The marketing push is on by French wine makers courting US customers. Red Bicyclette is running a contest to give three people a trip to explore the French countryside. According to Red Bicyclette representatives:
Three lucky winners will receive:
Round trip travel to France
One month’s accommodation in a furnished cottage
A generous stipend
The use of a red bicycle to explore the countryside
The deadline for entry is June 30, 2005. Finalists will be selected on or about July 11, 2005. You can enter here: http://126.96.36.199/entry.html Official Rules are posted here: http://188.8.131.52/rules.html.
It was interesting to talk to these folks at a time when there is rumblings of a US v EU winemaking tussle. The root of the matter? US wine practices that make wines popular in the US are banned in the EU. These include adding oak wood chips to barrels of wine to hasten the aging process, adding water to must (the grape juice before fermentation is complete), and the use of ion extractors to reduce acidity.
Frankly, it would be better if the US didn’t worry so much about changing centuries old traditions in Europe and just concentrated on making better wines here in the US. Regardless of their ban on US practices, EU wine consumption in the US is dropping even though the US wine drinking market is growing rapidly. They can practice protectionism all they want. And we should welcome the competition from French producers of wines like “Red Bicyclette” because, after all, in a free market economy competition makes the product better (not to mention we can take advantage of their marketing programs that give us free trips to France
Enjoy the Wine Life!