Global Wine Shortage: Do You Need to Start Hoarding Wine?

If you follow most any news sources, then you have probably seen the recent articles on the doom and gloom that’s been cast over the wine industry in the past week or so. The global wine shortage (aka, the wine lover’s Apocalypse) has been creating panic around the world causing wine enthusiasts to ask the utmost important question, “Do I need to start hoarding wine?”

I decided to do some light research on the topic before going into panic mode and buying 100 cases of Michael David’s Petite Petit. Does the report from Morgan Stanley analysts Tom Kierath and Crystal Wang represent true facts or is the media blowing the story out of proportion?

Morgan Stanley’s report is filled with several charts highlighting the decline in wine production. One of the graphs in the report shows that global production is on a sharp decline, while consumption is slowly increasing. The report also goes on to state that Italy, France and Spain (the three biggest wine producers) have cut wine production over the last several years, while demand continues to rise in countries like the US and China.

Graph courtesy of Morgan Stanley

Graph courtesy of Morgan Stanley

But, there are always two sides to every story.

After this report was published, critics came out of the woodwork and they’ve been very vocal about the inconsistencies in Morgan Stanley’s data. The International Organization of Vine and Wine has fought back stating, “World wine production has increased significantly in 2013 while consumption is stabilising.” Below is the OIV’s graph showing production versus consumption:

Graph courtesy of OIV and Marketwatch.com

Graph courtesy of OIV and Marketwatch.com

Other analysts have also been quick to point out that in places like California and Washington, wine production has been flourishing. According to SF Gate, California’s 2013 harvest is expected to reach 4 million tons, which is close to last year’s production. There is wine available to be enjoyed and prices should remain consistent. (Read the entire SF Gate wine shortage rebuttal here.)

So my research here is done. I think it’s safe to say that with all the backlash against the Morgan Stanley report, from people actually working in the wine industry, that there is no reason to panic. Wine enthusiasts should rest assured that there will be plenty of wine available in the future.

Rejoice! I won’t have to hoard my wine after all.

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