Recently, I was in a conversation with a Burgundy wine producer whose wines I admire very much. I teased him about how reluctant Burgundians are to acknowledge somewhere on a wine label that a Bourgogne rouge is Pinot Noir (and possibly Gamay) and that a Bourgogne blanc is Chardonnay.
”Would it kill you to add this information somewhere on the label?” I asked.
”Actually, it would,” he replied, in all seriousness. “It would be the death of French wine civilization.”
For once in my life I was speechless. I mean, here we are in the 21st century, where communication is paramount, and you’ve got the equivalent of an aboriginal wine tribe still sending smoke signals.
What is it about wine that makes so many otherwise intelligent, interesting and ambitious people cling to habits and patterns that simply no longer work? To paraphrase from the best-selling business book, here are “The Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Wine People.”