I’ve been in the south France for nearly a month and I’ll be here off and on through the end of April finishing my dual master’s degree in Global Luxury Management. You’d think while I’ve been here that I would have had more than my fair share of wine already, right? Wrong. In fact, I’ve enjoyed less wine here than I did at any time in the states.
So, what gives? There are some cultural differences in the retailing of wine here, especially in restaurants and bars, but the real reason I’ve consumed so much less wine is the very sub-par selection of wines by the glass at restaurants and bars. I really had hoped before venturing here that I would be outside of my United States comfort zone of wines available and trying a greater variety of European wines that haven’t made their way stateside, but when you’re out and about here, the by-the-glass selections are as follows: “red”, “rose”, and “white”. No kidding! You’re lucky if the menu includes any details about the by-the-glass varietal or the geographic source.
Perhaps this recent experience is why this article struck me so strongly today: Millennials dragging wine sales down – and the prudent included advice:
I think it’s a great read for restaurant, nightlife, and hospitality operators everywhere – regardless of geographic location.
Don’t get me wrong – the wine selection at retail points of sale and by the bottle in restaurants are pretty wide and adventurous here in France (and aggressively priced since most are domestic products) – but I rarely desire an entire bottle in one seating and when I want just a glass, I don’t want a mediocre glass of “house wine” that was selected for a profit margin rather than to complement menu offerings.
Ending on a positive note: the retail store wine scene is in much better shape offering a really nice selection with incredibly high-quality and great tasting wines beginning at 8 euros (about $9 USD) a bottle, so I’ve had fun with that! I mean – a girl’s still got to have her wine, right? (Especially when there is no craft cocktail culture here… but more on that later.)