New World wine producers will continue to increase their market share at the expense of European and particularly French producers, a leading wine expert predicted last week.
Willie Lebus, trade sales director of leading independent wine company Bibendum, told delegates at the Master Innholders conference that the Old World wine market was under threat because it was "in a mess".
He blamed this decline on bad marketing and the fact that wine accreditation bodies were controlled by regional commissariats, who were not brave enough to admit that competition came from other countries and not their regional neighbours.
He urged restaurateurs to refresh their wine lists regularly to keep track of new producers, and to price keenly. He added that restaurants with over-greedy mark-ups "would die".
However, he also forecast that British diners would increasingly pay more than the £12 average for wine in restaurants as they became more educated and drank better wines.