Sunday, June 25, 2006

An unforgivable affront to French civilisation

The Guardian, Comment

By Agnes Poirier

The news hasn't sunk in yet. French wine amateurs seem still oblivious. All they have been talking about these past few days is the extraordinary prices reached by 2005 primeur Bordeaux wines: '€350 euros for a bottle of Lafite Rothschild. Since Robert Parker came three months ago and gave unprecedented marks, such as 99/100, prices have gone through the ceiling,' says Jean-Louis, un amoureux du Bordeaux, half-worried, half-ecstatic. When I ask him whether he has heard of Mariann Fischer Boel, the EU commissioner for agriculture, and her wine reform, he replies: 'No; should I know about it?' Well, he might want to have a look at it. Her recommendations, if implemented, could change the face of the European wine industry for ever. I doubt she has realised the import of what she has set in motion.


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