Many of my friends on Facebook have been freaking out about two things over the past couple of days: the temporary closing of the Sriracha plant in Irwindale, Calif., because nearby residents are tired of the fumes coming from the plant, and the recent Morgan Stanley research that says there is a global wine shortage. Neither of them are a signal of the end of the world as some of the freakouts have suggested. There are plenty of homemade Sriracha recipes easily found online. And, the wine situation isn't as dire as the headlines and my friends are making it out to be.
According to the research, world demand for wine exceeds the current supply by 300 million cases. While consumption of wine has been increasing over the past two decades, production has decreased. A decade ago, supply of wine outweighed demand by about 600 million cases. So what happened?
Prices dropped and wine makers stopped overproducing as the laws of supply and demand took effect. In addition, there have been some recent poor growing years. At the same time, more people started drinking wine, particularly in the United States and in China. Now, demand is higher than supply.
How will wine drinkers cope when they walk into their local wine store and find the shelves empty? There will be no need to cope. Shelves won’t go empty. Prices will go up, people will buy less wine at high prices, and the market will begin to even itself out. People may not be able to afford as much as wine as they have been over the past couple of decades, but if they want to buy wine, it will be there.
From what I’m reading, the Morgan Stanley research took into consideration only large wine producers, not “boutique” or small local wineries. A smaller supply of wine from large producers may actually be a good thing for local wineries. Demand for their wines may increase and this global problem could be helpful to local economies.
So there’s no need to panic or as, I’ve seen news headlines and friends alike advise, “Drink up now before it’s all gone.” It’s going to be fine.
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