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By: Ashley Thompson

With an unenviable position of being stuck between wine superstars Bordeaux and Côtes du Rhône, France’s Languedoc is a region whose wine just can’t manage to shine. Through the years, frustrated vintners have ripped up their vines and headed for friendlier terroir and reputation. They’re fed up and going broke in these tough economic times. But that may soon change, thanks to a brilliant (and may I say, entirely un-French) marketing scheme that plays to Languedoc’s spiraling stance in the wine world. We’d like to introduce you to “Le Vin de Merde,” or “Crap Wine.”

Restauranteur Jean-Marc Speziale and winemaker Walter Valgalier concocted their devilish little PR tactic in the caves of Gignac, near Montpellier. Speziale told Just-Drinks.com that the canny name acts as a backhanded compliment to Languedoc’s underappreciated wine.

“This draws attention to the fact that we make very good wines,” Speziale said.

In actuality, Vin de Merde hardly lives up to its name–thankfully. Bottles sell for 7 euros (somewhat pricey by French standards) and are flying off shelves of local carriers. It seems, for now, that this publicity stunt initiated out of angst and frustration is wholeheartedly succeeding. It remains to be seen, though, whether this will help Languedoc reshape its reputation in the wine world.

Photo: Boston.com

Comments

  1. Patty O'Heater
    November 15, 2008, 12:04 pm

    Just so long as they keep it in France. I refuse to buy anything that comes from that country. Their xenophobic attitude should go unrewarded.

  2. Peter Marino
    November 16, 2008, 1:23 pm

    To Patty O’Heater
    And going to VietNam, Irak, Panama, Nicaragua, Granada, etc to bomb and kill people ? Do you call it xenophobia or agoraphobia ?
    Keep on drinking Coke and eating your bigMac, and leave the good wine for people who can appreciate….

  3. Marilyn
    November 16, 2008, 8:15 pm

    Let’s play nice, folks!

  4. apotheosis
    November 25, 2008, 10:00 am

    And going to VietNam
    …after whose military got kicked out of it by the natives?
    That’s right, sweetheart. France. And you should ask the native peoples in places like Cote d’Ivoire how they feel about French foreign policy before you get to comfortable pointing that finger at others.

  5. Sean
    November 25, 2008, 10:02 am

    It appears that the French have taken the success of “Two-Buck Chuck” (the Charles Shaw brand of wine, sold by the Trader Joe’s chain for $2 a bottle), to heart.

  6. S-padrilla
    November 25, 2008, 12:58 pm

    @Patty O’Heater: “I refuse to buy anything that comes from that country”
    Beh, that is quite a bright decision, Patty. Enjoy yourself and I’ll enjoy the wine. Why share?

  7. Corby
    November 25, 2008, 3:54 pm

    Funny that Patty would punish xenophobia with… xenophobia.
    As for Vietnam, at least the French had the sense to get out.
    In any case, stop the stupid international bickering, both of you.

  8. apotheosis
    November 25, 2008, 6:24 pm

    Agreed, I raise a toast to you all.
    I’d toast you with crap wine but this is America, so I will use one of our many crap beers instead.

  9. Marc
    November 26, 2008, 9:06 am

    Astonishing how two people, both apparently critical of xenophobia, can both make xenophobic remarks in the process of criticizing xenophobia. It’s the most beautiful, concise display of hypocrisy I’ve ever seen. Only on teh internets.

  10. Sommelier
    November 26, 2008, 7:12 pm

    As a wine professional, I travel to France at least once every two years. The only time I have ever been treated with anything but respect was once, waiting in line at DeGaulle Airport to check in with Lufthansa, a man tried cutting in front of me, telling me that “I am a German citizen. I go to the front of the line.” The French security guards and the young French lady at the ticketing window made sure that I was taken care of first.
    Oh… by the way: whose army is in Afghanistan, fighting the Taliban alongside our soldiers & Marines? FRANCE!!!!!!!

  11. Menopause Remedies
    October 1, 2009, 9:52 pm

    As for Vietnam, at least the French had the sense to get out.
    In any case, stop the stupid international bickering, both of you.
    Menopause Remedies

  12. reiner
    February 1, 2010, 9:40 am

    Agreed, I raise a toast to you all

  13. generic viagra
    March 18, 2010, 5:25 pm

    Keep on drinking Coke and eating your bigMac, and leave the good wine for people who can appreciate….

  14. NaindDryday
    November 5, 2010, 9:22 am
  15. NaindDryday
    November 5, 2010, 9:24 am
  16. jeff
    February 19, 2011, 4:26 pm

    That’s right, sweetheart. France. And you should ask the native peoples in places like Cote d’Ivoire how they feel about French foreign policy before you get to comfortable pointing that finger at others.
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