A Perfect Example of France’s Problem

I’ve oft bemoaned the sorry state of bureaucracy that bogs down the French wine industry. The country has a huge albatross on its back that prevents it from both being as competitive as it could be on the world market, as well as simply thriving at home (French wine consumption has plummeted in the last 10 years).

A lot of people like to argue with me that the French laws aren’t that bad, that they really aren’t hampering development of the industry, and that marketing isn’t the problem, etc. This always blows me away considering the powers that be continue to pass laws like this one, a recent statute that will require any article about wine published in any French newspaper to carry the same health warning disclaimer that an actual bottle of wine must carry.

That’s right. The country that brought you the French Paradox is now worried that you might think wine is actually good for you, so the government (kind paternal figure that it is) will be stepping in to set you straight.

This is not just a silly news story that we can all laugh at and say, “Oh, those silly French!” This is a symptom of a serious malaise, that if left unchecked, will gradually turn France into a country that produces a few top wines for the rest of the world and very little else. The French populace will be drinking more beer and spirits than wine, and the producers who grow and sell the lower end wines that make up the majority of France’s wine consumption will have starved to death or will be forced to get out of the business.

Anyone know Sarkozy’s e-mail address? He needs a dope slap for letting this happen.

GOVERNMENT WARNING:  (1) According to the Surgeon General, women
should not read any text which might encourage them to enjoy 
a glass of wine during pregnancy because of the risk of birth 
defects.  (2) Consumption of media related to alcoholic beverages
may encourage consumption of the same, which impair your
ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause
health problems.