“California producers who name their wines with ersatz French terms fall into two groups, although fundamentally, they share the same trait: pretentiousness. They’re either struggling entrepreneurs with little knowledge of France who hope to hoodwink consumers with what they think is a fancy French vocabulary that will get consumers to pay more than the wine is worth, or else they’re rich gazillionaires who have pied-a-terres in the 3rd arrondissement, wear French shirts and ties and think of themselves as at least semi-French.
Before I go any further, I want to let certain people off the hook. First off is Merry Edwards, who uses “Méthode a L’Ancienne” to suggest her minimalist approach, and Verité, whose French winemaker entitles him to call his wines “La Joie”, “La Muse” and “Le Desir,” although I wouldn’t. I exempt also Roederer Estate’s L’Ermitage; after all, they are owned by Roederer.
But why would an American call something by a French name?”
(Read the rest of Steve’s article)
This article has been posted here for use of my EV141-Intro to Wine Marketing students in the hope that it will spark lively discussion. Other readers are welcome to join the discussion.