No matter how bad you think you have it, there are other folks who have it worse than you. We American wine lovers like to bitch about what a royal pain it is to buy wine from out of state wineries and from internet merchants. In truth, it is a broken and corrupt system -- a perversion of the free market that enriches protectionist state governments and their wholesale lobbyists.
But it's not as broken as France.
Yes, this is another rant against the idiocy of the French government and their utterly astonishing tendency to ruin their own wine industry, one of the great contributions their culture has made to the world.
The French really seemed to be making progress for a while there. The overhaul of the AOC system that they passed earlier in the year was most definitely a step in the right direction.
But last week, a piece of legislation leaked to the press that proves that either:
1. The passing of the AOC reforms was just a brief bout of sanity from an otherwise completely out-of-touch parliament
2. The legislative branch of the French Government is in the pocket of anti-alcohol lobbyists
3. When it comes to understanding the Internet, Parliament is dumber than a bag of hammers
4. All of the above
The proposed legislation places alcohol in the same category as pornography when it comes to regulation on the Internet. This means that wine cannot be sold on the Internet (which is currently the case), and sites dealing with the promotion or marketing of wine for sale by anyone other than wineries themselves must be approved by the government, and can only be accessible during certain hours of the day.
I hardly know what to say in response to this.
I'm not sure if this is dumber than their last demonstration of their legislative incompetence when they passed a law requiring all articles about wine to carry the same health warnings as the bottles themselves. Regardless it is certainly more dangerous -- dangerous to the health of an industry that is struggling in the face of too many challenges to have its own parliament hamstring the ability for the wine industry to promote itself to the French people.
France needs another revolution. First thing we do, let's kill all the lobbyists.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
The Mysterious Art of Selling Direct Critical Consolidation in Wine What Has California Got Against Wineries? Dirty Money for a Legendary Brand Vinography Images: Tendrils Highlights from Tasting Champagne with the Masters Off to Portugal for a Drink Vinography Images: Hazy Afternoon The Dark Queen of Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Domaine du Pégau Does California Have Too Many AVAs?
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