Blog: French wine - as clear as mud?
Olly Wehring | 10 September 2006
Just when the French wine industry makes noises suggesting it is simplifying its offering to consumers, the body in charge of creating appellations has created two more - and extended two others.
The Institut National des Appellations d’Origine’s decision this week to create two new appellations - both in the Loire - and extend two in the Languedoc, comes as the industry is fighting to win back drinkers from their New World rivals.
Appellations, or AOCs, are intended to recognise the high quality and specific characteristics of wine produced in a given region. However, with over 450 regions in France with AOC status, wine drinkers around the world - and even in France - can be forgiven for feeling confused over which wine to buy and from where. Adding yet more AOCs into the mix will only add to that confusion - and drive consumers to the more simplified offerings provided by Australia, the US and the rest of the New World.
The French wine industry is starting to embrace the concept of wine brands and has begun to accept that AOC status is no longer a reference point for the consumer in the same way as brand and grape variety are.
But this message is taking time to get through to all in the French wine industry. It’s taken around 15 year's of New World pressure for France to lose its market leading position in a market like the UK - it could take the country as long again to win it back.
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Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, SABMiller, the Scotch whisky category and the US wine market....
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- Diageo's future brighter than present suggests
- Comment - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka?
- Diageo's Q1 Results by Region
- Focus - Remy Cointreau's H1 Performance by Brand
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- Diageo puts Beckham centre stage in Haig Club ad
- United Spirits sees Q1 net loss
- Beam Suntory, Edrington part ways in Travel Retail
- TWE unveils Penfolds range after CEO's "bold move"