Saturday, 6 June 2009

The Changing face of France

When the Brits first joined the EU it used to be said that the most noticeable effect was that the French were drinking more beer and the Brits more wine. Now we learn that not only are French wine exports down by an average of 8% but The French are drinking less and less wine. Consumption seems to be going the way of those other stereotypes - the stripey top and the string of onions. Annual consumption per head has declined from the giddy heights of 120 Litres per year in the 1960s to 47 Litres in 2007 and only 43 Litres in 2008 - with the younger generation drinking least!
The major success story for everyday French wine of recent times is a wine which uses reverse osmosis (broadly filtering - to you and me) to reduce its heady Languedoc strength of 13% down to a more user friendly 9%. English wine producers of course have the opposite problem - but perhaps there is an untapped export market accross the Channel? In any case English Sparkling wine , made albeit to a French recipe is generally now considered world class. Well that is Europeanisation for you...

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