The Economy and Wine


What impact has the worst economic recession since the 1930’s had on the world wine trade and on US wine consumption? Have US consumers changed their wine drinking habits because of the current recession? Or is wine truly recession-proof?

Join us, as Ted Burns and Brian Clark discuss wine and the economy with two leading experts in the business of wine, Cyril Penn and Danny Brager. Cyril Penn is editor in chief of Wine Business Monthly, a publication with the largest circulation of any wine trade publication in North America. Danny Brager, Vice President at The Nielsen Company, is the Group Client Director for the Beverage Alcohol Team at Nielsen.

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Show #241
(50:28 min 36MB)

2 Responses to “The Economy and Wine”

  1. 1 Andrew Jul 6th, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    The 75% of wine is bought by women discussion was interesting. Because the #’s show they buy while grocery shopping. Couldn’t you take the grocery sales data and infer womens buying habbits? Red vs white and price points?

  2. 2 Geoff Jul 20th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    From a wine sommeliers perspective in a high volume retail store, it was all quite interesting stuff and your guests were seemingly quite correct and articulate. Sauvignon Blancs from NZ with their brisk acidity and vivid fruit have grown quickly with open-minded wine-lovers, but I think the value and popularity of Argentinian and (to a lesser extent) Chilean wines has been well under-estimated. US wine lovers have been spoiled for the last two to three years, but sadly… no more. In late 2007 Argentina was selling 2003/4 Malbec vintages on US shelves. In 2009 we are already seeing (March harvest) 2008 vintage Malbecs already coming through the pipeline. Five vintages sold in less than three years tells the truth of their real value and appeal. Those who want the soft, smooth, rich, full-flavored inexpensive $8-$16 Malbecs they are used to, had better start buying what remains of the 2005/6/7 vintages now while they still can. The 08’s are light, tannic and tight like all younger wines, and very different in character until they are well aged. Fortunately two to three years is all they take.
    Interestingly not much was said about Spain, but Spanish wines from 1999, 2001, 2004 (good to great vintages) are also still available at retail ($20ish and under) and are becoming much more popular. Because their wines by law, have to be aged in bottle and barrel before release.. great values and quality are still to be found.
    I meet several hundred clients a month and find ladies to be not much different than men although they do buy in smaller, more regular quantities and lots. Many are stick-in-the-muds for their buttery, oaky Chardonnays (ladies) and “big dry Cabs and Zins” are the standard ‘wine 001’ demand from men. Men clearly feel empowered to buy far larger numbers of bottles at one time and often “…NEED A CASE” in far louder than necessary voices. I far less frequently see ladies “filling up the cellar” on their own, but men do it all the time.
    The other two clear and major differences are firstly… that ladies, largely still the cooks at home, are far more likely to ask quietly for input about, and try new varietals while looking for interesting wine and food flavor pairings. As with driving directions, men tend to pretend they know a lot more than they do. If they really did, they would spend far less time looking blankly at labels on shelves which tell them nothing and far more time selecting and loading up their carts with wines they ‘know’ about.
    Secondly, and quite amusingly… some ‘ladies’ with large shoulder bags noticeably make sure they get their “discounted bottles” all while “not being able to find a single wine they were looking for…”
    Men tend to ask more demandingly and honestly for percentage discounts.

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