A Taste of The Wine Business
Alcohol has a very unique position in society. It’s a drug and an addictive substance, similar to the nicotine in cigarettes. Unlike any other drug, though, it is widely accepted as a luxury for celebration in most places, much like a birthday cake. All this makes it a hot commodity with explosive and consistent demand.
Alcohol is also extremely regulated and involves many restrictions, licenses, and procedures, especially for international trading. According to the wine import-export data, the total trade of wine in 2021 amounted to $41 billion. Hence, the wine trade is difficult to enter but well worth the effort.
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The wine of today is easily one of the oldest alcoholic beverages known to man. It has its roots in 4000 BCE ancient Egypt, and it might be even older. Grapes are widely considered the food of the gods; sweet, juicy, refreshing, and delicious. Without refrigeration, it must have been pretty common for them to spoil!
The drink is typically categorized by region. Being native to the Mediterranean region, wines from here are called Old World Wines. If grown and made in any other place, it's called a New World Wine.
The Mediterranean Region, around the Mediterranean Sea
Old World countries are renowned for their excellent products due to ideal grape cultivation conditions. The varieties found in regions like France and Italy are also perfect for wine production, and quality control is stringent. Meanwhile, Spain is popular for its unique wines made with novel techniques.
The wine export data shows that New World countries like New Zealand and Australia are popular in the Asian market. Wines are made in tropical locations worldwide nowadays, but Old World wines are still at the top. Yet even South African and Latin American wines have unique characteristics with their own markets.
Top Exporting Countries (2021)
- France ($13.2 billion)
- Italy ($8.53 billion)
- Spain ($3.53 billion)
- New Zealand ($2.07 billion)
- Chile ($1.98 billion)
Wine is closely associated with fine dining, cuisine, and culture. That’s why some of the most developed countries import from the Old World despite having their own production. A great vintage Bordeaux that pairs well with red meat is considered the ultimate of all luxuries.
Our free wine import data shows that countries like the US and the UK import wines from France, Turkey, Italy, etc. Other than that, Australia is a popular origin of great New World wines.
Top importing countries (2021)
- United States ($7.05 billion)
- United Kingdom ($5.09 billion)
- Germany ($3.38 billion)
- Canada ($2.25 billion)
- Japan ($1.68 billion)
What to Expect
This fermented beverage is all about the past and living to the fullest in the present. People are more online now than ever, and international food culture is gaining popularity across the board. Until recently, an occasional glass of wine was considered great for your health. That has now been scientifically disproven within the last few years.
Yet the public’s perception is far from catching up. Wine is considered just like fine food; the two are often seen as symbols of luxury. While the health angle will become more of a challenge in the future, this scarlet ambrosia is far from being forgotten.