Climate change has already hit the bottle hard. Production in key places like California, Chile, and South Africa is expected to drop, and let’s just hope the “Freeeeeedom!” Chablis from William Wallace Vineyards is better than it sounds. We’ve covered this before, but it bears repeating: Before vintners start wearing kilts, certain grapes in certain regions will yield wine with higher alcohol content. California Zinfandels, for instance, are already 30 percent more alcoholic than they were in 1990. Before too long, wine could approach the one-and-done potency of bathtub krupnik.
This might all sound good at first, but there are some significant downsides. Like:
1. At wedding cocktail hours you go from anonymous to hilarious to town asshole before photos are done.
2. Mom thinks she’s 40 percent funnier at Christmas. She’s only 10 percent funnier, but not for the reasons she thinks.
3. During final exams, master sommelier candidates’ observations progress from “subtle hints of leather and chocolate” to “damn, shit is TIGHT” in record time.
4. The nation’s jails are unable to house all the children forgotten at soccer practices.
5. “I just want to have dinner and a nice glass of wine at home” is functionally the same as Fleet Week.
6. Misplaced white-wine spritzers could start a brush fire.
8. Renewed concern over Johnny Depp’s health.
10. Televised Catholic services displace Sunday Night Football.
Drastic cultural shifts aside, winemakers do have a few ways to adjust to the warming climate besides moving their vineyards to Scotland and Tasmania. They can switch to varietals that thrive in the heat — like Merlot. Sorry, oenophiles.
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