Pinot Noir from La France? I spit on you.
I am mostly a white-winer, but I am a wine drinker.
No oenophile, I tend to purchase wine by price, name, and label. (For whatever reason, I'm partial to vineyards with animals in their name and/or on their logo.)
When ordering by the glass in a restaurant, I do exactly what they want me to do: pick something in the middle price range.
In a blind taste test, I believe I could discern red from white, and maybe even chardonnay (buttery) from sauvignon blanc (grapey). I hope that I'd be able to recognize that Annie Green Springs and Boone's Farm are plonk du plonk.
Still, I was disturbed to read an AP article in the online WSJ yesterday which reported that a slew of French wine producers and traders ha been convicted of fraud in conjunction with:
...a scheme that exported fake Pinot Noir from Southwest France to the U.S., duping American giant E. & J. Gallo Winery among others.
Eight defendants were found to have passed off cheaper Syrah and Merlot grapes as Pinot Noir.
Sacre vin! C'est incroyable.
The French wine industry has been suffering from the recession as it was.
"Falling global demand and consumers' switching to entry-level brands weighed on our results last year," said Claude de Jouvencel, the federation's [Federation of French Wine and Spirits Exporters] president.
This scandal shouldn't help them any.
Nor, by the way, M. de Jouvencel, will that snide little 'entry level brands' thang you got going there. Perhaps it suffered in the translation, but can't you just say 'cheaper'. And speaking of entry level wines, isn't that what E&J Gallo used to specialize in, back in the day when the choices were Gallo jugs, Blue Nun, (hey, hey, hey) Mateus Rosé, Lancers, and the white wine that came in the green bottle shaped like a fish? (Just remembered: Antinori.)
Weirdly, the one growth sector in the French beverage industry was vodka.
Demand for premium vodka - mostly Grey Goose - was up 14% last year, and most of the exports came our way.
While the US may no longer be imbibing the high-priced vins, we're apparently not interested in entry-level vodka. (Gilbey's? Smirnoff? Phooey on you-ey. Gateway booze, if ever.)
As for Pinot Noir from France. I spit it out. Or would, except that, when I do drink red, I generally order the clearly inferior and pedestrian Merlot.
Maybe we can get back at them - horse meat in the frozen McDonald patties?
Nah, horse meat. They'd be fine with that.
Goes very nicely with a glass of Pinot Noir, I hear.