Wine Culture and Information since 2002 - Volume 22
×
Home Page Events Wine Guide Wine of the Day Aquavitae Wine Places Guide Podcast Polls EnoGames EnoForum Serving Wine Alcohol Test
DiWineTaste on Twitter DiWineTaste on Instagram DiWineTaste Mobile for Android DiWineTaste Mobile for iOS Become a Registered User Subscribe to the Mailing List Tell a Friend About DiWineTaste Download DiWineTaste Card
About Us Write Us Back Issues Advertising General Index
Privacy Policy
 
☰ Menu


   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 224, January 2023   
The New Life of WineThe New Life of Wine  Contents 
Issue 223, December 2022 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 225, February 2023

The New Life of Wine


 In the collective imagination of enthusiasts, practically unanimously, wine enjoys a decidedly solid and consolidated image. Any enthusiast or buyer, thinking of wine and the way it presents itself before tasting, probably think of it inside a glass bottle, with an “enological” style label, probably sealed with a cork. Furthermore, they expect to have in the glass a drink containing a certain quantity of alcohol, hoping it will be in balance with the rest of its organoleptic qualities. The image changes according to the wine style: the bottle normally used for sparkling wines is not clearly associated – or accepted – for a red wine, whatever it is, saved the case of certain red sparkling wines. Undoubtedly, a sparkling wine is never imagined inside a Bordeaux or Rhine bottle and not only for technical reasons. In wine, very often, the way it is presented, including its dress, undoubtedly anticipate its productive and sensorial characteristics.


 

 The image we normally have of wine is so strongly consolidated that the change of some of its factors, even a very small one, is usually enough to raise the indignation of many enthusiasts. It will be remembered, for example, the endless debates that took place years ago when stoppers other than cork began to appear in the world of wine. Crusades, anathemas and ideological wars were raised to the cry “vade retro synthetic stopper” – or any other solution other than cork – creating prejudices, even ferocious, against the unfortunate wine contained in impure bottles sealed with the new evil caps. It took a few years and, today, although there are still few cases of indignation, alternative stoppers to cork are practically accepted by consumers. The idea alternative stoppers to cork are suitable and, in many cases, better for keeping certain wines, is by now a widely accepted fact in the imagination of consumers. Finding a bottle with a synthetic or screw cap no longer arouses the indignation and disappointment typical of past years.

 Glass, on the other hand, in the imagination of wine enthusiasts seems to be an indispensable and irreplaceable element. At least for now. Nevertheless, in these recent times, due to the new productive and economic conditions, several producers have reported the difficulty in finding glass bottles, so much so that they thought about leaving the wine in barrels or tanks. To tell the truth, in the world of wine, there are alternative solutions since many years now, such as cardboard packages, both for the distribution of modest quantities like the bottle, and for home supply such as to guarantee consumption for several days, like glass carboys, for example. It is a solution usually intended for ready-to-drink wines, with no claim – declared or supposed – to be kept for years, as one would do with a glass bottle. The consumption of wines packaged in cardboard containers, despite the mistrust of enthusiasts, represents an enormous market share, both in economic and volume terms.

 In recent times, moreover, there is another container which is getting a certain interest – including the inevitable and disdainful suspicion – and which is notoriously and mainly used in the soft drinks and beer markets: the aluminum can. It should however be noted, this is not a recent novelty as long-term Italian enthusiasts, so to speak, will probably remember the phenomenon of canned wine adopted by a winery in the early 1980s and destined for the ready-to-drink market. Despite the bureaucratic difficulties, that commercial idea however had a moderate success that could make one think of a very different future for that market. If it is true that in Italy the consumption of wine in cans is today a decidedly marginal phenomenon, in other countries – like, for example, the United States of America – it represents a not negligible market share. However, there are many who are confident in the not so distant future, canned wine will become common and not only for “ready-to-drink” wines.

 Wine, apparently, is also experiencing a new revolution and this is expressed in the phenomenon of dealcoholized wines, that is wines from which alcohol has been partially or completely removed. I have already expressed my opinion in the past about this type of drink and, even on this occasion, I reiterate my “non-interest”, in the sense that, personally speaking, it is a drink I would not buy, just like non-alcoholic beer. However, it should be noted alcohol-free wine is gaining important market shares, a sign that – evidently – there are consumers interested in this drink. This phenomenon seems to be growing above all in the United States of America and in some European countries. In Italy – apparently – dealcoholized wine does not enjoy the favor of consumers who, despite the decrease in the consumption of alcoholic beverages in general, when a wine is chosen, it is preferred the one “with alcohol”.

 Many wine producers, including Italians, believe the production and marketing of dealcoholized wine represents a new market and profit opportunity. They are certainly right and the sales figures confirm it. According to what was issued by The World Bank, the per capita consumption of “pure alcohol” – therefore of alcoholic beverages in general – recorded a drop of 3.2% in Italy, 1.8% in United Kingdom, 1.4% in France and the Netherlands, 1% in Germany. On the other hand, the products benefiting of a significant increase are drinks considered “healthy”, therefore with a lower quantity of sugars and alcohol, with a modest intake of calories. In particular in the United States of America, where the total profit of this type of drink has increased from 22 to 113 billion dollars. In the last two years there has also been a 25% increase in wines with an alcohol content of lower than 10% by volume, while alcohol-free ones have increased by 65%. In accordance with the data issued by ISWR (International Wines and Spirits Record) the sale of dealcoholized wines referred to ten countries taken into examination (Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom and United States of America) is estimated with an average annual increase of 8%, while volumes are expected to double by 2025.

 As far as I'm concerned – and as I've always said, not only in these pages – I'm perplexed by dealcoholized wine, not so much as a phenomenon, but above all and in particular for purely sensorial and organoleptic reasons. Everyone is free to consume and buy what they consider most healthy, coherent, right and respectful to their ideas, manners and lifestyle choices. I do not object, for example, to the need to prefer an alcohol-free drink for health, religious or ideological reasons: freedom, also in this sense, must be guaranteed to everyone, provided it does not harm the one of others. From an organoleptic point of view, the removal of alcohol in wine unequivocally determines an important sensorial imbalance. Wine is an acidic drink, without the contribution of “round” substances capable of effectively contrasting this sensation, it becomes undrinkable. Therefore, the lack of alcohol inevitably needs to be compensated for with “equivalent” substances of a round nature in order to balance the acidity and, in this sense, the enological magic is truly endless. Then, at the end, everyone pours the wine – or non-wine – they prefer into their own glasses. Indeed, even without using a glass at all, as it could become completely useless.

Antonello Biancalana



   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 224, January 2023   
The New Life of WineThe New Life of Wine  Contents 
DiWineTaste Polls
What kind of wine do you like having in February?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   
What is the most important media in choosing wine?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   
What wine do you prefer having as an aperitif?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   


☰ Menu

Privacy Policy

Download your free DiWineTaste Card  :  Test your Blood Alcohol Content  :  Follow DiWineTaste Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter Segui DiWineTaste su Instagram

Download DiWineTaste
Copyright © 2002-2024 Antonello Biancalana, DiWineTaste - All rights reserved
All rights reserved under international copyright conventions. No part of this publication and of this WEB site may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from DiWineTaste.