Last week was the last of our four part series "A Wine Trip Through Europe" class taught through the OLLI Program at UNC Asheville. This class was meant to be a celebration of European wines with a lot of geography, wine regions and traditional grape varietals thrown in. It was intended to demystify European wine and to especially make navigating the French and Italian sections of wine lists easier.
Due to the looming threat of 100% tariffs on European wine, it became something slightly different. Still educational, but with a more somber undercurrent. We worried that this would be the last "hoorah" through European wine regions. We learned about the wines of Bordeaux, and then worried that what we had in our glass would become the last we would taste.
Of course, if a 100% tariff were to be passed, this would mean that most European wines would cease being imported. Nobody wants to pay $40 for a $20 wine. European wines would dissapear from wine shope shelves and wine lists throughout the country.
Fortunately, it seems that these apacolyptic tariffs have been avoided for now, although they could resume at the Trump Administration's will. There are still some tariffs on European wines in place, but they aren't enough to stop consumers from purchasing them. If you have noticed that your favorite French wine has increased by a few dollars, the current tariffs are probably responsible.
Fortunately, European wines will still grace the shelves of Metro Wines and wine lists around the US. I'll always remember my "Wine Trip Through Europe" class as a reminder of how close we came to losing these amazing wines.