ls-nbMonths after my Solex finished its journey from Chablis to Sablet* I am still writing up the final version of the book which will elucidate for all time the notion of terroir.
Or not.
While I was writing up a section on Beaujolais yesterday, I was struck by yet another example of the difficulty of marketing French wine internationally…

This next passage follows a wonderful visit to the Domaine J.-A. Ferret at Fuissé.

I waited by the church for my mate Pierre, who was coming down in Bertha, his Volkswagen Golf of fourteen-vintages to help me through my first couple of days in the Beaujolais. He’s my neighbour in Paris and my wine guru: having bought top Bordeaux several decades ago, he sees it as his duty to educate me. He has the habit of knocking on the door, holding a bottle behind his back, saying: “I found something just now and might need a bit of help with it. Can I come in?

Eventually I called him.
“I’m here,” he said.
In front of the church.
 So am I.
Which church, Pierre?
Fuissé, as we said.
I’m at Fuissé.
Uhh, hang on. Oh, right. I’m at Prissé. Hmm, see you in half an hour« .

I think: if a wine-loving Frenchman gets confused between Fuissé and Prissé, what about your poor, say, Dutch punter staring at the shelves at the local wine shop: “Pouilly-Fuissé, Pouilly-Fumé, Prissé, Pauillac, Puligny. What the heck? Damn it, I’ll take a Jacobs Creek.

Above : my mate Pierre Wagniart the next day staring at some old gamay, wondering why they look so bereft…