Does France still have a Taste for Life and Wine?


Guillaume Jourdan

The wines of the Cotes du Rhone are going to have to rethink their new advertising campaign. This entirely due to just one simple sentence!

This could only happen in France, the country that many people consider the epicenter for wine and food around the world! The “Taste for life” or “gout de la vie” slogan will have to be replaced by another. You might be asking why, as there seems to be nothing wrong that slogan, which truly captures the essence of the wines from the Rhone Valley. The reason is based on the latest legal decision handed down that required the slogan to be struck from advertising because “it cannot be seriously maintained that the expression “Taste for Life” describes the composition of the wine itself, even in the broadest sense with it being made from a ‘living’ product, i.e. grapes, in reference to the court order from January 7, 2015.” How, in a country like France that holds freedom so dear – and we have seen this particularly in recent days with the attacks at Charlie Hebdo and the groundswell of support that followed – can we be so obstinate in refusing to give creativity its rightful place in an effective advertising campaign?

The wine industry France is dying a slow death under the weight of all these annoying, petty administrative burdens. What can the French people do in the face of this? Nothing. Nothing at all. Or at least nothing more than simply wait. Wait for things to change. Unfortunately, it’s hard to wait patiently especially when you realize that other people beyond your borders are continuing to make progress. Honestly, France’s foot-dragging weighs heaviest on people who see their world as larger than just one country.

In any case, the “National Alliance of health professionals and campaigners against alcohol and drug abuse”, known as ANPAA, has indeed managed to have this new ad campaign changed. Of course it is not just the wines from the Southern Rhone Valley and Northern Rhone Valley that are effected, it’s also something that the producers in Bordeaux, Burgundy and all the other great wine regions need to consider.

This is just the latest case; there have been many others in the past. And it’s truly no joking matter in a highly competitive market in difficult economic times when you are required in your own market – in the country where the wine is made – to change things, while the rest of the world welcomes you with open arms if you try to breathe life into your advertising campaigns and promote your brand. We should remember that wine is one of the last bastions of French pride, especially since it tips our balance of trade in the right direction. A rarity in these times that is worth reminding people of.

It is difficult to have to experience this in 2015, just as much as it was in 2014 or in 2013. Really, are there no more pressing matters than this? Shouldn’t France be the model for promoting wine, a model to be followed by the whole world? With decisions like this, we are doing exactly the opposite. We have become a laughing stock when FRANCE should be thinking positively, holding our heads up high and leading a rousing cheer of “This is what a taste for life is!”. Today it appears to have taken a different path…

This article was written by Guillaume Jourdan of Vitabella


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