Washington DC Wine Expo 2000
The Sopexa Table

Our first stop at the DC Wine Expo was at the Sopexa table - food and wines from France. We met with Veronica O'Connor, who is helping oversee their new ad campaign. French wines have had trouble gaining an audience with the younger drinkers, because labels are confusing and wine regions are hard to remember.

To combat this, Sopexa is bringing a fresh, young atmosphere to the wines of France, creating a blanket ad campaign for the entire country. Using upbeat hand-drawn figures of hip couples in their 20s, they use phrases like Wild things happen in the "oui" hours and Say "yes" to wines from France.

We joked about how using anything like a cartoon character for an 'adult product' seems to be under fire. I can't imagine teenagers being drawn to a fine Red Bordeaux for its "forbidden fruit" qualities, though, and if anything I'd be one to argue that teenagers *should* be trying wines with dinner with their parents, to learn that alcohol consumption is best done in small quantities with food.

We began with the Baron Philippe de Rothschild Chardonnay, a great bargain at $11. Light, fruity and smooth, this is a great wine for chicken.

Next came the Paul Jaboulet Cotes du Rhone Parallele "45". This is named after the location of the vineyards, on the 45th degree. This was a blend of grenache and syrach, and was fruity and spicy. This one goes well with spicy foods.

The Baron Philippe de Rothschild Merlot 1998, at $11, was smooth, lightly tannic with a good cherry flavor.

Pol Roget