Christmas wine sales in France's major supermarket chains have fallen far short of the heights of 2013, according to figures published today by LSA, a leading French retail-analysis publication.
Grand crus suffered heavily, it said, while mid-range wines "weren't at the races."
The old saying within retail about 'bad wine sale, bad Christmas' is regaining currency within the world of French FMCG.
Didier Coustou of Leclerc, the only major chain in the country that begins its Christmas wine sale in October – a month later than its competitors – said he "fears the worst," lamenting the enormous variation in sales between its outlets across France.
LSA rates Leclerc as among the very top supermarkets for wine sales in Europe.
Retailers who banked on grands crus took a hammering, as the majority of these are vintages of 2009, 2010 or 2011 – poor years of harvest according to Masters of Wine globally, and those in the industry generally.
Simply Market, a French retailer founded only nine years ago, has so far done better than the rest of the field by pushing second-growths, which, in the eyes of both the public and the experts, are far better value right now than both the top echelon, and the enormous number of vins de table available.