A recent report by a pair of Melbourne, Australia-based Morgan Stanley analysts said that we are on the verge of a global wine shortage of unprecedented proportions. Egad! Being a wine critic, of course, this prediction chilled me to my very bones. Apparently, despite the fact that the world's vineyards produce some 2.8 billion cases of wine each year, we want more than that. We're a wine-crazed bunch, we humans.
But before the riots in the street start, I should also point out that several other financial institutions weighed in, more or less saying that Morgan Stanley's report was so much hogwash (if you wash your hogs with wine, that is; not many people do, but it does make them an attractive purple color). These other financial experts note that wine production in 2013 is up, that we used to be swimming in a lake of surplus wine and now we are not (a good thing), and that all this vinous doom and gloom is mighty darn premature.
Not being an economist, I'm not going to tell you who's right. But just in case a wine-shortage disaster is nigh, here are five great affordable wines to buy by the truckload, right now.
NV Canals Canals Classic Brut Cava ($15)
An affordable Spanish sparkling wine that offers much more complexity than you'd guess, it's a great buy for holiday entertaining.
2012 Santiago Achaval Recuerdo Torrontés ($14)
An Argentinian white with the scent of peach blossoms and a nice citrusy kick, it's made by one of the country's top winemakers.
2012 Tasca d'Almerita Regaleali Bianco ($15)
A Sicilian classic, from one of the island's oldest wine estates, it's a crisp blend of three native Sicilian grapes—Inzolia, Catarratto and Grecanico—with a touch of Chardonnay as well.
2012 Antucura Malbec ($15)
From the Vista Flores section of Mendoza, this elegant Malbec has impressive balance and a velvety texture.
2011 Falesco Merlot ($15)
If you gave up on Merlot thanks to the movie Sideways, this lightly spicy red is a fine way to reacquaint yourself with the variety (it's from the home estate of one of Italy's star winemaking consultants, Riccardo Cotarella).