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Wine & Spirit LogoI was invited to a very interesting breakfast meeting the other day, organised by Wine & Spirit Magazine (the UK version) and also by Wines from Rioja in the UK.

I don’t want to spoil any surprises that David Williams and his magazine might have planned for their coverage, but I did want to point out that despite there being a variety of people from the trade around the table, the views on Rioja were very, almost flatteringly, positive.

I think that is a good sign. I imagine that the UK trade is experienced and cynical enough not to get complacent, and to be honest, Rioja does seem to be one of the most switched-on regions in the world with regard to marketing and communications (although that isn’t saying much). However, there are things Rioja still needs to work on if it wants to stay ahead of the pack in terms of consumer recognition and acceptance.

One question had us all scratching our heads a little. Where will Rioja be in 25 years? It has been about that same time span that wines from Rioja have made their mark in the UK, really kicking off in the 1970’s, but the pace of change today is so great, can we see anything at all that far ahead? I’ll post a link here to the coverage of our answers when the article goes live – I wonder how accurate any of this will turn out to be. Feel free to post a comment here in May 2033 and I’ll try and respond.

While we wait for time to pass, what do you think? Will Rioja continue to be highly regarded? Will it have been overtaken by another Spanish region? Will D.O. Rioja even exist or will the whole Denominacion de Origen and Appellation Controlee system have been replaced? I wonder.

One thing is pretty certain, I think wine tourism will be even more important here. Unless wine has drastically fallen out of favour with consumers, I imagine even more of us will take the time to explore the places that represent its history and traditions, even if we are drinking more of the wines of China, India and Brazil at the time.

Anyway, what kind of corkscrew will we need to open a bottle of wine on the Space Station?