Really like Eric Asimov’s recent piece in The New York Times. He argues that while many fine wines are now out of the reach of ordinary wine lovers, there’s still plenty of great wine out there that you and I can afford.
It’s easy to look at the prices of top Bordeaux and the best Burgundies and feel a sense of sadness that we’ll never again be able to afford to buy them. It’s also a little upsetting to see price rises on wines we’ve had a nice relationship with, taking them into the special purchase only category. Take Cote Rotie, for example. I used to buy these wines quite regularly when they were in the £20-30 range; now they’re £40+ it makes me think twice.
But overall, would we put the wine clock back 20 years? I don’t think so. All things considered, there has never been a better time to be a wine lover than now. There are far more interesting wines being made now than there were 20 years ago. Look at the progress made by New Zealand Pinot Noir and Syrah. Look at the revolution in Portugal over this period. Look at the interesting new wines emerging from South Africa. Look at the progress of the natural wine movement. Australian fine wine has never been better.
As long as you can live without top Bordeaux and the sexiest producers from Burgundy, and are prepared to try something new, then, in Eric’s words: ’We live in the greatest time ever to be wine lovers, with access to more high-quality wine in more different styles from a greater diversity of places than ever before.’