Sunday, July 30, 2006

Well, They Are a Funny Race

So, why shouldn't their wine also be to laugh:

WHAT do Arrogant Frog and Elephant on a Tightrope have in common? Faced with a slump in consumption and increasing competition from abroad, the French are suffering the indignity of having to pick funny names for their wine in order to sell it abroad.

....“Necessity is the mother of invention,” said one disgruntled wine-maker from Languedoc in southern France.

The movement is gathering steam. “Bread is branded,” said Pierre Courbon, international marketing director of a French company set up to sell a new brand called Chamarr√©, or “richly coloured”. “Why not wine?”

.... The [Arrogant Frog] label shows an imperious looking frog in an overcoat. It is available in “ribet red” and “ribet white”. This sort of marketing is not the only thing calculated to set some French oenophiles ranting about the end of civilisation.

It might “leap out of the glass with panache and √©lan”, in the words of the advertisements, but it is also sealed with — quelle horreur — a screw cap “designed to preserve freshness and youthful appeal”.

Jean-Claude Mas, the creator, is said to be still getting on with his neighbours. The chances are that they, too, are trying to come up with a funny label.

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