Friday, 22 June 2007

Yanks overtaking, French wine

Ahead of the Vinexpo wine fair, in Bordeaux, France, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, is coming under pressure from vintners to do more for their wine industry, as the Gallic taste for vin ordinaire withers on the vine.

It seems America is now set to overtake France as the world's number one wine drinking nation. Figures show that French national consumption has fallen so low that the Americans are set to overtake them by 2010.

Finally! Perhaps a slightly more rational reason for the French to dislike the Americans so.

There is a ray of hope for the French producers in that their export market seems to be improving somewhat. One wonders if this is more in the top end of the market.

Much of the problems the French market has had in competing with New World wines in the last decade or so is that, whilst their good wine is often very good, their lack of consistency and reliability in the quality of the medium priced end of the market, causes customers to shy away from their products, in favour of the much more consistent quality of the New World wines.

One sometimes suspects Gallic complacency has been their undoing - and possibly an underlying sense that foreigners are not sophisticated enough to tell when they are being sold plonk.

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