French winemakers are suffering. Consumption has plunged so sharply that producers are pulling up vines and distilling wine into ethanol. Thankfully, the French government now knows who's to blame: teetotaling kids. And they've got a re-education plan on tap:
French schools should teach young people how to appreciate wine, a group of parliamentarians said in a report Thursday, calling for an education campaign to help the ailing sector...
"To hold a forceful position in the world, French wine must first assume a strong position at home," the report said, calling for education programs to inform young people about the origins, history and characteristics of French wines.
"Learning about healthy living starts from childhood and primary school," said the report, compiled by Philippe-Armand Martin and Gerard Voisin, deputies from the ruling UMP party.
I've got nothing against marketing alcohol to children, especially in light of the fact that it doesn't seem to work -- but let's leave that kind of thing to martini-swilling, cigar-smoking capitalists rather than state-funded school teachers. At the same time, it's hard not to appreciate the French enthusiasm for serving alcohol to minors:
"When I was a child my father used to give me wine mixed with water because he was afraid plain water wasn't good for my health," said Georges Casellato, a Paris wine merchant.
Today, incidentally, is Repeal Day.