Should we be worried about a global wine shortage?
My first reaction to the news of the global wine shortage was to feel ever so slightly offended that so many of my friends thought of me so fondly when the news of the broke towards the end of 2012 (around seven people emailed me a link to the news, and in addition I got one “Steph. I’ve just heard the news. You ok?” voicemail). My next priority was to actually read what the press were saying about the alleged impending shortage, get a clear picture of what was going on, and make my own judgment as to whether I ought to dismiss it as a typical press over-reaction, or prepare to enroll in some pretty rigorous therapy.
Research informed me that it is true there is less ‘area under vine’. Poor weather in Europe has also played a part in the amount of production. And some countries that used to glug very little are now glugging rather a lot, such as China. But we can’t blame the Chinese, they are at least beginning to develop a respectable wine industry of their own. What are we Brits doing for the cause other than just drinking more wine than usual to block out the pain of the impending shortage?
Even though the initial panic about the global wine shortage has largely died down, I was still concerned that Britain’s miniscule wine production and my own personal consumption was only going to inflate the problem. There had to be more that we could do. I started to jot down ideas, and half a bottle of Pinot Noir later, I had sketched out a ten point plan that everyone in Britain could get on board with in order to ensure that this global wine shortage never becomes a reality.
Steph’s 10 point plan
- Visiting friends? At times when you would normally take a bottle of wine with you to someone’s house – don’t do it. They will be surprised initially, but they’ll soon get over it.
- Expecting guests? At times when people come to your house and you instinctively offer them a glass of wine – don’t. Offer them a nice cup of tea. They will be surprised initially, but they’ll soon get over it.
- You know when your friends have a baby, and you present them with a bottle of wine, in order to ‘wet the baby’s head’? Don’t do it. The baby doesn’t even care, it’s a baby, for crying out loud.
- You know when your friends move house and you take them over a bottle of wine, to crack open in celebration? Don’t do it. Nine out of ten times they’ll say thank you, stash it away and give you a glass of something awful anyway.
- Christmas. “I’ll just get them a case of wine”. Don’t.
- Birthdays. “I’ll just get them some wine.” Don’t.
- Obligatory “thank you” presents. “I’ll just get him a bottle of wine.” Don’t.
- Obligatory “I’m sorry” presents. “I’ll just get him a bottle of wine.” Don’t.
- Sacrificing white wine to throw on a red wine stain. It sort of works, but don’t do it.
- On that note, it’s probably better not to spill any red wine in the first place.
Now, just think for a moment about how much wine we could save if we just adjusted our behaviour with these simple steps. And it doesn’t need to be mean-spirited – instead of wine we could take something else to friends’ houses, like a scented candle or a pack of Wagon Wheels or something. In fact, as chocolate releases endorphins that make you feel all warm and fuzzy, I would go with the Wagon Wheels personally. New baby? Bring on the Wagon Wheels. New home? Bring on the Wagon Wheels. “I’m sorry”? Bring on the Wagon Wheels (or alternatively, don’t do anything stupid in the first place.) With the obvious exception of rubbing a Wagon Wheel on a red wine stain, I can’t think of any scenario wherein wine can’t be substituted with a large novelty marshmallowy biscuit. And look at all the wine we’ve saved! Take that, global crisis.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. This will only lead to a global shortage of Wagon Wheels. But is that really so bad? If the worst comes to the worst we can move Pink Wafers, and another biscuit after that, all the while replenishing our vineyards and ensuring that the wine crisis never happens.
Personally, I think the global wine shortage is unlikely to materialise. But if it does, spare a thought for 12×75.com when you are stocking up on Wagon Wheels. As massive consumers of wine, we are all part of the problem – but we can be part of the solution too.