Text Size:-+

A Perfect Example of France's Problem

I've oft bemoaned the sorry state of bureaucracy that bogs down the French wine industry. The country has a huge albatross on its back that prevents it from both being as competitive as it could be on the world market, as well as simply thriving at home (French wine consumption has plummeted in the last 10 years).

A lot of people like to argue with me that the French laws aren't that bad, that they really aren't hampering development of the industry, and that marketing isn't the problem, etc. This always blows me away considering the powers that be continue to pass laws like this one, a recent statute that will require any article about wine published in any French newspaper to carry the same health warning disclaimer that an actual bottle of wine must carry.

That's right. The country that brought you the French Paradox is now worried that you might think wine is actually good for you, so the government (kind paternal figure that it is) will be stepping in to set you straight.

This is not just a silly news story that we can all laugh at and say, "Oh, those silly French!" This is a symptom of a serious malaise, that if left unchecked, will gradually turn France into a country that produces a few top wines for the rest of the world and very little else. The French populace will be drinking more beer and spirits than wine, and the producers who grow and sell the lower end wines that make up the majority of France's wine consumption will have starved to death or will be forced to get out of the business.

Anyone know Sarkozy's e-mail address? He needs a dope slap for letting this happen.

GOVERNMENT WARNING:  (1) According to the Surgeon General, women
should not read any text which might encourage them to enjoy 
a glass of wine during pregnancy because of the risk of birth 
defects.  (2) Consumption of media related to alcoholic beverages
may encourage consumption of the same, which impair your
ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause
health problems.

Buy My Award-Winning Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Instagram Delectable Flipboard Pinterest

Most Recent Entries

It's Time for American Wineries to Grow Up I'll Drink to That: Joy Kull of La Villana Winery Marin County Wine Celebration: June 26, Mill Valley Pursuing Balance in California No Longer Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/12/16 I'll Drink to That: Bruce Tyrrell of Tyrrell's Wines, Australia Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 5, 2016 Vinography Images: Vine Viewing Warm Up: Single Vineyard Expressions in Barolo I'll Drink to That: Alex Sanchez of the Brovia Winery

Favorite Posts From the Archives

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

Archives by Month


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