Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wine Marketing...French Style!

A crackdown on drinking drivers, reduced consumption of wine by the French, competition from New World wines, over production and a preference by 92 per cent of French consumers under 25, for other alcoholic drinks has created major problems for the wine industry in France. In a country steeped in history and culture revolving around wine, it has lawmakers proposing legislation that among other things would see youngsters in school taught about the glories of French wine. (please click on the pictures for larger images of some of that French fame)
I believe a program such as this proposal before the French legislature has some real merit. Not because I think it is a good
marketing tool but rather that it gives the educational system an opportunity to teach youngsters about moderation in drinking and the health benefits of drinking wine.
In the meantime "crisis distillation" is still a major headache for the EU. But perhaps the French government should come up with an educational program for those unruly South of France winemakers. Things are heating up again and the more radical elements of the Winemaker's Regional Action Committee (CRAV) are ready to take their fight to the streets again.

Let me end with a toast to the French and à votre santé, mon ami!


cookingchat said...

a votre sante aussi! Wondered if you've gotten into the Wine Bloggin Wednesays...this months theme was non-champagne sparklers, I wrote about a nice one from right here in Mass.

Benjamin Bicais said...

Educating France's school children is a wholesome cultural exercise, but as you say, it is radicals in the CRAV that could use a dose of reality. While it seems like a good idea to teach school children about the first growths of Burgundy and the great Chateaux of Bordeaux, this is not addressing the problem. These producers have no problem selling their wine; it is the individuals who are making wine that no one wants that are problematic. And I doubt they could be considered part of "the glories of French wine industry." All I can say is I'm glad I'm not a tax payer in France.

Wilf K said...

You are right Benjamin,the history of French wines has of course evolved around the great wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Champagne regions.However teaching about sensible drinking and the health benefits of moderate red wine consumption would undoubtedly see a return of the custom of drinking within the family surrounds and hopefully reduce the binge alcohol drinking of the young French generation of today. Only in France would a politician have the nerve to even present this idea. With our puritanical, prohibitionist culture, a politician in North America would be committing political suicide if he or she even broached the subject.