Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Trollied Tuesday: More pink

A couple of months ago I was bemoaning the difficulty in finding decent rosé. One reason for that might be the following story.

The war of the rosés is over. The European Commission announced today that it had abandoned its plans to allow European winemakers to make cheap rosé wine by mixing red and white wines together.

The announcement follows a rearguard action by traditional producers in France and Italy who feared that their growing market for pink wine would be flooded by cheap imitations.

The point is, of course, that cheap imitations from outside the EU are already being produced and are flooding the market. (There's plenty of cheap French rosé too, of course, but at least it's not an excuse to flog off two seperate wines that no one wants to buy).

Another indication of where the problem lies is a market that seems to reward idiocy.

When rosé producers in Provence and the Loire valley complained, Paris pressed for a compromise which would allow real rosé wines to be labelled as “traditional” or “authentic”.

This also infuriated the rosé producers. The booming new market for chilled rosé wine is largely a market amongst young people, they said. Labelling their wine “traditional” would give them a fuddy-duddy image.

God forbid we should upset the young ones. Surely in the case of wine – a product for which age is a positive virtue – tradition and authenticity are greatly to be valued? It's really not that difficult a concept to grasp: if you're buying electronics newness is a virtue, if you're buying booze it isn't. For most other things it all depends on context.

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In other why is this news?: American tourists in London visit tourist pub. Had Michelle Obama asked me I could have recommended some alternatives. That's irrelevant really, one gets the distinct impression that what appealed to her was the old school pub aspects of the place, hand-pulled ales and traditional pub food. Sadly we don't know whether or not she enjoyed a pint but, in broadly booze-related context, I think we can say she get the point. Authenticiy and tradition can be virtues.

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