2020 wine world

2020 wine world Image

How political and environmental issues are affecting the way we drink

We hope you're settling into the new decade now and have swept up the last of the pine needles! In the wine world we have recycled all our festive bottles and are looking at the year ahead and what it is promising for us all.


So, what is going on in the wider world…

You can't ignore the environmental issues which are going on around us at the moment. We have just had the hottest decade on record and the Australian bush fires have been raging since before Christmas. This is going to affect the wine world and the wines which are produced.

Adelaide Hills in South Australia has seen a third of all its vines burnt and other regions have been affected by smoke taint. This probably won't affect the wines we drink this year, but it will have an impact on the wines from 2020 vintage onwards.

Warmer summers generally will mean earlier ripening fruit, so grapes are likely to have more sugar and less acidity as they do not have time to reach full physiological ripeness. Milder winters pose different problems. When the soil is completely frozen it kills off a lot of disease. Without these frozen conditions the chance of disease isn't kept in check and so the greater chance of damaged crops.

Sustainability seems to still be at the forefront of the climate change issues with many wineries switching to renewable energy sources and changing their working practices to have a lesser negative impact on the environment. A few are leading the way with carbon neutral practices.


Social norms are changing…  

The ‘V' word (veganism) is buzzing around all over the press and on social media with many people having a go or at least looking at more meat-free days. People have been asking us if vegans can drink wine? The answer is yes… but see below for more details.

At the end of wine-making, in most cases, a process called 'fining' is carried out to stabilize and clarify the wine. Traditionally this has been done with animal-based products such as milk proteins or egg-whites. More wineries are responding to a growing move towards vegan practices and are fining with more vegan standard techniques using charcoal or bentonite (a type of clay). These processes do not affect the flavours in the wine. Not all wines undergo this process. Natural wines - as the term suggests – are produced with minimal intervention and are left to clarify themselves.

There is a strong movement towards being health conscious and accountable for the foods consumed. We are finding that generally people are drinking less but drinking better. They maybe select a few bottles of wines which they wish to understand as opposed to high quantities of lower value products. This favours the smaller hands-on wine makers as opposed to the larger high-volume mechanised producers. It also reflects favourably on your independent wine merchant.


Political issues; how to make a wet subject dry…

It only takes a small tussle between Trump and Macron to change how the US will consume French wine. A proposed retaliation for France's digital servicing tax has led to a potential tariffs on French Sparkling Wines at ‘up to 100%'. Could this be the greatest threat to the US Wine Retailers since the Prohibition.

Back on home soils we have positive news to report. A more favourable exchange rate has negated many inflammatory price rises, so prices of your favourites are looking stable for 2020. Our friends and suppliers on the continent are still making wines and want us to sell it for them. No problems with regards to trade tariffs to report at present. So, we will keep brining you new and exciting wines as we discover them.

For a full selection of our wines click here or pop into our shop and a member of our friendly team will assist.

Did you know you can filter our wines based on country, region, grape or even those wines which are Vegan or Vegetarian friendly. 

Last Updated: 16/01/2020
Author: Sarah Hattersley
Sarah Hattersley

No comments made yet

Add Your Comment

* required fields

0 items £0.00
My Basket & Checkout

UK Wine Merchant of the Year IWC 2022