Parker’s Predictions, A Decade Later

saved my points






It’s January and that can only mean two things. One, I’m trying to figure out whether to eat a sensible dinner or spend my points on a few glasses of wine instead, and, two, the annual ritual of booze trend forecasts are flooding the interwebs.

This is nothing new, but it got me thinking. How many of these predictions actually come true? Foreseeing next year’s trends is a challenge, but what about those from a decade from now? Woo-wee! Who would be bold enough to put themselves on the line like that? Robert Parker, that’s who.

So, let’s see how the “Million-Dollar Nose” fared. Just over a decade ago, Parker put forward a prediction in Food & Wine magazine:

fw200410_120Robert M. Parker, Jr., the world’s foremost wine guru, makes 12 bold predictions about seismic changes that will influence how we’ll shop, what we’ll buy and how much we’ll pay.

TWELVE!? That is so crazy, Bob, it’s Italian television crazy. More importantly, it’s way too long for me to prove or disprove in a single blog post and keep you reading until the end. Long story short, Parker won some and lost some. Just for fun, I chose my three favorites and excerpted them below, followed by how Parker’s prediction turned out.

Enjoy! Cheers.

Direct-to-consumer and e-commerce wine sales are clearly growing at a steady rate. While many in the industry would like to see them move faster, the fact of the matter is  “online wine sales in the U.S. have been increasing at double digit rates for the past five years, but are still less than 2% of all wine sales” (Osborne, 2014 sourced from Wine over the internet is here to stay and growing, but for now, so is the three-tiered system.

corks-vs-screwcaps_Wine Folly






A decade later, and cork is still going strong, used in 80% of the new bottles produced today according to Wine Enthusiast. That 15% of wine affected by TCA has been reduced to 1-3% of wine affected by cork taint (check out Wine Folly’s awesome comparison!), due largely to innovations and investments made by the cork industry. Screwcap and other alternative closures are widely used and accepted in everyday wines and other wines meant to be enjoyed young. Cork, however, continues to be used globally, particularly on premium wines and above, and is most certainly not in the minority.

Bingo! Bob was right on with this one. Quality wine is now being made around the U.S. and world in unbelievable places. The top three winemaking regions are still France, Italy and Spain, but wine is most certainly coming from unexpected places, from Romania to Thailand to China. With reports of supply dropping, while demand rises, Parker was 100% correct in this particular prediction.

Image Credits: Some Ecards, Food & Wine magazine and Wine Folly.

Related Posts: 2016 Booze Trends: What we love, hate and can’t wait to start Toast the Top 3 Wine Trends of 2014 2013 Wine Trends Marketing Lessons from the 2016 Boston Wine Expo Boozy musings of a former wine blogger: Lesson #1 Staying Sane in the Events and Booze Business