Call it the Cabernet Republic. California, which produces 90 percent of the wine made in the United States and 99 percent of the hype, announced today that it was, for wine purposes, no longer part of the U.S.
“Frankly,” said a California spokeswoman, “we got tired of being lumped in with Oregon and Washington as American wine -– and God forbid places like Texas, Missouri and Virginia. It’s bad enough that Napa and Sonoma have to share the state with Lodi and the Sierra Foothills.”
Effective immediately, the state’s wineries and negociants will stop using U.S. labeling and appellation laws, and will no longer have to abide by the three-tier system. The state’s producers will be able to call their wine whatever they want and sell it to whomever they want. “Given that California is so much better than everyone else, we didn’t see why we needed to play by rules designed to benefit our inferiors,” said the spokesman.
In addition, the new California wine czar, O.V. Extracted, announced that it will be illegal to use the term terroir in connection with the state’s wine. The penalty will be exile to Bordeaux. “If they want to spew crap about That Word,” he said, “then let them go somewhere and make green wine with unripe grapes. It’ll serve them right.”
Reaction was swift. The Wine Magazines announced they would give all California wines a five-point bonus in future scores to reflect the state’s new status. Fred Franzia, who heads Bronco Wine Co., said he was seceding from California, but would continue to say his wines were made in California. “I don’t want to belong to any wine country that will have me as a member,” said Franzia, “but I do want to take advantage of it.”
The spokeswoman also noted that California would remain in the U.S. as a state. “Hey, we’re broke,” she said. “You think we’re going to pass up the stimulus money? We’re not that stupid.”