Oct. 30, 2013 at 12:27 PM ET
This may be the scariest thing we’ve seen this Halloween week: The world might be running out of wine.
Don’t freak out, but a Morgan Stanley Research report cited in The Atlantic has data to suggest that there may not be adequate supply to meet the world’s wine demand in the coming years. (OK, proceed to freak out!)
According to the report, the world’s total supply of wine barely exceeded the demand for it last year, and if you take into account non-wine uses, like making vermouth, there was actually a shortage of about 300 million cases compared to demand. That’s the biggest discrepancy of its kind in half a century. And the problem is only getting worse as the world’s consumption of wine has increased more or less steadily since the late 1990s.
So who are the culprits guzzling all this wine? You guessed it: We're drinking a lot of it right here at home. The U.S., along with China, has been drinking tons more vino lately. We drink 12 percent of the world’s wine in this country alone, and global production hasn’t been able to keep up.
The good news is that weather cooperated this year, and 2013 saw a strong harvest. But according to The Atlantic, "reversing the current trend will require more than a single, strong harvest. The U.S. and China alone are projected to consume over 400 million cases of wine a piece by 2016. Who will supply them?"
Pardon us while we run to the store to clear the shelves of all the bottles we can find and bury them in our backyard for future use as the wine apocalypse approaches.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.