Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Tempest in an Espresso Cup? reported today that there's a storm brewing in Alcase. Their article begins:

"Alsace vintners have reacted with outrage at proposals to remove varietals from wine labels.

Since March 2005, the INAO has given Alsace producers the option not to indicate grapes used for grand cru wines. Before, all grand cru Alsace wines were required to list grape variety on the label.

Now vintners are convinced the next move will be to make varietal labeling illegal. That would be a 'catastrophe', they say."

This may seem like a tempest in an Alsatian espresso cup, but the region remains a haven of sorts in France: Varietally labeled wines are the norm there in a country that otherwise overwhelmingly requires labeling by geography alone.

So here's the question: Is this a big deal? And in terms of the bigger picture, are you more likely to buy a wine that's labeled by grape variety than you are one that's only identified by region? Does it even matter to you?

Really, it's enough to make you want a drink...probably a glass of Gewurztraminer.


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