Could there be a wine shortage?

By Gianna Caserta - Reporter

HOUSTON - For those of you who like to unwind with a glass of wine, you might want to start stockpiling your favorite bottles.

"I drink wine every day. My wife and I have a bottle of wine with dinner," says Gary Fitzgerald.

Some experts say a global wine shortage may be right around the corner.

"Wine shortage? I don't think so," says Fitzgerald.

According to a report released by Morgan Stanley Research, the wine industry experienced a shortage of nearly 300 million cases last year, the largest deficit since the 1960s.

"Naturally everybody loves wine so understandably people get concerned right off the bat," says Shannon Paige, Vintners Own Winery Marketing Director.

With bad weather in Europe last year, production has dropped five percent this year. Meanwhile, wine consumption worldwide has increased eight percent since 2000.

"I have a collection of about 10 wines that I keep, but in general I drink it, so I buy it and then drink it," says Fitzgerald.

But many wine lovers, like Fitzgerald, don't think the shortage will affect them.

"Infinite expectation that supply will meet the demand," says Fitzgerald.

"If it comes up short one year, people just reach into their cellars and pull out some of the stuff they have been collecting from years past, and the following year, the weather will bounce back," says Paige.

Even some industry analysts say the fears of a shortage are overblown and wouldn't lead to bottles vanishing from stores. They say the decrease marked a return to a more typical level of production.

Americans guzzle about 12 percent of the world's wine, but only produce about eight percent.

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