Hot on the heels of the debate from the last couple days here on Vinography about whether oak barrels are obsolete, comes news that France will now allow winemakers to use oak chips in winemaking, along with some other new world techniques, including those which lower the alcohol in wines.
The French call them "shavings" but it was announced today by the French Ministry of Agriculture that the lower cost use of oak chips would help French wines better compete on price with others around the world for whom these techniques are, if not prevalent, certainly commonplace.
Reactions have ranged from relief and encouragement to outrage, and, from at least one wine bar patron in Paris, pronouncement of the End of Days.
From my perspective, it's great to see things changing in France, if only because for so long they haven't been. And as many thousands of angry winegrowers are fond of pointing out with bricks and pipe bombs and truckloads of manure, what they've got ain't working.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
I'll Drink to That: Danilo Nada of Nada Fiorenzo Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 8/23 Vinography Images: Night Sorting Small is Beautiful: The Champagnes of Savart I'll Drink to That: Karl duHoffmann of Anchor Brewing Warm Up: Jerez de la Frontera I'll Drink to That: Antonio Flores of González Byass California 2015 - Vintage of Fire Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 8/16 A Selection of Georgian Wines
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