‘Crap Wine’ a Winner in Southern France

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By: Ashley Thompson

With an unenviable position of being stuck between wine superstars Bordeaux and Côtes du Rhône, France’s Languedoc is a region whose wine just can’t manage to shine. Through the years, frustrated vintners have ripped up their vines and headed for friendlier terroir and reputation. They’re fed up and going broke in these tough economic times. But that may soon change, thanks to a brilliant (and may I say, entirely un-French) marketing scheme that plays to Languedoc’s spiraling stance in the wine world. We’d like to introduce you to “Le Vin de Merde,” or “Crap Wine.”

Restauranteur Jean-Marc Speziale and winemaker Walter Valgalier concocted their devilish little PR tactic in the caves of Gignac, near Montpellier. Speziale told Just-Drinks.com that the canny name acts as a backhanded compliment to Languedoc’s underappreciated wine.

“This draws attention to the fact that we make very good wines,” Speziale said.

In actuality, Vin de Merde hardly lives up to its name–thankfully. Bottles sell for 7 euros (somewhat pricey by French standards) and are flying off shelves of local carriers. It seems, for now, that this publicity stunt initiated out of angst and frustration is wholeheartedly succeeding. It remains to be seen, though, whether this will help Languedoc reshape its reputation in the wine world.

Photo: Boston.com