President Donald J. Trump. (Official White House Picture by D. Myles Cullen)

Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron meet from August 24 to 26 in Biarritz for the G7 summit against the backdrop of trade tensions. While France began to tax the digital giants of the US via the new "GAFA tax" (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), the United States waved the specter of tariff barriers on imports of French wines. That would not be a big loss for Donald Trump. He said in a tweet late July that "American wine was better than French wine".

Even though he bought a winery in Virginia before coming to the White House, the American president is not a big wine lover – he does not drink it – but is he right to say that French wine is not so good? The comparison gives buttons to the professionals. "It does not really make sense to compare the two. It's a hasty simplification! slice Pascaline Lepeltier, best sommelier of France in 2018 and partner in the New York restaurant Racines. "You can not compare a country that has hundreds of centuries of wine culture with a young country that has real potential. France has a viticultural culture that has been rooted for centuries. It is a global leader that is a model for other countries, like the United States".

Same verdict for Eddy Le Garrec, owner of the Empire State of Wine boutique in Manhattan, who recalls that making great comparisons makes no sense as the wine is a subjective experience. "Americans were raised in sugar. We can not change this education. For them, bitterness and acidity are negative, which is not the case for Europeans. A Burgundy will often be too acidic for American palates ", explains the wine merchant, for whom no wine is "better or worse. They are complementary".

One can also wonder what does "French wines"And"american wines", As the wine regions are varied in both countries. According to Eddy Le Garrec, by "american wine", We hear especially"California wines"- 89% of American production comes from the Golden State. These were put on the front of the stage by the famous "Judgment of Paris" of 1976. During this blind tasting of Californian and French wines organized by a British seller, the wines of California obtained the best notes in the competing categories (red wines, chardonnay).

"Comparing American and French wines means nothing because they each have their own personality. In France, we have vineyards up to Alsace and a great diversity. In the United States, even though Napa Valley begins to identify with Bordeaux, they are actually very different winessays Stephan Asseo, winemaker and founder of The Adventure Winery in Paso Robles, California. The American wine knows a strong progression of the vineyards and the know-how and it is only the beginning. There are now vineyards in 30 states in the United States, even though California has the lion's share".

Opposing French wines and American wines is still meaningless in view of the exchanges that exist between the two countries in this area. "The United States feeds on France and vice versa. There is a good dynamic between the producers of high quality wines. The French will study at UC Davis (the university recognized for its training in the field of wine, ndr) in California and the Americans come to France to learn techniques"Continues Pascaline Lepeltier.

Oregon, whose temperate climate is close to that of Burgundy, became in a few years the promised land of many producers from the French region, including Maison Joseph Drouin. For her Domain Drouhin Oregon, she found a slogan that reflects the mix of cultures: "French Soul, Oregon Soil".

With Marie Demeulenaere (Washington)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here