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Ep 2 TNWG Wine Times: Old World vs New World

BRINGING BACK THE 'OLD OLD' WINES 🙌

🤔 An age old debate and somewhat of a mystery really in truth to all, is where did wine originate from and what does Old World vs New World wines mean?


🍷 In its earliest format, it looks to have evolved from the Georgian and Persian lands, depicted by the earliest evidence of ancient wine production. There is evidence pointing back to around 7,000 years ago and quite possibly one of the origins was in the regions of the Caucasus and Zagros mountains. Although to be certain, is going to be tough to prove and certainly many lands have claims to being the first.


🤔 Given then that winemaking came from the Middle Eastern and Eastern European communities that produced some of the earliest wines, should we then have called these areas The Old Old World Wines? 🔦


Many consumers no doubt of wine, will think of Old World and immediately think of France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Austria and Greece. However, we should not forget the roots and within this two tiered approach should always include Georgia, Romania, Hungary, Switzerland, Israel, Lebanon and Armenia when referring to the 'Old World' wines too.

The forgotten haven of winemaking and viticultural brilliance has recently made a 'commercialised resurgence', importers and direct vineyard relationships that are beginning to bring the 'Old Old' World category back in to trend and with greater consumer accessibility.



Oregon's budding vines (Apr 23)


OLD WORLD vs NEW WORLD

💡 So in understanding the history of the wine world, we can then look to see which countries of wine origin are deemed Old (as above) and which are New (effectively all wine regions outside of the above).


🤔 New World wines are in fact in 'new' designated areas, but these have been running for, in some cases, hundreds of years from inception by now (1540s in Peru or even earlier potentially in the US for example) or they could have opened recently opened (the UK as a market for example is an ever growing wine growing nation - set to double in hectares under vine in the next decade).


So you could argue, that in fact there should be two tiers in the New World too, making four 'worlds' in total, indeed there are wineries opening up in Denmark and Sweden amongst others too! 🤯 Confused even further? 😂 Global warming, anyone?


🍷💰 One thing that does stand out on Old vs New World is from an investment and cost profile, with the Old Wines oozing supreme balance, complexity of flavour and aroma profile - with their elegance of acidity versus depth and structure of body and in most styles, capacity to age. Their consistency over many generations tends to equate to a price bracket that follows, not least also the land costs of prime sites too - but is there an imbalance? What is fair value for a bottle of wine? We will talk more on this in future issues but is a big identifier and one which explains even the most basic entry level pricings for us as the consumer too.


📰 LEADING WINE HEADLINES 📰

WINNING ARTICLE

Morrisons looks at reformulating Mid-Tier wines to hit lower ABV

Given there have been the seasonal supermarket chain trade tastings over the last month or so, it is interesting to see the message from Morrisons is to look at a sweet spot around the 10.5% ABV level alongside the continued development of lower alcohol ranges. We watch this space with interest.


Other Articles that Caught My Eye:


  • Champagne house threatens to sue UK firm for naming sparkling wine 'Crystal' https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/oct/25/champagne-louis-roederer-threatens-to-sue-uk-producer-crystal-sparkling-wine-renegade-cristal

  • A revival is underway for Marsala as a 'sipping wine' https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2023/10/a-revival-is-underway-for-marsala-as-a-sipping-wine/

  • Champagne battles to Fix Worker Conditions: https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2023/10/champagne-battles-to-fix-worker-conditions?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=01%2F11%2F23

  • Burgundy reflects on its business model: https://www.meiningers-international.com/wine/news-wine/burgundy-reflects-its-business-model?utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=MI_Newsletter&utm_campaign=Newsletter&utm_source=AfternoonBrief&utm_medium=newsletter

  • Could climate change spell doom for biologically aged Sherry? https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2023/10/could-climate-change-spell-doom-for-biologically-aged-sherry/

  • The Global Wine Industry grapples with Labour Shortages https://www.meiningers-international.com/wine/news/global-wine-industry-grapples-labour-shortages?utm_source=AfternoonBrief&utm_medium=newsletter

  • Clare Valley hit by devastating frost https://winetitles.com.au/clare-valley-hit-by-devastating-frost/?utm_source=AfternoonBrief&utm_medium=newsletter


📈 🤓MARKETS IN BRIEF🤓📉

With the FED and BOE holding interest rates at current levels this week, it gives you as the investor a pause for thought too. Fixed rate ISAs in the UK are at around 5.6-5.7%, less for easy access ISAs. Additionally, 1 year fixed savings accounts are under 6% (after the withdrawal of NS&I at 6.2%), so it does beckon the question - what do you invest in at this point?


