Well, there are lots of reasons that the French wine industry is headed for (already met with?) disaster, but recent news has highlighted a few brutal new realities. Just a couple of days ago, the French National Interprofessional Wine Office released a study showing that in the last 5 years France has lost 1,000,000 wine drinkers to beer and other spirits, and that per capita, wine consumption has dropped a full 50% in the last forty years. These are truly dire numbers, that combined with over-production, militant-terrorist winemakers, and waning global demand for the higher priced wines make me want to short sell the whole country (if that were possible).
Then if you want even more imminent visions of a pending wine apocalypse, you might listen to Bernard Magrez, the bazillionaire owner of thirty-some odd wine properties around the world who is convinced that the winemakers of the new world are going to put the final nail in the coffin of the old guard of France when they figure out that global tastes of aging populations are going to swing towards less fruity, more refined wines. It's only a matter of time, he says, and when the new world winemakers get on that train, everyone will be doing their shopping in California, and the older chateaux of France will finally die out. Dire predictions, to be sure, but it's not a scenario that is entirely farfetched.
Why don't we all go out and buy a bottle of our favorite French wine and savor it for whatever the future holds.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
The Superb Grace of Old Vines: Drinking Janasse The Zinfandel Experience: January 31, San Francisco Vinography Unboxed: Week of January 4, 2015 Vinography Images: The Colors of a New Season Vinography Unboxed: Week of December 27th, 2014 Vinography Images: Rich Skies Losing a Legend in Serge Hochar Flirting with the Ecstatic: The Wines of Nikolaihof, Austria Vinography Unboxed: Week of December 20, 2014 A Grape By Any Other Name
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