Wow how things come around. It was but a few months ago that I was complaining that a certain Malbec wine produced in the rolling hills of Kent had to be given away for free as the Euro technocrats stomped on this experiment after it was discovered that the grapes originated from Chile and were therefore not legal
Now it seems history is repeating itself, this time in America, this time in an argument over what can be classed as a château and what cannot (article found courtesy of my good friend The Oligarch Kings). So what exactly is all the fuss about? Well it appears that the French are getting particularly shirty after discovering American producers are trying to sell their wine in Europe under the guise of being produced in a ‘château’ when in fact the wine is being churned out of multi-million dollar processing style ‘châteaus’
I’m really in two mind about this. Whilst I completely understand the French point of view of wanting to preserve the name behind quality wine produced in the grounds of some off the oldest prettiest and most historic buildings on the European mainland, we can’t overlook the fact that globalisation comes at a cost that can’t be ignored. If France really wants to be seen and respected on the global stage it must make concessions and allow the mass-produced American wine into their country. Their best customers and everyone else in the know will still know the difference between some $20 bog standard bottle and an excellent year of an exquisite château. Moreover the UK booze cruise will just get more feverish!
Wait! (I hear the opposition cry). What about protecting the value of French wine? My answer here is simple. Whilst I understand that plenty of English produce (such as Stilton) has protected origin of source clauses written in we cannot be expected to hold French wine in the same regard as the scale is so much larger and after all we are only talking about a name and not the product inside!
How can it therefore be one rule for the rest of Europe (who would be looked at with disdain if they boycotted a foreign product) have one rule applied and France another? If the French winemakers truly wish to be respected on the global stage they need to abandon this ridiculous isolationism as others already embrace the inevitable effects (and benefits) of globalisation
It wouldn’t happen in the UK ……(just nobody mention the Windward Islands and bananas!)