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A Proper Education

Life is full of contradictions. Especially when it comes to bureaucrats and governments. Take France, for example. They have laws which prevent wine marketing associations from having advertisements that show a glass of wine too close to a beautiful woman's face, on the grounds that it is too sexually suggestive and to associate wine with sex might appeal to underage drinkers.

Yet at the same time, members of the French parliament are having discussions about whether they should start teaching schoolchildren about the virtues, culture, and aesthetics of wine drinking in order to improve the flagging interest in wine from the under-25 age bracket in that country.

I don't approve of the former practice, but I heartily endorse the latter. Can you imagine the furor that would be created if some member of the US congress got up and suggested that children be taught to appreciate wine? My goodness. I dare say that would be met with more outrage than.....well, certainly more than pornographic e-mails to congressional pages.

Perhaps one of these days, enough evidence will pile up about the health benefits of red wine that it might be mentioned in a home economics classroom somewhere in the United States. But who am I kidding? By the time that happens, home economics will have been replaced by Nintendo sponsored classes in video game strategy.

So wine education is going to have to start at home, folks. Do your part and raise a good wine drinker in your family. If not for me than for the French. They can use all the help they can get.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.