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What's French for schadenfreude?

I suppose I should feel sorry for these guys, but... I don't:

Stuck with hundreds of millions of bottles they can't sell in a toughening global market, vintners want to distill some of France's winelake into industrial-use alcohol.

It wouldn't just be swill heading for destruction: Most of the 66 million gallons vintners hope to recycle is considered high-quality.

Such destruction would be unprecedented for "appellation" wines that carry France's AOC seal of origin and quality. Although nearly 71.3 million gallons were distilled into alcohol in 2002, that was second-rate table wine. This time, 267 million bottles of AOC wines would be boiled down in stills if vintners get their way.
Why are times so tough for French winemakers? Well, it seems that more people these days, believe it or not, are buying American:
Pressured by Californian Chardonnays and other vintages from the new world, French wine exports fell by 6.6 percent in volume and 6.1 percent in value in the first 11 months of 2004.
And, in a perfect display of poetic justice, France's problems are exacerbated by the ever-expanding web of ridiculously detailed E.U. regulations:
Vintners say distilling wine into alcohol would cut surplus stocks — which were swelled by a bumper harvest last year — and help restore the balance between supply and demand.

But because of European Union regulations, the process requires getting not only French but also European official approval.
Oh well. At least they'll have plenty of vino on hand to drown their sorrows. L'Chaim!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by over at The Unrepentent Individual...

I was here not too long ago, as a fellow (former) motorcyclist... I had an SV650S until I spectacularly high-sided at the track :-(


Posted by Brad Warbiany

Anonymous said...

Ah, reading from most recent backwards I now come to this excellent post. I am quite impressed by the diversity of stuff you're putting up! Sakes alive, how do you find the time? 

Posted by Comrade_Tovarich

Anonymous said...

Some posts take longer than others... sometimes I can bang a few out quickly, while other times I need to save what I wrote and come back to it later.

Whenever I spot something that could make a good post, I make a note of it and try to blog about it that night.

Last week, I stayed up far too late every night blogging. I'm still finding the right balance between blogging and sleeping. 

Posted by GaijinBiker

Anonymous said...

Wow this is a spectacular post, I'm going to refer to it in the next few days. I have an ongoing battle with some frenchies and if you have any more french stuff send it my way or pop over! Cao. 

Posted by Cao



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