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« The Googlies: 'Most Beautiful' Category - Men | Main | Lustau 'Jarana' Fino Sherry »

10 August 2004

The Bordeaux non-Cru Blues

wbordpostIn Wednesday's NY Times, there's an article about the non-Grand Cru producer's (95% of Bordeaux wine production).  Many of these small producers of 'generic Bordeaux' (between 600-1000 of them) may be forced to close up shop over the next few years (according to the Times article).  Why?  Well, in my opinion, the main reasons are:

1. Cheap competition from the Aussies and South America
2. The Bordeaux AOC regulation - such as preventing the use of grape names like Merlot on the label (how many casual wine drinkers know what a Bordeaux Blanc tastes like & what grapes it's made from? Answer:  Not many.  And it's made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.)
3.  The general economic downturn of the last few years
4. A crowded 'adult beverage' marketplace

Shockingly, the article points out that French wine consumption is dropping at a dramatic rate.  Per capita consumption of wine went from 120 liters in 2002 to 58 liters in 2003.  Also, around 50% of the French don't drink any (zip, none, nada) wine at all!

If the French wine industry crashes, I hope that the world doesn't become one giant 'new world style' wine lake.  Imagine the horror of only seeing Yellowtail/Red Paw/Black Duck on a wine list.  *shudder*

By the way.  If you've never had a white Bordeaux - jaunt on down to the wine store and grab one.  Fairly good ones can be had for around $10-$15.


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