Wine economics

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Use of oak chips in wine to become legal in France

The debate over the use of oak chips in wine lingers on in Germany. Today the Süddeutsche Zeitung carries an article by Michael Klaesgen under the titel "Oak chips instead of barrique barrels". (; 24/04/06)

Klaesgen talks about the troubles of the French wine industry and the intention of Dominique Bussereau, the French Minister of Agriculture, to legalise the use of oak chips in winemaking.

At the end of the article Klaesgen mentions sympathecially the complaint by consumer protection people that the EU-US wine agreement, which had been signed at the end of last year, does not require winemakers to indicate on the wine label the use of oak chips and he quotes the French sommelier Phillipe Faure-Brac as saying that he - Faure-Brac - is unable to taste the difference between a wine from a barrique and an oaked wine; nevertheless he would like to be informed about it.

Apparently, labeling wine is less about providing wine drinkers with information about what taste to expect from a wine than it is how to feel about the wine. Why should the EU or some other government regulate the provision of information that some people need for no practical or tangible purpose?


Post a Comment

<< Home