Olivier Magny is the eyebrow-raising owner of Paris's Ô Chateau Wine Bar and School. Here, he explains why Americans are the future of wine (the French are too busy drinking beer and feeling depressed) and reveals his favorite value bottles and regions.
Q. You were only 23 when you opened Ô Chateau 10 years ago. Are a lot of young people in France fascinated by wine?
A. The level of interest in wine in France is pretty much collapsing, but we are seeing a resurgence among people in their late twenties and early thirties. It's funny, because they're kind of mimicking what they see on American TV shows! Sex and the City, Friends, White Collar. They all want to act like New Yorkers.
Q. Back up: Are you saying that Americans know wine better than the French?
A. In my experience, they do. Americans study wine more. And, contrary to what people think, French DNA doesn't come with the genes for wine knowledge.