Something is rotten in the State of Denmark, Hamlet famously proclaimed. Rotten may not quite describe it, but something is definitely amiss in the European Union when it comes to importing wine. Apparently it wasn't enough for the US to agree to stop using the words Port, Champagne, and Burgundy on products that were clearly not from these areas.
Today a piece of legislation has gone into effect that forbids the sale of any U.S. wine in Europe that has any of the following words on its label:
chateau', 'classic', 'clos', 'cream', 'crusted/crusting', 'fine', 'late bottled vintage', 'noble', 'ruby', 'superior', 'sur lie', 'tawny', 'vintage' or 'vintage character.'
Is this a bit of sneaky revenge against Chateau Montelena thirty years after the fact? Or just a lousy bit of protectionism in the face of stiff global competition? Sorry Clos du Val, Chateau St. Jean, and any winery that was silly enough to use the word 'vintage' on the label. Place names are one thing, standard English words are quite another.
Now we know why they call it the world's biggest bureaucracy.
Thanks to Jack at Fork & Bottle for telling me about it and pointing me to the text of the regulations.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
The Changing Love of Pinot Noir? Vinography Images: Patchwork California Wine Country Macabre The Latitudes and Longitudes of Pinot Noir Vinography Unboxed: Week of March 15th, 2015 Vinography Images: The Rockpile Do You Need to Worry About Arsenic in Your Wine? At What Price, To Kalon? Rhone Rangers Tasting: March 28, Richmond, CA Vinography Images: Happy Tree
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