Vintage Advantage

DAVID GORDON FOR TIME

Experts in France suggest mixing vintages and adding oak chips to keep market share in places like Britain and the U.S.

How can you be expected to govern a country that has 246 kinds of cheese?" asked Charles de Gaulle back in 1962. It's a good thing no one got the General onto the subject of wine. France has no fewer than 466 different Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée, plus some 150 Vins de Pays. This hardly mattered when the French drank most of their wine themselves; complexity, after all, is part of being French. But with adults consuming half the wine they did in the '60s, producers are having to look elsewhere. And they're discovering that foreign drinkers often have simpler tastes. If...

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