So the question it is everywhere, not only in North America but also in Europe and everywhere else. We all want to know how the current economic situation will impact the wine industry. The wine industry production chain is by far not a short one. How will B2B and B2C relationships change and be affected?
As far as my reading has taken me, and my few discussion with others from the field have revealed that in the end those who love wine are not willing to give it up.
So this is a good sign in a certain sense. The common census is that however consumers will be more in tuned to good quality price buys. They are going to be looking for the best the can get. They will want to put a hold on buying those ever so tempting higher priced bottles and will be more appreciative of good, well made wines. As far as I'm concerned, this is a good attitude to adopt. I have too often found myself in a situation where wine snobs have told me, that wine is too cheap to be good. I think it is important to not lose sight of wines which can potentially boast incredible personality even at a lower price range. I do not see what is wrong with being able to appreciate a range of wines which still have a good quality level.
When bombarded with constant publicity for certain wine types, styles or brands, many are influenced and stay within that range of most advertised wines.
Perhaps this more money conscious consumer will be more open to discovering the wonders that lesser known wines can offer.
In any case, keep enjoying your wine, cause its one of life's pleasures which does not need to be sacrificed just yet.