French court ruling assailed

The fallout from a Paris court's ruling against a newspaper's stories on Champagne is building.

Denis Saverot, editor of the wine magazine Revue de Vin de France, has launched a scathing attack on French culture, including France's wine trade. Writing in the upcoming March issue of Decanter magazine, Denis Saverot asked what his country had come to. As the magazine reports on its Web site:

"His words came in response to the news published after Christmas that a newspaper, Le Parisien, had been told by a Paris court that an article on Champagne was considered advertising and as such came under the draconian Evin law, regulating alcohol and tobacco advertising. The court ruled the article should have carried a health warning and the paper was fined. The decision shocked many journalists around the world.

"In the column, Saverot attacked those he saw as responsible for current state of affairs. He blamed French politicians, the health and pharmaceutical lobbies, as well as the wine industry itself.

" 'This hygiene crusade is pushing the authorities to put wine in the same boat (as other alcohols and health issues), treating more than 1,000 years of culture with contempt,' he said.

"Some of his strongest comments targeted the wine industry itself. Calling the French wine bodies 'incredibly blind', he said the industry should have done more to fight the Evin law in 1991."

The full story is here.

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