As a teen in the 80s I fully expected that by 2012 we’d be living on the moon, flying around in Jetson-style hover thingies and fighting off nasty alien invaders. Not so. Not even closely so. Sure, the world is different, but different in a way nobody really quite predicted. After all, people like to predict extremes – from the clean and neatly designed Star Trek future where everyone happily fits into skin tight pants and flies around in shiny spaceships, to the dirty and chaotic world of the Terminator where you’re lucky to have what you got and everything is covered in dust. And why not? If someone would have told me that in 25 years I’d be able to sit on my couch and chat with anyone around the world for free, I would have said, “big f’ing deal.” If that same person would have said that I’d be able to play Scrabble on a mobile phone that’s the size of a graham cracker, I’d say, “Cool, but still…BFD. Where’s my jetpack?”
The wine industry is notorious for trying to predict what is going to happen in the future and wine marketers are constantly trying to decide what The Next Big Thing is. Wasn’t that supposed to be Viognier? Whoops. Is this the year for Pinot Gris and/or Pinot Grigio? (By the way, thanks for the confusion Australia as you’re the only place on the planet that makes BOTH!) Alternative varieties (reds other than Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot Noir; whites other than Chardonnay, Sav Blanc, Riesling and Semillon) are all the rage, but which ones will stick? Imports? Rosé? They all seem to appeal to segments of the market, but what’s new that will appeal to the masses?
Here’s my answer: nothing…or maybe everything. What the 21st century has brought us is a big fat old case of information overload, which means that each person’s individual tastes can be catered to. There are a million sources out there, each telling us what is good and why it’s good, while old school marketing campaigns are less effective at convincing people of what they like before they’ve had it. (GABBO is coming!) People find specific things that appeal to them and latch onto it. Instead of The Next Big Thing, it’s The Next Lot Of Small Or Medium Sized Things.
The classics will coexist with modern styles and everyone will be happy. That’s what the future is.
Speaking of classics, turn this one up LOUD!
No, really LOUD: