Decanter Magazine has posted a story suggesting, as many have before,that things might have to change in France, where change comes..........slowly. God forbid they give up The Patrimony, but as far as wine is concerned, I would welcome it: anyone who has been selling wine in the last twenty years has seen with increasing clarity that the French wine appellation system (administered by the INAO--Institut National des Appellation d'Origine) is too cumbersome and prohibitive to stem the ebb of sales. The article mentions that there is no unified marketing outside Champagne, but Champagne gets marketed because of the conglomeration of the big houses within luxury goods companies, and besides, the big houses are capitalized well-enough to advertise without any help at all.
There are too many reasons to enumerate in this present forum (but I will indeed explore many coming soon) as to why "Wine Pundits" are deriding the French wine industry, but they (the reasons, not the pundits) are many-layered and complex, very interesting, and profound...oddly, not unlike the best French wines. Except, the ways in which they are profound won't stir your soul positively, I'm afraid.
As a consumer though, I like the appellation system for the sense of mystery it engenders, but I am clearly in the minority. I would be delighted if French wine sales began to increase, and if that means going the route of the one appellation controlled region in France--Alsace--that allows labels to carry the grape variety, then that's just fine. But as of now, the...dyspepsia...continues.
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