Thursday, 12 November 2009
Japan has for some years now been Beaujolais Nouveau's largest market but recessionary pressure and declining sales has led to what the trade will doubtless call 'packaging innovation'. Many retailers are to sell Nouveau in PET plastic bottles, which are both cheaper and -allegedly- more environmentally friendly than glass. It is certainly true that nobody is looking to buy Beaujolais Nouveau to 'lay down' so part of the objection to plastic bottles is immediately overcome. As the largest Burgundy negociant supplied the USA with Beaujolais Nouveau in plastic last year, we are left wondering whether this light, fruity and easy to appreciate wine might be the forerunner for a major packaging change for other wines. If Australia and New Zealand can champion the screw- cap perhaps France will be the PET champion? At least if we are selling our Beaujolais Nouveau next year in PET you'll know they are!
Friday, 6 November 2009
At the World Wine Symposium in Italy Jean-Robert Pitte, ex President of the Sorbonne University, lamented the fact that the French state did not separate alcohol from wine. That sounds rather like being able to get alcohol out of the wine but being unable to get the wine out of alcohol. This is entirely logical and nor should they be separate. Where he does have more force is when he pointed out that L'Association Nationale de Protection contre l'Alcool et les Addictions (French quangos seem to have even longer names than British ones) has an annual budget of 66m Euros and 1,400 employees! What on earth do they all do? We trust they don't drink at lunchtime.. Yet Dr NK Yong, a Singapore wine enthusiast, seems rather to hope they do - "anyone who tells you wine is not good for you is lying. If the politicians don't understand this, you should change the politicians." This has rather more impact when you realise that Dr Yong is 80 years young.