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January’s thoughts…

January 15, 2022 Tags: 0 comments
January is normally a quiet, boring month for the wine industry, nothing really happens.

The harvesting is over, the quality of the vintage has been declared and the wineries have been deeply cleaned. The wine is still in the making, it will be at least another 4 or 5 months before the wine is bottled, released and tasted and even in the vineyards there isn’t much to do. This is also a time when family owned wineries take a few days off. At least the small wineries like the ones we import from. It will be March when wine becomes a “hot” subject again with the beginning of the wine fairs season.

Even wine magazines and papers have little to write about so the first couple of issues are all about trends and news and plenty of space is currently taken by the impact of Brexit and Covid and the consequences for the industry and the wine drinkers, from short supply to logistic issues due to the new UK custom checks, to price increase due to everything going up on price.

As importer of our wines, we have experienced first-hand the impact of Brexit. Brexit has made our life more difficult and expensive; what before would have taken 3 days to cross the channel now takes at least 2 weeks, assuming that customs process the documents quickly and everything is in order, and expensive because not only shipping costs have gone up due to fuel increase, wage increase for lorry drivers and so on, but because now, there are two custom clearance processes to go through, the EU and the UK. At we still are positive and hope that soon the process will be harmonized and streamlined for the good of both sides.

One of news I recently read about was that more and more “non wine” drinks are being created or reinvented, reshaped or rebranded, zero alcohol and not, and not only the market share for wine is shrinking but someone is predicting that it will soon become a fight for survival. I believe wine has been made a scapegoat, instead of blaming the modern culture of binge drinking we are trying to fix the problem by removing it all together. This is a short term fix that not only will not solve the problem but will eventually create more. I recently read that drinking too many sugary drinks has been found to increase chances of bowel cancer.

Abuse or overconsumption, whether wine or coke or food, is never good. Creating a culture of drinking responsibly is the solution. The same applies for food. This is an important subject and needs more than a post on a blog, it needs a proper, public debate, we need a totally new approach, a line that says “drink responsibly” or “high sugar content” on the label or packaging is not enough, consumers need to understand and the government needs to do its part to make healthy food and drinks available and accessible to everyone. Despite costs going up and taxes being added, the retail cost of unhealthy food and wine keeps going down.

The only solution to the problem is to promote and incite a cultural change. Food is our fuel, is what makes our body working properly, the moment we reduce its quality, it is going to affect the way it works, for every pound we save when buying unhealthy food or binging, we are shortening or compromising our lives, is this worth? There is an old Italian adage that says “better little but of good quality”, whether food or clothes, lets listen to the Italian once...

Enough now for January’s thoughts and I promise you the next post will be about wine.
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