Consumption is at its weakest since Italy was unified as a country in 1861, according to Coldiretti, the main farmers' association. The most immediate cause has been the economic downturn, which has pinched incomes.
Bordeaux wine output will probably fall more than the 20 percent forecast last month after rain at the end of September caused grapes to rot, prompting some growers to speed up harvesting, the local wine bureau said.
To judge how far barolo has come in the past three decades, check out the prices on some of these better-known bottlings. Angelo Gaja "Sperss" goes for $315, Brovia Monprivato, $372, while Giacomo Conterno Monfortino Riserva costs $638.