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.
La Paulee de San Francisco: March 12-15, San Francisco Vinography Images: First Light Vinography Unboxed: Week of February 2, 2014 Tasting Organic Rosé Wines from the South of France Vinography Images: Wine Lake 10 Years of Blogging About Wine Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Organic Wines of the Languedoc: An Initial Taste 2014 World of Pinot Noir Tasting: Feb 28-Mar 1, Santa Barbara, CA Vinography Images: Grape Lantern
Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 KirÃ¡lyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy