An interesting story came up in our planning meeting this afternoon that you won't see on the broadcast because of time constraints, so we thought it was worth mentioning in this space. It's about the issue of global warming, and another disturbing prediction, especially to those of us who are concerned about grape expectations. (In addition to my role as a senior producer of the broadcast, I am also a wine critic for MSNBC.com and NBC Mobile on cell phones.)
A report just out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that by the end of the century, climate warming could wipe out at least half the areas suitable for growing premium wine grapes in the United States. The contention is that there will simply be too many very hot days for grapes to grow properly, especially in the Southwest and central parts of the country. The areas at risk also include California's Napa and Sonoma Valleys, which form the backbone of this country's multi-billion dollar wine industry.
By contrast, the paper suggests that conditions for grape growing might actually improve in parts of the Northwest and Northeast, where, if you ask some wine lovers, they're not too bad right now (Oregon, Washington and New York all produce excellent wines).
So consider this just the latest food - or wine - for thought on global warming as you pour yourself a glass of California cabernet or chardonnay with dinner after watching tonight's broadcast. Cheers.