There are the most amazing 'destockages' going on in Bordeaux at the moment, as merchants rush rid themselves of whatever wines they can bear to part with, and many that they can.
As the new head of the local wine merchant's union told the local paper, Sud Ouest, 'getting rid of stock is a priority at the moment'.
Auctions seem to be the simplest way, at least there are plenty of ads for them in the local paper. If I had any cash, instead of the several thousand euro loan I had to take out to get the house in rent ready mode, I would be buying. But it is not to be. Instead I must just cling to my 12 bottles of Pontet-Canet 2007 (as yet unbottled) and hope for the best.
Just for the record, a loan in France for house works is readily obtainable, at 5% interest, if you already have a 27 year mortgage. Credit crisis?
Even at Vinitech last week − the bi-annual wine equipment trade held in Bordeaux − you might have thought the credit/global financial crisis was all slightly exaggerated. I thought people would be moaning and groaning. But not at all. Some were 'only buying essentials', or 'scaling back a bit', but to listen to the barrel makers and the harvest machine people you might have thought they were looking forward to 2009.
Well, optimism at least is free. So is attitude. And the person who came up with the idea of a bling barrel certainly had some.
Yes. Forget intelligent barrels, although I counted three different types of those at Vinitech, bling barrels are in.
Sporting orange leather bands, worthy of a Hermes bag, and a Swarovski crystal bung, the barrel cost 1150 euro. Double the price of a normal one. It is, of course, made of some incredibly fine-grained high quality wood that helps the wine, as well. But it was the bling bit that really pulled the crowds.
For more about Vinitech, and a shot of the barrel, see here.