A battle of the wine boxes is being waged in France. Around 100 French protesters in Paris recently stripped boxes of Spanish wine from supermarket shelves and destroyed them, according to the Associated Press.
It all started with a bit of misleading marketing. French winemakers are accusing Spanish boxed wine producers of tricking buyers into thinking the Spanish wine is actually French. They claim that French names and stereotypical pictures of baguettes is enough to lead people into believing the cheaper Spanish wine is actually from France. Xavier Fabre, a member of the winegrowers’ union in the Gard region, told the AP that the true country of origin is only listed in small print on the back of the box.
That’s a big problem when it comes to money. Sales of boxed wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon and Gard regions of France have decreased by 25 percent since 2015. The people who are destroying Spanish boxes clearly believe that imported boxed wine is part of the reason why.
It’s not the first time French winemakers have fought the good fight against Spanish wine, either. In 2016, 150 French winemakers hijacked five tanker trucks filled with 90,000 bottles worth of Spanish wine. They unscrewed the caps of two of the tankards and let the wine empty onto the streets. The other three had half of their load drained, and then had “vin non conforme,” or non-compliant wine, painted on the side.
If there’s a wine world equivalent of being tarred and feathered, it’s that.
Then there’s the Languedoc-based Comité Régional d’Action Viticole (CRAV), a 40-year-old extremist wine organization. CRAV is no joke, and they have a deep hatred for cheap Spanish wine. CRAV has done things like detained the chief inspector for French wine, and they put out a video message to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy saying that “blood will flow” if Sarkozy doesn’t do something about the price of wine.
Recently, only wine has flowed. But sacrificed wine is sad sight in it’s own right.