Equities are looking susceptible and if the doom and gloom is believed, then the UK faces a recession next year and therefore cuts in interest rates to follow (thus saving rates too) and whilst the US is faring better, the S&P500 is largely dictated by the top 1% right now - so growth seems limited to the upside.


Have you thought about fine wine investing? Admittedly, as per the Liv-Ex Fine Wine 100 Index, it has fallen this year by -10.3% YTD, BUT, this could be the time to look at it. Investing in fine wine is NOT those which you will drink at a later date, these are to hold for later years, with a reduction in supply and further ageing of the wine - the most expensive wine (according to website winesearcher) sits at an average price of $48,616 for a bottle of Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru - and if you had held some Leroy from an early vintage, the growth potential would have been HUGE......worth a thought....


An alternative asset class which is a physical asset, stored in bond, warehoused and condition reported to ensure authenticity? Alternative assets should, in my view, never constitute much more than 10% of your total assets but can be highly advantageous for a diversified portfolio. If you want to discuss more on fine wine let me know and I can put you in touch with the portfolio managers at Vin-X Fine Wine Investment .


📈💵Medium Term Investment View 📈💵


In Brief, my medium term outlook view is:


Equities - Pretty neutral (some small exposures historically in US tech).

Bonds - Long (short dated gilts especially),

Property - Long (but I would like to reduce some of this exposure),

Alternative Assets - Long (but no more than 10% of total assets and 0% exposure to Crypto personally, as I do not understand it and therefore, do not invest in it.)

Gold - Long (and more generally commodities too via ETFs).

Emerging Markets: Reduced my long which was created on the view of Chinese rebounds post-COVID and would now sit Neutral for now.


Caveat: Please when considering investments and especially pensions too, seek professional help if unsure and I have recommended in the past 3 great IFAs - here again in case you missed it: Mark Johnson Angeline MacLaren Jono Randell-Nash


🍷WINE REVIEW🍷

As part of the Unusual Wine Series, where I look to explore Unusual Grape Varietals and Wine Regions, I have been drinking this beauty this week and wanted to share with you.




🍷DIDEBULI - ORANGE KISI, Georgia 🍷

Georgian orange wine made from the little known white grape of Kisi, food friendly and highly drinkable. The wine gains the orange colour from being fermented on skins for 2-3 weeks in qvevri (clay vessels similar to amphorae buried in the ground). The skin contact for this elongated period brings with it a touch of tannin and grip which gives it a wonderful texture. Aromas of dried apricots, spices, orange peel, brief nectarine and citrus and even a touch of tea resonate in the bottle. Best served between 8-10 degrees I would suggest.

Now some are put off by orange wines (which is absolutely fine) but this is a great example of one which is readily available, won't break the bank (under £10) and really invites you to challenge yourself. This wine would also hold up with dinner or after, for me though, I would look to encompass it at this time of year with a hearty sausage based stew or some grilled lamb and if meat isn't your bag, then go for a good lentil dish to align beautifully.

💡 Go on, give Orange Wine a try and let me know what you think....


UPCOMING EVENTS:

That's quite enough from me this time, stay tuned as there are a lot of exciting opportunities arising over the next few months and into Q1 next year.


Here are just a few things to keep in mind:


  • 📣 For those in Sheffield - there will be a 'Wine Tasting Monthly' coming to town from early next year - where we will challenge your tastebuds and have fun with trying different varietals and wine producers. Location to be announced shortly.

  • 📣 If you are on Instagram, follow me to see the latest Food and Wine Reviews alongside some live Podcast appearances. Plus the Unusual Wines Series.

  • 📣 New Podcasts coming in January - namely 'The Andy and Olly Show' Series 3 - see Series 1 and Series 2 on all major apps now.

  • 📣 New Podcast series - 'What Wine Sits on Your Dinner Table, Tonight?' - where I will be interviewing award winning wine writers, wine communicators and wine specialists on what sits on their dinner table.

  • 📣 And finally for next time, look out for my '12 Bottles of Christmas' - what I am planning to have at my Christmas table!


Thanks for reading, always welcome feedback and comments, so feel free to reach out or comment on this at any point. If you need a corporate wine hosting or advice on wine in any form or are looking for someone to provide you with a range of wines for your cellar - give me a shout.


Cheers 🍷

Andrew aka The Northern Wine Guy

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