A small French magazine, Lyon Mag, has been ordered to pay over $400,000 in damages to wine producers in France?s Beaujolais region. Pourquoi? Because Lyon Mag had the audacity to criticize the over-priced, low-quality wine calling it “fermented fruit juice” and “un vin de merde” essentially, “excrement wine.”
Beaujolais never gained much popularity with the public as evidenced by the its vintners seeking massive subsidies from the government to turn the unsold wine into vinegar. Perhaps Lyon Mag wasn’t so far off base! Of course, the magazine didn’t use very polite terms to describe Beaujolais but the whine coming from the vineyards is far, far worse.
According to a Lyon Mag editor “I’m particularly aggrieved because we also quoted a representative of beaujolais producers as defending their wine. Whatever happened to the right to criticise?”