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French Wine to Be Like Coca-Cola

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French wine council Anivin made a statement earlier this week that lower- and middle-tier wines will soon be "like Coca-Cola," reports the Independent. No, they're not going to carbonate it and sell it in cans. Winemakers are going to make consistent but generic blends in huge batches, getting rid of the concept of terroir along the way.

The French wine industry has been in trouble for some time now, and the solution is mimicking the Australian style of marketing and production. Smaller wine-producers will be encouraged (or possibly, zut alors, forced!) to sell their grapes to large wine factories in an effort to guarantee quality at a low price. The bottles will then be exported with simple, "Australian"-style labels, designed to appeal to young, foreign consumers.

Wines will also be sold by grape type, as opposed to the current system of labeling wines by name, varietal, or region. French wine traditionalists don't like this move, of course, because they claim that the quality of their wine comes from the terroir, and that homogenization will effectively erase 20 centuries of tradition. While high quality, luxury brand wines—they're calling them "dream" wines—will not be subject to the increased quality control, there is concern that it will discourage the local, small batch vintners that make up much of the French wine industry.

Additionally, the Australian wine market is having problems of its own, and perhaps isn't the best model to follow. Overproduction has led to a market flooded with cheap wines, and many mid-level wines face financial collapse. It has gotten bad enough that the local government in Queensland, a major wine-producing region, is considering requiring government functions to serve local wine in order to boost sales.

Why would France want to do that to their wine industry?

· Plonk or perfection – the battle for the soul of French wine [Independent]
· Wine Industry Grapples with Financial Disaster Amid Oversupply [Courier Mail]
· All Wine coverage on Eater National [-E-]

Grapes. [Photo: Glaetzer]

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