Hi, everyone. Meghan Bode here. I wrestled the blog away from JM today for a bit of fun. Okay, so I miss my Tuesday mystery posts. Can you blame me?
Maybe you remember this post and this photo that accompanied it:
What we have here is a white wine labeled as a Pinot Noir. Oops. That’s just wrong. Pinot Noir is a red wine. But while JM caught that little error at the store, I suspected there was more going on than meets the eye. So when she prepared to open that bottle, I had her take another look at both the front and rear labels. She caught on quick. Here, take a look for yourself. If you need to see a larger image, just click on the photo.
Now, at first glance in the store, JM caught the “Pinot Noir” on the front and the “Pinot Grigio” on the rear. Good start. But we’re both archaeologists. Details are important in our line of work. Get them wrong, and our interpretations can be worthless. That’s not good no matter if you’re an academic or in the business world. So when she took a closer look like I did, a few more discrepancies jumped out. Take another look. Did you find them?
This bottle has a real split personality issue, don’t you think? “I’m a red. No wait, a white. I’m French. No wait, Italian.”
Whew, must be tough living in that bottle! So what is it really?
Well, given the original photo, I think we can safely say this is a white wine. And, based on taste, it does seem to be a Pinot Grigio. JM and I don’t think a Sauvignon Blanc has been twice wronged.
But the French have some of the strictest wine laws in the world. Can Kiwi Cuvée be both a product of France and Italy?
Apparently, yes. In the new world of French wine making, there’s room for fraternization. A little web sleuthing shows that some French producers are breaking away from the strangling rules that have governed wine production for generations. The maker of Kiwi Cuvée, Lacheteau, is French. It’s based in the Loire Valley. But note how the back label indicates the grapes are from Veneto, a region in Italy, not France. Not so very long ago, this would have smacked of heresy in France.
But the times, they are a-changing. Lacheteau’s ownership has partnered with growers and wineries in other countries to produce new versions of traditional French wines in order to compete with countries like Australia. In fact, this shift in attitude extends beyond wine. After all, I never thought I’d see French vodka on the shelves, but it happened. And what’s more unexpected to traditionalists, a “French” wine brand named Fat Bastard or the English partnership behind it?
It makes you realize that anything can happen, right? The unexpected can become reality. And if the French can shake off their traditional wine appellations and straightjacket rules, then surely an archaeologist can write a novel about a “fictional” archaeologist. And if she sets her mind to it and works with me, we can make it a good story.
By the way, those quotation marks don’t mean I’m just a pseudonym for JM. They mean I’m not fictional. I may not live in your world, but I exist in mine. And in mine, it’s time for a relaxing glass of wine. JM says that Pinot Grigio was quite refreshing….