France’s “wine culture” is in decline.
This is not news. It has been happening since the 1960s, according to 10-year Paris resident Simon Kuper of the Financial Times. In this column, Kuper cites globalization as the reason for the trend. France has become more like the rest of the world.
These days, that person enjoying a glass of wine with lunch at a Paris café is more likely to be a tourist than a resident. Once a staple of the French diet, wine is now looked upon as a treat.
So what does this mean in the great scheme of wine things? To me, it’s simply that people are being more particular about how they spend their time and money because there are so many things to spend their time and money on.
For those of us who enjoy wine on a regular basis, it means that we’re paying ever closer attention to what we’re drinking—not just red or white, but a specific variety. And not just a specific variety, but a specific variety from a specific wine region.
These days, if we’re going to invest time in anything, we want it to be time well spent. Not to mention money well spent.
So even though wine consumption in France is in decline, ultimately, the trend could be good for all of us. As wine drinkers there and beyond become more picky and dismiss the dregs, winemakers everywhere would be wise to pay closer attention to quality in every bottle they produce.
The law of supply and demand will always rule the marketplace, and these days, the marketplace is driving quality ever upward.