By Charles Bremner
Wood chippings and even a splash of water will be allowed as vignerons fight to win back drinkers.
AS FRANCE recoiled before the advance of globalisation and of English as a lingua franca, there was one area in which it remained confident of its superiority: its wines.
Now even the vintners’ traditions are going the way of the five-course lunch, the Deux Chevaux and the surly waiter.
After failing to hold off the onslaught from New World winemakers, France is to join them in such heresies as adding wood chips and — perhaps — even watering down the wine. The Agriculture Minister has issued a plan to let vignerons compete with growers in the Antipodes and the Americas whose simple flavours and clever marketing have been winning the world’s wine drinkers.
“We have to make wine for consumers, not wine that producers dream of,” said Bernard Pomel, author of the plan, which is likely to be adopted soon as law.