Should You Be Hoarding Bottles of Wine?

A blog about business and economics.
Oct. 29 2013 11:19 AM

Should You Be Hoarding Bottles of Wine?

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A judge selects a bottle of wine during the International Wine Challenge in London.

Dan Kitwood

You may have had this feeling after a long day at work—there’s not enough wine in the world. It was probably a fleeting thought, but it turns out your intuition was correct—there’s actually a shortage in the global wine supply. That’s according to a report from Morgan Stanley Research.

There are a couple of pretty obvious reasons for the looming shortage: We’re drinking more and not producing enough. On the consumption side, two countries in particular are consuming more wine than ever, and they are the countries that consume more of most things than anywhere else: the U.S. and China. As Quartz points out, Americans' consumption, which accounts for 12 percent of global consumption, has doubled per capita since 2000. China, for its part, has quadrupled its wine drinking in the last five years. On the other hand, as demand has increased, wine production has declined over the past decade or so, particularly in the wine-producing heavyweights–Spain, France, and Italy.

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There is some hope, however, according to the International Organization of Vine and Wine: “After five modest harvests in a row and an exceptionally weak 2012 harvest, wine production in 2013 can be qualified as relatively high.” The organization expects production to climb to its highest levels in seven years. If you’re not fully convinced about the traditional wine powers’ boosting production, you can always sample up-and-comers Romania and Hungary, which Bloomberg reports are expected to expand their production the most.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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