French Paradox

The old French Paradox used to be why they could eat whatever the hell they wanted and have such a low incidence of cardiovascular disease (think wine and olive oil). The French now find themselves in the odd situation of having to create a new French Paradox- how to be complete and total assholes to all Americans, including booing Serena Williams and jeering when the National Anthem is played, how to treat our President and Congress like crap, how to be obstructionist on the world scene and coddle every dictator, yet still have lots of American tourist come to Paris to visit and how to continue to sell lots of wine to American markets:

Something was missing from the country’s largest wine fair here last week, and it was not just the air conditioning in one of the exhibition halls (where temperatures rose so high, corks popped). The usual contingent of American wine merchants were mostly absent, confirming to many in the trade fair’s bottle-filled booths that American ill will over France’s opposition to the war in Iraq has bruised more than egos.

French wine exports to the United States, which was once French winemakers’ most promising market and is now one of their greatest competitors, are going down the drain.

“It’s clear from our American distributors that there is a hesitation to promote French wines for the time being,” said Bruno Finance, sales manager for Yvon Mau, one of Bordeaux’s largest wine merchants. He said French wine was losing ground in some other markets, “but as of today the only place there is such a big loss is in the U.S.”

I do not remember the last bottle of wine I have purchased that was made in France. They pissed me off, and I don’t care if others think it is childish if this is my only protest. I thought the ‘Freedom Fries’ nonsense was over the top- but not buying French wine hits them where it hurts. Bsides, there are plenty of fantastic wines from Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, and I have been drinking a great deal of those and not missed French wines one bit. I don’t think I am missing anything…

15 replies
  1. 1
    Brian Chapin says:

    The only thing I miss is the Cognac.

  2. 2
    Toren says:

    Try some wines from the Okanagan in British Columbia. Lang Vineyards is particularly good.
    (I know, it’s Canada, but note we’re talking WESTERN Canada here, which hates “Black Jacques” Cretin of Quebec more than we do.)

  3. 3
    serenity says:

    “Freedom Fries” was just that little extra slap, not over the top, humorous.

    I don’t drink wine so I’ve been doing my part to boycott as much as possible—which isn’t much because I never liked French products in the first place.

  4. 4

    South America does some nice wine as well. The only trouble I will have is with Champers, sparkling wine does not cut it. If you want to see how understanding and mature the French can be, try a bit of my comment section on the boycott!

  5. 5
    Moe Lane says:

    I drink zinfandels, myself… but because I’m a science-fiction nerd who loved Tim Powers’ book Earthquake Weather. At any rate, I’m much more of a beer snob than a wine snob. :)

  6. 6
    Dean says:

    Ah, capitalism.

    The French now learn that when there are substitutable goods, the ability to persuade people to pay for your specific version becomes more limited.

  7. 7
    Cautionary Tale says:

    May I recommend sparkling wines from either California or Spain, the best of which are as complex and satisfying as all but the most expensive Champagne.

  8. 8
    Jaybird says:

    The Black Opal (Aus) blend of Cabernet and Merlot is absolutely heavenly.

    Of course, I wonder if French winemakers getting fewer American dollars well actually result in anything being changed at all… but then I have another glass of wine.

  9. 9
    Chris Van Dis says:

    And don’t forget domestic. Besides California, New York and Michigan, as well as Washington and Oregon have some excellent wines. My wife and I drink only products of Michigan, supporting the locals is a good thing.

  10. 10
    Richard says:

    Booing the national anthem is uncool. However Serena Williams was booed b/c she told the French media that French people were assholes. If a foreign tennis player did the same thing here right before the US Open, I don’t think the response would have been muted applause. And how is politely disagreeing with US foreign policy the equivalent of treating Bush like crap? And what was it again that the French did to Congress?

    Boycott French wine all you want, but perhaps you’ll get serious someday and boycott oil, preventing the oil dictatorships from funding terrorist groups. This has the added effect of cutting off funding to these governments that is used to support a military that oppresses their own people, and cutting off this money could actually lead to democracy.

