Sunday, July 31, 2011

WINE NEWS: THE FRENCH ARE DRINKING LESS WINE


Wine News

A study shows that French wine consumption has dropped over the course of two generations by three billion bottles per year.  The study - spotlighted in The Telegraph - has some people concerned that the entire culture of wine in France may be on its way out.

Younger generations seem to be less likely to enjoy wine with a meal, and more inclined to drink wine for pleasure on a night out.

One figure I found hard to believe: only 16.5% of the French population are regular wine drinkers.  The under-30 crowd, according to the researchers, views wine as a “sometimes” treat, not an everyday staple like their elder countrymen.

One researcher stated, “The younger generations may still take pride in French wine but have little awareness of its cultural place in French history.”

The study concludes that the loss of identity of wine as a national tradition is mainly to blame for the sharp decline in France’s wine consumption numbers over the past three generations.  French consumption of wine has dropped to four billion bottles per year.  That’s about 1 bottle per week for each adult.

In southeast Texas - where I grew up - and in southwest Louisiana, this same sort of identity loss has caused some to fear that the Cajun culture may be dying out.  Many of my friends, and others our age, grew up in households where Cajun French was spoken regularly.  With each passing generation, some of that Cajun identity has been lost as the younger folks are “Americanized.”

It’s hard to imagine a world where France isn’t synonymous with wine.  Perhaps the cultural pendulum will soon start swinging the other way, into a rediscovery of wine in the nation for which it may have meant the most.


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