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07.13.2012

French To Destroy the California Wine Industry Over Foie Gras

california_wines.jpgOK people, now is the time for outrage. If you value the California wine industry, then you can't ignore the imminent threat it now faces from an official in southern France, who may singlehandedly destroy California wine.

Outraged over the fact that on July 1, 2012, it became illegal to produce, serve, or sell foie gras in California, Philippe Martin, President of the Gers regional council (an area of France near the border with Spain), demanded that French restaurants immediately stop serving California wine.

Some may say "turnabout is fair play" especially after the Congressional cafe in Washington D.C. renamed French Fries to "Freedom Fries" to protest France's refusal to back our policies in Iraq. But this boycott by French restaurants will have much deeper, far-reaching, and painful implications for the California wine industry, experts say.

There are 11 restaurants in France that serve California wines, and they have collectively been responsible for selling a total of 97 bottles of California wine in the past year, from producers such as Kendall Jackson, Beringer, and Gallo Family. Oh, yes, and one bottle of Opus One. Another 25 restaurants know that California produces wines, but haven't yet decided whether their customers are low class enough to want them.

While it remains to be seen whether an entire nation will leap into action at the bidding of an obscure regional official, reactions from citizens on the street suggest a tidal wave of support may be building for the effort.

Antoin Guyot, a 35 year-old graphic designer from Marseilles, had this to say: "California wine? Don't make me laugh. And by the way your accent is deplorable."

Lisette Bonchamps, a 68 year-old pensioner, concurred. "Philippe who? I'm warning you, if this is some sort of scam, my son-in-law is a policeman!"

Meanwhile, Robert Koch, CEO of the Wine Institute was seen at a San Francisco cafe crying into his coffee only hours after a press conference where he decried "the deep injustice of punishing the California wine industry for the stupidity of its elected officials" and warned California wineries to tighten their belts in preparation for what he called the wine industry equivalent of "nuclear winter."

Local San Francisco residents seemed confused by the news, especially now that restaurants serving foie gras are springing up like mushrooms overnight in the Presidio, which is technically federal land and therefore not subject to the California ban on the delicacy.

Almost simultaneously, chefs Tyler Florence, David Kinch, Michael Mina, and Daniel Patterson have all announced plans to open restaurants in tribal gaming casinos around the state, which are also outside the law's jurisdiction. No word yet as to whether these restaurants will be serving French wines.

Council President Martin in the meantime has moved on to his next campaign for social justice, which involves liberating all French Poodles from their American owners, who he says "are unfit to own even one strand of French canine DNA."

Comments (17)

Alfonso wrote:
07.14.12 at 2:01 PM

another blog mentioning poodles. what's with poodles and wine blogs?

Mel Knox wrote:
07.14.12 at 2:41 PM

Alder, this may come as a surprise to you but I have sold a fair amount of California wine in france over the years. Some of this wine was made by yours truly and Jim Clendenen and this wine garnered a fair amount of praise.

TJ Jones wrote:
07.14.12 at 3:47 PM

Thanks much for the laugh. It was a great way to start the day.

D Mayfield wrote:
07.14.12 at 4:40 PM

Brilliant!

Clark Smith wrote:
07.14.12 at 4:47 PM

I have been super-sizing my own liver for some decades now, and loving it.
Patriotism sometimes calls upon Americans to cry fowl, and to stick out their necks to oppose moralistic force feeding. The culinary/industrial complex is a pain in the neck at times, but still a force to be reckoned with.
For Pete's sake, has anybody paid the slightest attention to the way we treat our chickens?

Joanna Breslin wrote:
07.15.12 at 11:01 PM

Is Friday the 13th the new April 1st?

Karen Peterson wrote:
07.16.12 at 6:44 AM

Thanks for the Friday chuckle!

I was laughing about this with a friend and he pointed out the fact that Germany, Turkey and a couple of additional countries already ban fois gras. I guess France has a bigger set of wines to target.

Joe Herrig wrote:
07.16.12 at 8:45 AM

I propose a counter-counter-ban on Galouises...

john skupny wrote:
07.16.12 at 8:48 AM

Foie is so passe, I'm testing new recipe for pink slime tartare!

Mel Knox wrote:
07.16.12 at 5:14 PM

Skupny s wines go well with the pink slime tuna tartare but not so well with the meat version. Clark's wine work well with the meat...it must be the micro-oxycontin.
One thing i like about this website...the capcha prevents posting after more than two glasses.

Hans wrote:
07.17.12 at 10:40 AM

Oh, please send this to M. Philippe Martin. Hilarious.

Gregory wrote:
07.21.12 at 3:32 PM

Alder,
what i find very funny is the fact that californian wines are so bad that only few bottles are sold in french restaurants ...
And if you prefer to eat your hormons-packed beef instead of foie gras : no problem .
By the way, it's well known that only the worst liver are exported so instead of dumping it to americans, french farmers will dump it to chinese folks.
THAT is funny, isn't it ?

Chris Lopez wrote:
07.22.12 at 12:13 AM

This is hilarious! Love your sarcastic posts, Alder.

@Mel Knox - I have had four glasses tonight and barely sliped by the captcha! =)..... after 3 tries

07.22.12 at 12:54 AM

I remember when California outlawed smoking in bars it was said that would be the end of bars. I think the same was said when they outlawed smoking in restaurants. Also when they outlawed Wild Beluga Caviar in 2005, many Chilean Sea Bass sources, Foie Gras in Chicago, rare burgers in Restaurants, etc. etc. Sources seem to pop up in some cases, in others cases people get used to it and stop caring within about 12 months. When people lose something they actually really want (like alcohol in Prohibition), it always finds its way back to legality.

trishde68 wrote:
08.17.12 at 6:36 PM

This is absurd, I have tried Foie Gras- it is nasty, after the first taste I swallowed the rest of the bites with a sip of wine. Who cares if they ban it, does anyone really like the taste of it? At least escargot is drenched in garlic to make it taste good. If the French like it, is it because of a culture they grew up with? It is definitely not a hereditary taste since my dad is 1/2 french and I am a quarter (my grandfather's parents were french). I will try to find out who our ancestors from France were but that still does not make Foie Gras taste any better!

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08.23.14 at 5:09 AM

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