Monday, December 19, 2011

The Future of Wine

Wine is doomed! Global warming has imperiled the international wine industry. By the end of the century -- and maybe much sooner -- the fabled wines of France, Italy and Iberia will be little more than a memory.

Or, on second thought, maybe not. At the moment, high-quality wine grapes are growing in places like Britain, where they have not grown since the later Middle Ages. At the same time, there is no evidence that the flavors of the great European vintages (or Napa Valley) have been affected. In other words, there is more good wine in circulation than ever before; we are living in the golden age of viticulture.

These are the competing conclusions drawn by John McQuaid, in an article posted at Yale's environment360. In an age of sound bites and over-the-top alarmism, it may seem mealy-mouthed on McQuaid's part to resist confidently projecting a single scenario, whether of doom or of comfort. It took us a moment to remember that serious journalism, like any other sort of serious fact-based discussion, used to routinely resist following after Chicken Little. What a strange place the past is, even for those of us who have been there!

Anyway, the article is interesting for anybody who cares about wine. And why shouldn't we? After all, it is a sacrament.

Note to self: stock up on tawny port. Just in case.

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