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MSNBC reports that the end of the world indeed may be at hand.

Okay, maybe that is a little over the top. But it is hard to know what else to think when MSNBC says that there is a French winery selling Chablis Grand Cru Reserve de l'Obedience at $326 per bottle – and the bottle comes with a screw-top cap.

It is, according to the story, "part of a quiet revolution sweeping the French wine business, the world's largest and fighting to stay that way. France's goal: to hold off New World winemakers that have wooed wine lovers and gained market share with jazzy marketing campaigns, helpful information on what's inside the bottle, and quality assurances that some French wines lacked.

"Screw tops, boxed wines, colorful easy-to-understand labels and sophisticated marketing — innovations pioneered by countries like Australia and South Africa — are making inroads in tradition-bound France, even if many still sneer … The screw-top shake-up was inspired as much by practical considerations as by consumer preference. Increased demand on cork suppliers has forced manufacturers to harvest immature cork, which some suspect causes the oxidization. While some argue that wines requiring more oxygen as they age require an old-fashioned cork, many winemakers are turning to more reliable seals for all but their heaviest reds."

And it isn’t just the bottle tops that are changing. MSNBC writes that wineries in France are getting smarter about using their labels to market the product rather than using them to pay homage to families and traditions that seem irrelevant to many of today's young wine consumers. Labels now often will identify the grape used to make the wine, rather than the estate or vineyards that produced the product.

Here's the quote from the story that makes the argument that in today's global and cutthroat market, relevance is what is most important: "We didn't see the danger coming from the New World — where competition came with a completely new approach to wine making," says Renaud Gaillard, deputy head of the French Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters. "Finally we understood we had to change not only production but also the way the product is presented. We had to make the buying process easier."

KC's View:
C'est la vie.

I cannot pretend not to be distressed by this trend; I fear that the romance of wine, which has much to do with the bottles, the corks and the overall experience – in addition to the taste of the product – could be diminished as it becomes commoditized.

But I am learning to live with it, to realize that to resist such change is to resist the future.

One vintner says it well: "You can't escape history, but you don't have to live in the past."

Though one advantage of age, I think, is that one has an appreciation for the little things that make life better. One disadvantage is that one can get caught in a rut.

C'est la vie.