Table Wine

Is Table Wine the new Fine Wine?

I’m sure that if you’re reading this you may be surprised to find that humbler table wine, perhaps not rising to any great acclaim, still share a lineal ancestry with the noblest of their kind.

A Changing Market

In this article I’d like to shine a light on these Table Wines as the market has changed so much over recent years.

Broadly speaking we are now offered traditional fine wines on the one hand, which are mostly out of reach of the majority of wine enthusiasts pockets; and mass market, although much improved, generic commercial wine on the other lining supermarket shelves and chain restaurants the length and breadth of the Country.

There have been changes, mostly the result of agricultural technology, and huge buying power leading to economies of scale. As always these advances effect a way of life, especially for the people who work on the land.

The production of table wine is an ancient story, many thousands of years in the making, but fundamentally only marginally different today than of old.

Danger Signs

Please be in no doubt that we are in serious danger of losing small batch production, traditionally made every day drinking wine for good. The old pattern of farming is on the cusp of extinction. Now is a turning point and it could go either way.

Demographic forces, education, industrial expansion and smaller families made the sustaining of such an agricultural life too precarious for these small family farms. There has been mass emigration from the land.

The remnants of these small working units remain today mostly in the hands of an older generation born at the onset of the Second World War. Their sons and daughters – have largely turned their backs on this way of life. The old way of life will soon be a faint echo only discernible to social historians.

But I don’t want to leave you feeling that everything is doom and gloom, it really isn’t.

The Craft Movement

There is a new generation of craft wine enthusiasts keen to produce the best wine they can without compromise using traditional methods and minimum intervention. The aspirations of these young winemakers is to produce a wine that is a true reflection of the small plot from where the grapes were grown and harvested.

There is a craft wine movement, just like the craft beer movement and craft gin movement.  You can pick up this wine through brilliant specialist importers and independents such as Trailblazing Wine!

These wines will never be cheap. The fact that they are produced in very small quantities from small plots using traditional methods means that in order for the winemaker to make anything greater than a living wage you should be prepared to spend between £10 and £20 a bottle. But it will be worth it!

With the increased interest in small production gin and craft beers, things are looking positive for traditional craft wine. Amongst the trendsetters these really are the new fine wines! But it’s by no means certain that we have saved the humble bottle of hand crafted table wine just yet, the movement has only just started.

So  If you’d like to be part of the movement that saves the humble craft wine from extinction, get in touch if you’d like to try a few bottles – [email protected] – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed! You’ll be the trendiest person in your neighbourhood!

Happy Exploring!

Jerome Harlington

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