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grapesAfter assessing the accuracy of some prominent headlines regarding  Covid 19 and the wine industry, wine data guru David Morrison digs into the findings of the recently published report from Wine Intelligence on the prospects for the wine industry going forward.

As widely reported, the good news is that wine sales are up compared to pre-pandemic levels. (So are beer sales I might add).

But the bad news, according to the surveys conducted by Wine Intelligence, are that social drinking occasions are not going to reappear soon. When asked what they are more likely to do once pandemic restrictions are lifted, roughly 40% of  the sample of regular wine drinkers report they are less likely to go to a bar, party, or restaurant, or host a party at home compared to their pre-pandemic activity.

And the worse news is that most wine drinkers report that increasing savings is their main priority going forward. That is money that will not find its way into winery coffers. (Visit David’s site for the graphs)

The increase in sales suggests that people will not stop drinking wine. But the shrinking interest in social occasions and the desire to save suggests they won’t be splurging on expensive bottles. Now is probably not a good time for wineries to be thinking about raising prices.

It will be interesting to see if wine quality can be maintained at lower price points. And how long will Napa Cabernet growers continue to get $8000 per ton for their Cabernet Sauvignon?