Globalization of wine? Maybe not

by Eve Resnick on November 19, 2008

in General

Ed Schwartz is challenging the very notion of globalization of wine in his article for the Napa Valley Register. He claims globalization does not lead to the sameness of taste all over the world. On the contrary, “Globalization of wine sets me off in another direction — the amazing growth of international commerce in wine in this generation”, writes Schwartz.

The last 40 years saw the rise of wine regions the consumers didn’t know or appreciate. Californian wines were put on the map after the 1976 Paris Tasting. Sicilian wines are now more respected when their Nero d’Avola rises in quality. Tuscany is not synonymous of low quality Chianti any more. “Today, a top level wine merchant will have well over 200 Italian red wines ranging from excellent Falesco wines under $10 to a line of highly regarded wines from Gaja, some of which command prices close to $300 a bottle.”

Schwartz gives many other examples but I think we got the point: globalization has a positive effect because it gives the consumers access to many great wines from all over the world. Cheers!


1 gonzogastro November 19, 2008 at 6:08 pm

It may give consumers access to many great wines around the world, but if the Super Tuscan tastes like the big honkin’ Cali Cab what the hell is the point? Save yourself the carbon footprint and drink what’s local to you in that case. Globalization, the way I define it, is what causes a winemaker in Tuscany or in Bordeaux, for instance, to try to make his cabernet in a style similar to CA. In my eyes, that’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It should taste like a cabernet from Italy or France, not from CA.

2 Evelyne Resnick November 20, 2008 at 5:12 pm

I do agree with you. I think the author of the article I quoted just meant that each wine can keep its local style but reach more consumers. Anyway, in every country producing wine, 80% of the wines are drunk locally. The other 20% are exported. I must confess I love having access to wines from other countries.

3 Katie Pizzuto November 21, 2008 at 4:47 pm

OH, no question! I love having access to wine from other countries and would shrivel up and die without them! All I meant by “drink local” is that if I want something that tastes like a CA cab I should just buy from there. If I buy from Italy or anywhere else, I want it to taste different! Vive la difference!

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