Prices continue to tumble as consumers reject booze and embrace credit concerns
That’s the headline in today’s Forbes.com. It goes on to say, “Prices for the best wines began falling over the summer, and as the latest data from wine exchange Liv-Ex reveals, there isn’t much of a recovery expected over Christmas.”
Liv-ex isn’t a laxative, it’s kind of a stock exchange listing for the world’s “top” wines. (DRC, Latour, Krug Champagne and Mouton head the latest list.) They even have an official Jancis Robinson endorsement (hey, who doesn’t? Well, I don’t, but I’m hoping to get one for Xmas. Jancis, email me). Liv-ex is everything I’ve always hated about wine “collecting” — the investment mentality, the commoditization, the label shopping, the snobbery — but, hey, lots of people get off on that. Or used to; the Forbes.com story says Liv-ex’s top 100 Index fell 5.5% from last year, and that was before Bernie Madoff (AKA the sack of shit) stole billions that would have gone into Christmas and Hanukah purchases of First Growths and Grand Crus. Even “Champagne is treading water,” Forbes.com quotes a Liv-ex researcher as saying. So, tough times for all.
I don’t hate wine bloggers!
I really don’t. And what would lead Rob Bralow to accuse me of hating wine bloggers, I couldn’t say. But he does, in this post on his blog. Now, technically, he doesn’t say I hate wine bloggers. He merely says I “do not particularly care for bloggers.” Well, let me make this clear. I like bloggers. And I think it’s not a coincidence that 2 things are happening simultaneously: (1) the financial meltdown that’s hitting print-based periodicals, due to loss of advertising, increased cost of paper, etc., and (2) the rise in blogging, which doesn’t cost bloggers anything. (Well, maybe a few bucks but essentially it’s free). Here’s my historical take. Before Gutenberg invented movable type, few Europeans were literate. The Gute created the means for the masses not only to widely read but to publish, which in turn led to pamphlets, broadsides (think Tom Paine) and newspapers. Now here we have the Internet and blogging. Kind of the same thing. Sort of. I wouldn’t be comparing blogging to Gutenberg if I hated bloggers, would I?