Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wine Brats' 1999 Top Ten Wine Predictions

At WBC 09 we met Joel Quigley, one of the original Wine Brats (now defunct). Joel turned us on to the 1999 publication, The Wine Brats’ Guide to Living, with Wine, and told us we’d be amazed at how many of their top ten predictions for the future of wine had come true. Here they are, with our comments.

Top Ten Predictions for the Future of Wine (published in 1999), by Tina Caputo.

10. Wine advertisements during the Super Bowl (oops, already happened).
'Nuff said. Though we missed the advertisement(s) referred to.

9. Screw caps will make a comeback—even on wines you’d actually want to drink!
Nailed that one.

8. Genetically altered hybrid grapevines will be able to grow Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Riesling grapes all on the same plant.
Hmmmm…this is and has always been possible through simple grafting. No need to go all GMO on us. But why would anyone want to do this?

7. Prohibition-era shipping laws will finally be updated, making it possible to send a bottle of California red to your Aunt Tillie in New York without fear of being thrown into the big house.
Progress has been made, but there remains a long way to go. In fact, many of the updates have stepped backwards, making wine harder to ship. As for sending a bottle to Aunt Tillie, you still can’t do it. Wine shipments anywhere are illegal through USPS, and just you try to convince a FedEx or UPS driver to take a bottle of wine from you. California wineries can and do ship to New York, but the regulatory compliance is daunting, requiring frequent reporting to each of New York's 62 counties. This law may be changing to allow annual reporting, but you get the idea.

6. Decent wine will be available in bars.
Thank goodness, this has been true for a long time in California, at least in the bars we frequent. What’s the report from where you live?

5. Restaurants will only charge $30 for a $20 bottle of wine, rather than $60.
Still waiting.

4. Wine marketers in the United States will realize that it’s okay to translate French wine varietals into English, i.e., Sauvignon blanc = Savage White.
Ha! Love it. But, alas, no. In fact, our federal regulators would not allow this as “Sauvignon blanc” is a recognized varietal name and Savage White is not on the official list. Sigh.

3. Beer drinkers will finally realize there’s no such thing as a wine gut, and switch!
Could be… could be.

2. Future astronauts will demand hydroponic vineyards on Mars!
We’ll have to withhold judgment on this one. But we will remind viewers of Mondovino that Michael Mondavi predicted that Martian wine would be forthcoming from his descendants.

1. Wine-flavored Powerbars!
Not quite, but keep an eye out for Clif Bar Family Winery. Really. Okay, they did just drop the "Bar" from their name, but it's them all right.

Not bad at all, Tina and the Brats. We have barely cracked the book but it looks great, and we will post a review here when we have finished. Thanks, Joel!

1 comment:

  1. It's funny how time warps perception. I forgot how many of the predictions were tongue-in-cheek. Tina’s still a smart a__. ;-)

    On direct shipping, there have been setbacks, but from my perspective, based on being in the middle of the early battles, it has truly come a long way.

    Hope you enjoy the book from a historical perspective. Our main goal was to make wine fun and approachable by having it written from a younger adult's personal perspective and experience (back then anyone under 35 who was into wine was considered very young). And to get them all bylines to help support and launch writing careers. We actually took the advance from St. Martin's Press and pretty much divided it evenly between the coalition of writers. The book also acted as a philosophical guide for our chapter leaders and members.

    Just as many bloggers are doing now, we attempted to do everything within our power to democratize wine and make it part of American culture. So with this perspective, you can see why I’m such a champion of blogging and bloggers. WBC 09 was a like a flashback for me. It was awesome! These are very exciting times, again.


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