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Not the ripest year for French wine

A glass of wine poured for tasting

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: From water to wine. California wines are actually selling really well right now. But things are a little less flush for French wines. From Paris, Anita Elash reports.


Anita Elash: If you bought one of the top grades of Grand Bordeaux wine last year, it probably set you back a least a couple of hundred bucks. This year, you might try looking for it in the bargain basement. Even the best-known chateaus have slashed prices by at least 40 percent.

Producers say the bottom has fallen out of the luxury wine market. Restaurants and hotels can't sell the Bordeaux they already have in stock, so they're not buying any extra. Other French wines are suffering, too -- even Champagne has lost its sparkle. Sales have dropped between 10 [percent] and 30 percent since September.

French producers say it's not the end of the world, though -- 2008 wasn't a great vintage year anyway. They figure people will eventually drink the wine in their cellars. And then they'll be primed for more.

For Marketplace, I'm Anita Elash in Paris.

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