As you may have seen from the Associated Press, Europe is having their worst wine harvest in recent history. The farmer's union expects France's grape harvest to slump by 20% and Italy's grape harvest to slump by 7%.
My first reaction was, "I must go out and stockpile all of the grower's champagne I can afford/get my hands on to be able to celebrate the next several New Year's." And then I took a breath, calmed down and realized that as hard as it is to hear this news, a down crop always means that the surviving fruit tends to be more concentrated and usually more complex. Talented wine makers will be able to create something amazing out of this low yield.
So I'm holding out hope that despite the tragic loss of yield, French and Italian wines from the 2012 vintage will turn out to be wines that we celebrate and drink for decades.
Until the next time,