    Until you start boycotting oil, or at least go out of your way to reduce your oil consumption, I can only assume you support terrorism.

  11. 11

    “Boycott oil”? Are you completely insane?

    But maybe the French will take the lead there and regress to a pre-industrial economy. Heck, judging from the complete inability of the government to engage in any structural reform, they’re halfway there already; that’s just the extra shove they need to complete the transition.

  12. 12

    I’ve been boycotting Grey Goose vodka. Given my fondness for martinis, that ought to hurt them.

  13. 13
    Stephane says:

    France is all about “Art de Vivre”…nothing else…

  14. 14
    Chipmunk says:

    I think that the economical hurt will be worse for us citizen because of this stupid and illegal war than your idiot and infantile boycott. By the way export to usarepresente only 1% of the market!!! so it does not hurt at all. Remember too that “your” wine is French!!! the roots came from France…. so cut them immediatly in order not to have anything coming from there……..

  15. 15
    Jacques says:

    Hi there! Gee! I see a lot of name calling and hatred going on around here! : The french are the bastards of the world etc etc…well! being French myself, by birth, not by choice, having lived in the US for a considerable amount of years; having dozens of american friends, I just wanted to tell the sensible people out here, that the French people is not a monolith coming from outer space like in “2001 a space odyssey”. there are many kinds of french people, as many as points of views; certainly not all the american people follow blindly whatever Mr Bush, or Mr Rumsfeld have to say; well I don’t believe for one minute that Chirac is absolutely right either; eventhough I’m french; I defenitely believe that removing Saddam was a good thing; the problem is why was he created in the 1st place and by whom??? He was created by the US and the Europeans to oppose Iran, remember?…so let’s stop calling each others by all sorts of names, we, the US and Europeans are the culprits!; September 11 was a tragedy, and many nations suffered in that event, not just America; eventhough it happened on american soil; the problem with the Iraq war is the amount of collateral damages sustained in the process (35000 civilians killed to avenge 3500 from WTC ); in one hand you have the 3000 + vicitims of the WTC tragedy + the issue of America being raped on its soil by terrorism; on the other hand you have the removal of little Saddam Hitler Hussein king of the bastards; the problem is the vacum created by his removal; you can’t let the Iranians take over the region or any other Arab nation for that matter; you have to purify the Iraq regime from its Bassist elements, like getting rid of all the nazis after Wold War II; this is not going to take just a few months but decades; The french idea was : this is a very fragile part of the world; it has been proven that there was no imminent threat to the US coming from Iraq but from Saudi Arabia (19 of the Terrorists of WTC); but America couldn’t attack a friend, so let’s punish the neighbour who looks bad anyway : Iraq; we’ll call it a freedom war; the problem is there was tanks to secure only the ministry of Oil , but no tanks to secure the hospitals for Iraqis!!! double language, we say one thing, we do another; anyway, I haven’t seen one single french person who rejoices over the death of countless GI’s every single day; we all think that it is a terrible thing that could have been avoided; yes, Chirac was wrong in opposing America up front in such an austantacious manner; I disagree with him totally on the way it was handled; but this said, let’s also talk about the many lies over the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq etc…what I see is a people that has been lied to, the americans, and that’s a big shame!
    DeGaulle, if ever some remember the name, told Kennedy after the french lost Dien Bien Phu in 58, don’t get involved in Vietnam; guess what happened then?…so please, do not believe that Americans and French are meant to be enemies…that’s a lot of BULL from the media and the politicians!!!
    there are many french who love american culture and people; for God’sake 80% of the movies we watch over here are American!!! that should tell you something!!! but we have a concept of frienship that means a friend can tell you anything, even things that displeases you; we do not conceive friendship like being a carpet in the lounge; yes men;
    that kind of friendship never last; as for the irreductible anti french in America, I would suggest you stop french kissing and using 28% of your vocabulary that comes directly from the french language.that’s quite a bundle of words!!!

    for all the others, let’s make peace my friends!

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