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.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Warm Up: The North Fork of Long Island I'll Drink to That: Kareem Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards 2015 Family Winemakers Tasting: August 16, San Francisco I'll Drink to That: Ryan Looper of T. Edward Wines Lost Treasures in the Sierra Foothills: The Wines of Renaissance Vineyards Warm Up: The Wachau I'll Drink to That: Leo Alzinger of Weingut Alzinger Petaluma Gap Wine Tasting: August 8th, Petaluma, CA I'll Drink to That: Monica Samuels of Vine Connections Vinography Images: Cool Climate Chardonnay
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune