Massive Rhône Valley Wine Fraud Reported by French Authorities

French anti-fraud authorities allege that a Rhône Valley wine merchant mislabeled more than 5 million cases of table wine as more expensive appellations like Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Between October 2013 and June 2016, Raphaël Michel, a bulk-wine merchant in France’s Rhône Valley, allegedly sold the equivalent of 13 Olympic-size swimming pools of cheap French table wine while claiming it was some of the best wine of the Southern Rhône Valley.

Those details and more emerged with the release of the annual report of the DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control), France’s powerful anti-fraud agency. While the report does not name Raphaël Michel, the details match precisely with the investigation first reported last July by Wine Spectator. Independent sources confirm that Raphaël Michel is the unnamed company in the report.

According to the DGCCRF report, between 2013 and 2016, the merchant sold around 20 million liters of table wine—the equivalent of 2.23 million cases—as more lucratively priced appellation-level wines including Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône-Villages and even 108,000 cases of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

When investigators dug deeper, the scam grew even larger, encompassing even more kinds of wine. “In total, the fraud touched more than 48 million liters of wine,” reads the report. That is the equivalent of 5.33 million cases of fake wine, 15 percent of the Côtes du Rhône production during those years [ . . . ]

Read full story at: WINE SPECTATOR Massive Rhône Valley Wine Fraud Reported by French Authorities | News | News & Features | Wine Spectator

The French Writer Who Started The Realism Movement

Realism in literature has its origins in 19th century Europe. The French writer who is credited as having created the Realist movement is Honoré de Balzac. But, what is realism in literature and how did Balzac help to start it? In this article, we will go deeply into answering these two interrelated questions.

The best way to begin to understand realism in literature is by defining the term realism. As its most simple and broad, realism is a representation of reality.

Before the 19th century, writers were not interested in representing everyday life in their works. It is important to note, before we go any further that, realism is not the same as plausibility. Realism is the representation of everyday experiences and activities of the characters whereas plausibility means created a plot that has internal coherence.

So, when we say that before the 1800s writers did not depict everyday life in their work, it does not mean that everything produced before then was in the realm of fantasy. It is simply, that writers did not often write about ordinary people leading ordinary lives, at least not in the level of detail as some did from the 19th century.

But depicting everyday life is not enough for realism, this depiction must lack any romanticizing

Although Realism began in painting and literature (prose and plays) and then, in the twentieth century, to cinema.

Continue reading “The French Writer Who Started The Realism Movement”

Filmstruck Podcast: Agnes Varda and JR


Agnes Varda and street artist JR – The Filmstruck Podcast: Episode 2

ReleasedNov 22, 2017

Host Alicia Malone talks with legendary filmmaker Agnes Varda and street artist JR about their film Faces Places. They tell stories from their road trip

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