Just came across a news report on the Agri-Net Food Service newswire that says that Douro table wines finally overtook Portugese desssert wine sales and now accounts for 51% of all wine exports from Portgual and are up 22% in sales volume.
Further research shows me that there is a very big disconnect amongst younger drinkers when it comes to Port and so there has been a big push for mixologists to use Port in cocktails to lure young consumers back. I particularly find this interesting because there has been a similar effort going on for Canadian icewine in the last couple of years. It hasn’t worked and sales remain flat.
What is particularly ironic and troubling to the industry is the timing disconnect: the 80’s and early 90’s era Vintage Ports are really coming into their own now and I have seen nothing but critical acclaim for the recent vintages from 2007 forward. It is also expected that the 2000 vintage will be great with a few more years of laying down.
I am very concerned about this as a newly minted lover of Vintage Port and Madeira because I’m reading that backholding of stocks is occuring due to fears of overstock of non-selling Vintage Port would drive the prices down – exactly what I want as a consumer. On the other hand, I’d like the great Port houses to stay in business.
So it seems the only hope is for a new generation of younger buyers to get into Port and Madeira. My question is: how? I find it very interesting that my friend who runs her wine club which has a mostly young clientele has never held a Port class. It’s just not on the minds of the younger consumer.
It’s actually painful to walk into the LCBO and see shelves full of unsold Warre’s 1983 and Dow’s 1985 Vintage Port, two of the greatest ones I have ever tasted in my young Berserkdom, while people line up at the cash with Barefoot in their hands.
I cannot support both the icewine and the Port industry singlehandedly. Anyone got any ideas they want to share?