Felix Salmon

There’s no global wine shortage

Have you heard about the global wine shortage? Of course you have: it’s been covered in pretty much every media outlet imaginable, but Roberto Ferdman’s piece for Quartz (“A global wine shortage could soon be upon us”) was one of the first, and also one of the most detailed. Still, it was the classic single-source article: it basically took one Morgan Stanley report, reproduced a bunch of the key charts, and added a clickbaity headline.

How money can buy happiness, wine edition

I spent the past couple of days in Berkeley, participating in a number of events at the inaugural Berkeley Ideas Festival. The highlight for me was interviewing Donald MacDonald, the architect of the new (and magnificent) Bay Bridge. But I was also asked to present a little “provocation” on the second morning, in between heavier sessions covering topics like the effect of 3D printing on the manufacturing workforce and the rise of the plutocracy.

The decline of the Robert Parker empire

Since I’m on the subject of fallen emperors, it’s worth catching up with the latest Robert Parker news.

The Robert Parker bombshell

This is a bit odd. Last month, Lettie Teague had lunch with Robert Parker, and asked the questions on everybody’s mind: “Was Parker planning to retire? Did he have a replacement? Was he selling the Wine Advocate?”

America’s minuscule high-end wine market

Dan Levy at Bloomberg has a big story today under the headline “America Drinking Top-End Wine Fuels Napa Deals”. It’s mostly about land and winery transactions, but this jumped out at me:

The avoid-brands wine strategy

The best bit about wine is drinking it; the worst bit about wine is buying it. You walk into a wine store, or a supermarket, and you see hundreds of different bottles, most of which you’ve never heard of. And you’re then expected to somehow pick exactly the right one, in the knowledge that if you get it wrong, both your meal and your wallet are likely to suffer the consequences. So it’s hardly surprising that most people go with what they know, and end up buying something adorned with a well-known brand.

Charts of the day, wine-heat edition

Last year, I blogged a paper about the way in which wineries lie about the alcohol content of their wines. Now, the same authors have a new paper out, trying to get to the bottom of exactly why wine is getting hotter.

August break

I’m spending this week relaxing in Sweden, taking advantage of the fact that the debt ceiling got raised to drop off the grid for a bit. So here are some things I’ve run across, in no particular order; they’re all worthy of being blogged in more detail.

Why is wine getting hotter?

I’ve long suspected that this is true, but now there’s a formal academic paper proving it: