Blog: Channel 4 takes a pop at Champagne
Olly Wehring | 17 September 2008
Champagne producers took a battering last night on Channel 4's Dispatches programme.
For the non-Brits among us, Dispatches is designed to be a hard-hitting, investigative documentary series.
In our view, last night's episode on "what's in your wine" was certainly hard-hitting, but a bit loose with the truth.
Shots of presenter Jane Moore's stern face as she uncovered 'evil' in the wine world were theatrical at best. Inevitably, the wine world is seething - the show was watched by 1.4m viewers (read, consumers), according to the Digital Spy publication.
Champagne's "dirty secrets" included accusations of plastic waste in vineyards, high sugar levels and pesticide residues in top brands.
Daniel Lorson, head spokesperson for Champagne trade body CIVC, told just-drinks yesterday: "There is a saying we use in French, and it means 'everything which is excessive has no value. Of course, there is a little bit of truth in what they said. But this has been greatly exaggerated."
And there is the point. There are certainly issues the wine world needs to face. Should wineries be clearer about what has gone into their bottles, for example? Is it fair that wine companies evade the labelling rules laid down for most other food and drink products, no matter the extra cost of complying? Can more be done to cut pesticide use?
Winemakers have been fortunate to avoid the scrutiny targeted at other food and drink sectors in recent years.
One senior wine official in Italy told me this year that use of illegal grape varieties may be more widespread than anyone had so far realised. "Don't go there," he said.
Exaggeration aside, consumers are starting to go there. The industry needs to be ready.
Heineken is known for its flashy adverts. Now the brewer has given the star treatment to a new recruitment drive with a glamorous and highly-persuasive ad that, quite frankly, had the staff here at...
Move over iPhone 7 headphones-gate, there is a new Apple product causing a stir. Or a shake. Or just a shot....
I was full of questions yesterday when reading our news story about Bacardi's Martini Smart Cube. An ice cube-shaped device that can provide real-time information about its consumer? How? What? Why? H...
News reaches us today of what has been heralded as the "world's most daring whisky challenge". The Ultimate Ardbeg ARDventurer has been launched this week with an inaugural three-day camping trip....
- Why sports drinks fail to ride the Olympic wave
- Experienced hands hold firm at CCEP - Analysis
- What do US wholesalers think of spirits trends?
- How the craft economy is loosening alcohol laws
- It isn't just men who like beer - Comment
- Diageo Australia's commercial head to step down
- Luxury and e-commerce a "natural fit" - Diageo
- "We're not complacent about Brexit" - Diageo
- Diageo merges US, Canada spirits units
- William Grant upgrades Glenfiddich Cask Collection
- Global gin insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- The Next Seven Big Beverage Markets
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends