‘Quoi, just two glasses?’ French urged to cut down on their drinking

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France on Monday launched a national campaign to encourage the wine-loving French to cut down on their drinking after a study showed that a quarter of them over-consume. But many still feel that “a nice meal can’t be enjoyed without a good wine”.

France has one of the highest alcohol consumption rates in Europe, with the country trailing behind only Estonia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic in the quantities of alcohol it drinks, according to the World Health Organization. This drinking culture – largely attributed to wine, which represents 58 percentof France’s total alcohol consumption – on Monday prompted the public health agency and the National Institute of Cancer (INCa) to launch a national campaign, with recommendations for the maximum daily intake of alcohol.

I’ve never seen, to my knowledge – unfortunately, perhaps – a youngster leaving a nightclub drunk because they drank Côtes-du-Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage or Costières-de-Nîmes.

“For your health, alcohol should be limited to a maximum of two glasses per day, and not every day either,” they wrote, a limit that 24 percent of French adults regularly surpass. Alcohol is the second-biggest cause for preventable deaths in France after tobacco, killing some 41,000 people each year.

Forty-year-old Caroline from Paris, who did not want to give her real name, said that she grew up “literally swimming in wine”.

“In my family, our meals together have always been extremely important, and there has always been wine on the table.” Continue reading “‘Quoi, just two glasses?’ French urged to cut down on their drinking”

Beyond glyphosate: French vineyards shift away from controversial weedkiller

France’s wine industry can become “the first in the world without glyphosate”, President Emmanuel Macron said Saturday at the Paris Agriculture Fair. But is foregoing the controversial herbicide possible? FRANCE 24 spoke with vintners.

At France’s largest, if temporary, farm – the country’s annual agricultural fair, held at Porte de Versailles exhibition grounds on the southern rim of Paris – it was barely 10am on Monday and Xavier Martin was already enjoying a glass of red wine.

At a stand showcasing his wine from Irouléguy in the Basque country, the 58-year-old had just polished off a fried egg and a slice of grilled bacon. “Wine, I was born in it,” the fifth-generation winegrower says. A salon jury had just rewarded his 2017 Mignaberry rosé with a gold medal.

Martin, who gave up on synthetic herbicides 20 years ago, feels strongly about glyphosate. “We must keep our soils clean, just as we received them from our ancestors, to pass them on to our children,” the bearded vintner says.

“These grounds will outlive us. We must work to preserve them.” Continue reading “Beyond glyphosate: French vineyards shift away from controversial weedkiller”