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And You Wonder Why the French Have Problems...

I hope my French readers can distinguish between my criticism of the bureaucracies and intellectual quagmires that make up their ministries or trade organizations like the Grand Chais de France, and my respect and love for the people, the country, and their wine. This is important because I'm about to do some French bashing here.

Today France is considering reviving a category of wine that once existed called "Vin de Pays de France" or "Cepage de France" as a way of battling the current crisis of slumping sales that is seen across France. Cepage de France is the name for a blend of wine that's made from grapes gathered willy-nilly from all over France and blended together so that you can put a bottle on the shelf so that "We should be able to say, this is a merlot from France. Period. We shouldn't have to explain the wine to the consumer."

Uh, hello? At least in America, we call that sort of wine "plonk" and if you think that is going to do much to solve your problems, I think the very idea proves how out of touch with the wine drinking world you are.

And in case you haven't noticed, folks, some of your winegrowers are blowing shit up and killing people in your country, and something like this is going to go over about as well as Mondavi buying up the whole country.

The solution to the problem is not to water down the wine, it's to water down the stupid regulations that prevent people from marketing wine like the rest of the world.

OK. Now I'll go do my deep breathing exercises and calm down. Read the whole story at Decanter.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud