Postscript: Lee Je-chun on French Wines vs. American Wines
In a follow-up to yesterday's post on the idiosyncratic views of Mr. Lee Je-chun, proprietor of Jell Wine in Itaewon-dong, I did a Google search and found a document consistent both with Bruce's view that Mr. Lee is repeating the words of "someone who is selling French wine" and with Jon Allen's view that Mr. Lee "has been taken in by his French wine seller."
According to this pdf French document from 2004, or thereabouts, Mr. Lee's stock of wines for 2003 amounted to about 1000 sorts, with French wines being somewhat under 50 percent but principally "des Grand Crus ou des vin haut de gamme," meaning that he has his shop stocked up on a lot of expensive French wines that he needs to sell.
The document also states that he recommends wines from Chile and Australia -- which, I suppose, means that he also carries them.
American wines are not mentioned, which would perhaps suggest that he does not carry them in stock -- hardly surprising since he warns us to "avoid American wines." He wouldn't say that if he were trying to sell some.
Be that as it may -- and perhaps someone who has shopped at Jell Wine can let us know if the place carries any American wines -- Mr. Lee's emphasis upon the superiority of French wines probably reflects what he's learned from his French wine sellers, but it also likely expresses his own business interest in selling the many expensive French wines that he's stocked up on.
For the record, I'm sure that Jell Wine carries in stock a large selection of excellent wines, and I wouldn't wish to discourage anyone from shopping there, but I would advise shoppers to take with a grain of salt Monsieur Lee's views on American wines.