A taste of things to come

Robert Parker, the world's most influential wine critic, has just made his predictions for 2015 in a heavyweight American gourmet magazine. Well, two can play at that game. Here's a vision from two different crystal balls:

1. Top wines will attract global bidding wars

Parker says: Ten years from now, a great vintage of [Bordeaux] first growths will cost over £5,550 a case (compared to £2,220 today).

Rose replies: Top Bordeaux will become more polarised, with two dozen trophy wines joined by Burgundy, Rhône, Italy, Spain, California and Australia as investors' playthings. Wine lovers will have plenty of great wines to drink at reasonable prices.

2. France will feel a squeeze

Parker says: The top 5 per cent of estates will turn out compelling wines, but France's obsession with tradition and maintaining the status quo will lead to the collapse of producers that refuse to recognise global competition.

Rose replies: It's already happening, but a new generation fighting back in less-regulated markets such as the Languedoc-Roussillon and vins de pays will stem the tide.

3. Spain will be a star, southern Italy will rise

Parker says: Ribera del Duero and Rioja will assume second place behind up-and-coming regions such as Toro, Jumilla and Priorat. Once-backwater Italian viticultural areas such as Umbria, Campania, Basilicata and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia will be household favourites.

Rose replies: Emerging regions of Spain and Italy will challenge Europe's classic regions and the New World at everyday and fine-wine levels.

4. Unoaked wine will find a wider audience

Parkers says: Given the increasingly diverse style of foods we eat, there will be more and more wines that offer strikingly pure bouquets and flavours unmarked by wood ageing.

Rose replies: Bring on the growing trend for wines whose emphasis is on fruit rather than oak. Forests will be saved.

5. Value will be valued

Parker says: The trend to more high-quality, low-priced wines will be led by European countries. Australia will play a huge role but needs to create accessible wines with more character and interest.

Rose replies: Southern France, Italy, Spain and Portugal will go head to head with Chile, Argentina and South Africa. Australia is on track for better quality and greater variety.

6. Corks will come out

Parker says: Wines bottled with corks will be the minority by 2015. Stelvin, the screwcap of choice, will become the standard for the majority. The exception will be great wines meant to age for 20 to 30 years, although even the makers of these wines may experience consumer backlash if the cork industry does not solve the problem of defective corks.

Rose replies: Spot on.

7. Diversity will be the word, and Malbec will make it big

Parker says: We will see quality wines from Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Mexico, China, Japan, Lebanon, Turkey and perhaps even India. As more of the world's population demands wine, saturation point will not be reached.

Rose replies: Saturation point has been reached. Greece, Croatia and Hungary, and Argentinian Malbec, are the shortest-odds dark horses.

8. The wine web will go mainstream

Parker says: Internet junkies will be mainstream in 10 years. A more democratic, open range of experts and chatty wine nerds will assume the role of today's wine publications.

Rose replies: Online information and sales will change the wine industry for the better.

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