of French people drank wine every day or nearly every day, in 2010 this proportion had gone down to 17 per cent and many more are opting for mineral water, soft drinks or juice instead. This trend is mirrored in Spain and Italy. Wine consumption has gone down slightly in the UK too, it’s down 4 per cent since 2007. But, this is offset by increased demand in countries like the US and China. In China wine consumption increased almost 150 per cent in the past five years.

The good news for wine-lovers is that a report published yesterday by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine suggests that this year wine production increased, and should reach 2006 levels. It does however say that the world’s vineyards are shrinking, so it’s hard to see how wine demand will keep up with supply in the long-term. Unless we all turn to vodka, or like the sensible French, mineral water.  

Photo: Getty.

Sophie McBain is a freelance writer based in Cairo. She was previously an assistant editor at the New Statesman. She is on Twitter as @SEMcBain.

Photo: Getty Images
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What do Labour's lost voters make of the Labour leadership candidates?

What does Newsnight's focus group make of the Labour leadership candidates?

Tonight on Newsnight, an IpsosMori focus group of former Labour voters talks about the four Labour leadership candidates. What did they make of the four candidates?

On Andy Burnham:

“He’s the old guard, with Yvette Cooper”

“It’s the same message they were trying to portray right up to the election”​

“I thought that he acknowledged the fact that they didn’t say sorry during the time of the election, and how can you expect people to vote for you when you’re not actually acknowledging that you were part of the problem”​

“Strongish leader, and at least he’s acknowledging and saying let’s move on from here as opposed to wishy washy”

“I was surprised how long he’d been in politics if he was talking about Tony Blair years – he doesn’t look old enough”

On Jeremy Corbyn:

"“He’s the older guy with the grey hair who’s got all the policies straight out of the sixties and is a bit of a hippy as well is what he comes across as” 

“I agree with most of what he said, I must admit, but I don’t think as a country we can afford his principles”

“He was just going to be the opposite of Conservatives, but there might be policies on the Conservative side that, y’know, might be good policies”

“I’ve heard in the paper he’s the favourite to win the Labour leadership. Well, if that was him, then I won’t be voting for Labour, put it that way”

“I think he’s a very good politician but he’s unelectable as a Prime Minister”

On Yvette Cooper

“She sounds quite positive doesn’t she – for families and their everyday issues”

“Bedroom tax, working tax credits, mainly mum things as well”

“We had Margaret Thatcher obviously years ago, and then I’ve always thought about it being a man, I wanted a man, thinking they were stronger…  she was very strong and decisive as well”

“She was very clear – more so than the other guy [Burnham]”

“I think she’s trying to play down her economics background to sort of distance herself from her husband… I think she’s dumbing herself down”

On Liz Kendall

“None of it came from the heart”

“She just sounds like someone’s told her to say something, it’s not coming from the heart, she needs passion”

“Rather than saying what she’s going to do, she’s attacking”

“She reminded me of a headteacher when she was standing there, and she was quite boring. She just didn’t seem to have any sort of personality, and you can’t imagine her being a leader of a party”

“With Liz Kendall and Andy Burnham there’s a lot of rhetoric but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of direction behind what they’re saying. There seems to be a lot of words but no action.”

And, finally, a piece of advice for all four candidates, should they win the leadership election:

“Get down on your hands and knees and start praying”

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.