The Prog Nose-Ticator sniffs out some further unlikely bouquets to inhale…
* 2011 Burgundy will be re-evaluated as a much better vintage than previously thought, because 2012 etc… What do you mean there’s no 2011 left?
* All New World wines which score 95 plus Parker points in three successive vintages will be allowed to stamp: “THIS IS AN ICON WINE” on the front label.
* We’ve all heard of reverse osmosis and spinning cones (have we?) but what about flavour inhibitors and deneutralisation? Technological advances will enable winemakers to remove unwanted and unwonted flavours from certain wines (for example, any flavour whatsoever from Pinot Grigio that mindblowingly high yields haven’t already stripped away); conversely, deneutralisation will give the winemaker-technician the opportunity to add a range of the finest fruit flavours known to science to the final blend.
* Osbourne, you reduced the duty on wine because you listened to the reasoned pleas and modest proposals of the wine industry. The naughty yoof culture of the nation takes to the streets by way of celebration quaffing Chablis 1er cru by the half bottle and decking oysters by the dozen like there’s no tomorrow. In total panic the government introduces an emergency duty levy three times the rate of inflation (when inflation was at its highest point in the economic cycle) to clamp down on “middle class exhibitionism, high spirits and bivalve abuse”.
* We will witness the growth of Vin de France on increasingly irreverent labels as French growers trial cuvees, varieties and styles which takes them outside appellation regulations. The anti natural wine brigade will insist on a classification below this to denote unsulphured wines, named Vin de F-Rancid.
* The proliferation of wine conferences, seminars, free trips etc reaches critical mass stretching journalists and other opinion-formers to their limits as life literally becomes an airport carousel, old chum. The Events Horizon expands exponentially as South Africa launches a two week World Pinotage Forum, Chile counters with its Carmenere Classics, whilst California responds with the Black and White Zinfandel Roadshow. Yes, there are 365 days in the year to fill…
*Argentina officially changes to Malbec-istan and closes its borders to white grapes. It then claims the Mal-vinas (literally bad wines for the umpteenth time for its special guano-rich terroir.
* Winemakers will start to experiment with alternative regimes of wood ageing. Rather than oak we may see chestnut and cherrywood and, for cheaper alternatives, swamp mahogany, balsa plank and extract of sawdust.
* A French negoce house decides to label their Burgundies with varietal indication. A Saint-Aubin Chardonnay is bottled – under stelvin – and a small earthquake occurs in Burgundy when thousands of dead growers start rotating in their graves. Less successful is their Saint-Aubin Chardonnay sur Gamay, which is deemed “somewhat confusing” by notable Burgundy commentator Clive Coates.
* More contradictory reports about the good/ill health benefits of drinking red/white wine whether you are male/female. The stress caused by reading such reports inevitably drives more people to drink.