Torula News, a service of Lusina ISG, Inc.
with correspondents in Japan, Russia, USA, Sweden; edited by M.Andrew, FIJEV
|28/06/01||Sommeliers in short supply
John Hanley of The Guardian (14/06/01) writes in an article titled Grape escape: "France, it seems, is suffering from a crippling shortage of wine waiters. But that may not prove the blow to Gallic pride it once might have, because French vineyards have just invented the wine pill.
With great wines a more reliable source of profit than great food, French restaurants want expert sommeliers to help their well-off clients make some sense of what can often be a 20 or 30-page wine list.
But according to the wine waiters' association, finding a good sommelier these days is about as easy as tracking down - let alone paying for - a bottle of 1945 Pomerol.
"We have a real shortage of professionals at the moment," lamented Georges Pertuiset, the organisation's president. "More and more restaurants realise the value of a true professional, and demand has outstripped supply."
Mr Pertuiset said it takes at least two years of training to produce a qualified sommelier, who these days is no longer a sneering specialist turning his nose up at a customer's ignorance but is, statistically speaking, more likely to be young, enthusiastic and increasingly often a woman... But the scarcity of wine professionals may soon not be such a problem following a startling initiative by some 20,000 Rhone Valley and Roussillon growers. They have just completed a successful year-long trial producing a powdered red wine extract for the pharmaceutical industry, which is turning it into pills.
The venture is designed to appeal to all those who do not want the inconveniences of drinking wine - such as hangovers - but have been convinced by numerous surveys showing that a couple of glasses a day may help prevent anything from coronary disease to Alzheimer's.
The Société Francaise de Distilleries, based in the Ardeche region, a co-operative owned by several thousand vineyards, last year began selling powdered wine rich in health-giving polyphenols as a response to the sharp drop in consumption of cheap vin de pays." For more go towww.guardian.co.uk.
Cognac industry is no different as it suffers from not enough sommeliers who know or are even interested in Cognac world wide. But a Cognac pill - NO! It is enough that in Sweden you can buy Saturnus Cognac Essens (essence).
16 June 2001
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