One of the quieter, but most important, global wine markets is Japan, whose population has been called one of the most wine knowledgeable in the world. Consumption is still relatively low, but value is high, with sales of wine over $28.00 a bottle continuing to increase. And in February this year, the Japan Times reported that Japan had seen the world’s third-largest rate of growth, after South Africa and the US. We asked some industry observers for their view of the market.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the USA’s fifth-largest city and the nucleus of a metro area of 6m people. Rich in arts, culture, education, and a history significant to the founding of the country, the city is vibrant, as are its culinary and wine scenes — despite state control of all liquor sales through the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB). Layers of taxes and fees and near-retail pricing for restaurateurs, among other issues, all provide challenges to wine professionals and consumers. The PLCB has changed procedures in the past for area producers, however, so the outlook citywide is growlingly optimistic. Scott Saunders takes a look.
Washington, DC, seat of the federal government for the US, is an autonomous district, and as such it is unencumbered from certain state regulations, notably those which influence the import and distribution of alcohol — a twist that has helped create one of the nation’s most diverse and creative beverage scenes. The mix of universities and government representatives (and lobbyists in tow) keeps the District’s demographics skewed young, intelligent, affluent and out on the town, factors that no doubt have contributed to DC leading the nation in wine consumption per capita, and by a good margin. Scott Saunders speaks to wine scene representatives.