Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Onward Through the Fug

Postings might be a little light next month. It’s a busy time of year for the wine business and there will be some travel involved. A little research is needed in the area of winegrowing at higher elevations. So, make do, while I do the mountain do. I'm going in.

Before that, a short list. Just a few things on the radar, and a prediction or two.

The price of oil and the weakness of the dollar. Enjoy the buys this year, folks, methinks next year is gonna be a doozy. Oil @ $125+ a barrel and the Euro @ $1.50+ to the dollar. Prosecco @ $20+, Pinot Grigio @ $30+ and Brunello @$95+. This isn’t scraping the ceiling, it’s pealing off the tin cover tiles and fashioning sharp projectiles out of them. I have never seen anything like this in the 30+ years I have been paying attention. Talk about spooky; this ain’t no treat, my friends.
Prediction: Argentina wines will become more prevalent in the Italian restaurants in 2008.

One can always get a sense of how things are going, in the wine business, when we start seeing year end meetings before the end of the year. It could mean a couple of things. What it usually indicates, in this end of the wine biz, is that even though goals are on track, there is a whole lot of wine waiting to be shipped out of warehouses somewhere. So during the busy time of the year, along with trying to move out close to 40 containers of product a day, per warehouse, and another 20+ coming in on the other side, and by the way, the warehouse is packed, make room for some more. It happens like clockwork and there are deals to be made.
Prediction: This glut of wine will dry up in the next 16-24 months. There are some deals out there, but in places like South Africa, Argentina, Chile, places where the dollar isn’t sucking and the country wanting to sell hasn’t just had a drought or a freeze or a hailstorm. Bordeaux wines just might get a break here, but heavily discounted.

Press releases about famous chefs whose names are branded, they keep coming into the in box. One area of discourse hovers around a certain bicoastal chef who operates on a very high level. Think, it’s gonna cost you $500+ for you and your guest to eat there, if you can even get in. A recent discussion has been about this branded chef going into the supermarket frozen food biz. People are in shock over this line extension plunge way below business class. But not to worry, another press release just popped up. Now said chef will release a “very limited” red wine offering from Napa. It had great pedigree and provenance. Meticulous winemaking. Oh, and it’ll set you back only about $200. If you can get any.
Prediction: If you cannot get on the list to get a precious bottle, will feature it next year for $400.

The Get Lost Generation. The young ones in my world have announced we are to no longer refer to them as millennials. That is unless we want to wipe the drool off our own faces in 20 years. Hate to say it, but it’ll be more like 30 years and I am not waiting around for them to refill my Depends drawer or restock my fridge with Ensure. Thanks Bea and Arthur, and all the other market targets. I’d rather do it myself. And seeing as you don’t call us, we’ll not call you – anything.
Prediction: You've got to be kidding. Next.

What is the response to a long air flight, that left one in the very last seat, with no ability to recline said seat, while a previously named millennial supinely slumped his seat into one’s previously functioning reproductive organs – for 4 hours? It’s a simple fix. Send 'em packing.
Prescription: Acupuncture. Go get all that airplane poison released. It stings like a bee and feels like nirvana. And the mindless one from the get lost generation? Just a faint memory. Om, mommy take me Om...

Seat backs and tray tables up. And cross check.

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