Study: Climate Change Might Kill Us All, But It Also Makes Wine Taste Better!

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Here’s the bad news: we’re melting the ice caps, polluting the air, filling the oceans with trash, chopping down forests, slowly driving all species (including our own) toward extinction, and otherwise doing our very best to destroy the earth and make Captain Planet cry.

The good news? Climate change is making the wine taste AMAZING. Hell yeah!

This week, Nature Climate Change published a study from researchers Benjamin I. Cook and Elizabeth M. Wolkovich (it’s official because they used middle initials!) which says thanks to the increasing temperatures caused by man-made climate change, wine is actually getting tastier.

That’s because in wine-making, an early harvest of grapes means grapes with a better acid balance and a higher sugar content, which means a higher quality kind of wine.

NAPA, CA - OCTOBER 1: Merlot grapes sit in bunches after being freshly picked during a night harvest for Artesa Winery October 1, 2007 in Napa, California. Wineries in the Napa Valley are in the midst of harvesting their 2007 crop, a year that many are predicting will be a stellar vintage. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Back in the old days when polar bears had places to sleep, winemakers used to have to pray to the sun god that the summer would be hot and dry so they could get that coveted early harvest of grapes for the best wines. Sometimes, they winemakers would have a bad year, and people would have to go back to drinking Two Buck Chuck.

Since France in particular is 2.7 degrees hotter, people are getting those good harvests more frequently and earlier. And France, as the guy at Whole Foods tells me, is where the BEST wine comes from. Sorry Italy and California, but they’ve been making wine in France since 425 BC.

Don’t take this as an excuse to cancel your recycling services just yet. Because if climate change continues on its current path, the warmer earth actually makes it WORSE for the grapes (not to mention, every other living thing).

One of the authors of the study, Elizabeth Wolkovich, who is an Organismic and Evolutionary Biology professor at Harvard, believes that the globe is at a tipping point. She wrote in a statement, “The trend, in general, is that earlier harvests lead to higher-quality wine, but you can connect the dots here… we have several data points that tell us there is a threshold we will probably cross in the future where higher temperatures will not produce higher quality.”

But for now, the wine is only going to get better.


So the world’s going to hell in a smog-filled hand basket, but at least we’ll all be wasted on the very best as we descend.