Wine Slump Could Sober France Up

Oenologists and discerning winos alike are looking at a disappointing vintage out of southwest France this year.

Abnormal weather patterns, a currency imbalance and an increasingly shunned elitist tag are making Bordeaux wines hard to sell.

Wine Spectator reports the U.S. and British import markets are not buying in the nearly the volumes they used to. In 2008 it was 3 percent less Bordeaux for the U.S. market with the Brits not far behind. An inflated euro makes garnering a profit even on popular vintages hard and many retailers are taking the unheard of step of selling bottles below cost. French producers who switched to costly organic and biodynamic methods in recent years have been hit even harder and some wine experts say risk disappearing entirely.

One of the few brights spots on the global market is Asia where a taste for wine is still nascent but could pick up the slack as the market grows.

Still, industry experts say Bordeaux has a bit of an image problem. Alain Vironneau,chief of the Bordeaux Winemaker’s Association said recently “We have to change this image of Bordeaux associated with arrogance and black ties."

The domestic market is unlikely to come to the rescue for Bordeaux. France is mulling raising the drinking age to 18 shortly which unsurprisingly has many producers saying, incroyable!

Big Think Edge
  • The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
  • Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
  • Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.

To boost your self-esteem, write about chapters of your life

If you're lacking confidence and feel like you could benefit from an ego boost, try writing your life story.

Personal Growth

In truth, so much of what happens to us in life is random – we are pawns at the mercy of Lady Luck. To take ownership of our experiences and exert a feeling of control over our future, we tell stories about ourselves that weave meaning and continuity into our personal identity.

Keep reading Show less

Futuristic inventions and emerging technologies that will change the world

What do the inventions of the future look like?

(Photo Credit: Rick Guidice/NASA)
Technology & Innovation
  • Self-sustaining space colonies and unlimited fusion energy would bring humanity to a new point in our evolution.
  • Flying cars and robot butlers could be the next paradigm shift in our tech appetite for change.
  • Death and consensus reality might soon become obsolete.
Keep reading Show less

Ashes of cat named Pikachu to be launched into space

A space memorial company plans to launch the ashes of "Pikachu," a well-loved Tabby, into space.

GoFundMe/Steve Munt
Culture & Religion
  • Steve Munt, Pikachu's owner, created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the mission.
  • If all goes according to plan, Pikachu will be the second cat to enter space, the first being a French feline named Felicette.
  • It might seem frivolous, but the cat-lovers commenting on Munt's GoFundMe page would likely disagree.
Keep reading Show less