Monday, 22 November 2010
This is rather belated news principally because few countries seem up to speed - although this change was instituted from 1 August 2009. We seemed to have missed the rejoicing in the streets but the EU wine regime is being brought into line with that of food. So the Appellation d'Origine Protegée (AOP) replaces Appellation d'Origine Controllée, the Italian DOC becomes Denominanazione D'Origine Protetta (DOP), and so on. The Vin de Pays are replaced by IGP - Indication Géographique Protegée. Gradually sub regions will disappear - so no more Chianti - all will be Chianti Classico, no more Premières Côtes de Blaye just Côtes de Bordeaux. So simpler in the end. But this simplicity will take about 10 years to 'transition'! We are likely to have two lots of regulations running alongside each other for some considerable time, which is likely to be confusing. Additionally in France (and potentially in other countries if they wish) Vin de Table has been abolished! In its place is Vin de France, which like Vin de Table, can come from anywhere in France but, unlike it, can declare the constituent grape varieties and the vintage on the label. There is a rather strange website which gives further details here. This is really a reposte to the New World, who have for so long sold their wines by grape variety rather than by area and is likely to help in France's export markets - whilst the French home market remains blissfully unconcerned by grape varieties and is much more interested in location..location..
Friday, 12 November 2010
There is much fuss and reflection about the British propensity for drink (although it seems to have gone unnoticed that Britons are actually consuming less alcohol than we did 10 or even 5 years ago) with some even suggesting that it is indicative that English has more words for drunk than Eskimos have for snow. Whereas the sober French for example have it so imbued into their culture that they rarely get drunk and do not require or have the variety of synonyms that English has. (The small matter of not actually knowing how many words the Eskimos have for snow doesn't seem to impair the debate.) These suggestions rather miss the fact that English has a larger vocabulary than most other languages - including French. England and the English speaking world has Protestant traditions (the country of the Plymouth Bretheren after all) where drinking was frowned upon - if not made illegal. So when you examine the other words for drunk it turns out that most terms are borrowed and are either ironic or euphemistic or just emphasise disapproval. Have you been slaughtered or just pickled? Or only whoozy or tight? After all none of these words is unique to alcohol consumption - far from it! This doesn't prove that Britons are more drunk - or less sober - than other nations but just that they are linguistically inventive. And no, I haven't been on the sauce.