An Eye-Popping Wine Suggestion
A group of French lawmakers have issued a report recommending that school children be taught "how to appreciate wine" and the commencement of "education programs to inform young people about the origins, history and characteristics of French wines."
Can you imagine the hysterical outrage that would be aimed at those who suggested such a thing here in America. The folks at MADD would…well…go mad.
The justification for this proposal in France is pretty obvious. Their industry is ailing to a degree and they need future wine drinkers. But they say it like this:
"Teaching our children about regional products, about how they are cultivated and transformed to acquire their taste can only help them keep their health and promote demands for quality and respect for nature."
Given the demands on our educational system to "teach the tests" it’s unlikely such a program could be accommodated even if there were no outrage, unless of course we could some how gets questions about terroir, malolactic fermentation and Zinfandel into the exit exams for science and social studies.
Wine education in America will probably always be left to the private sector. That’s the best we can hope for and likely the best way to handle it anyway. Still, I’d like to see someone suggest a high school-based wine appreciation course here in America only because I’ve never actually seen a person’s eyes actually pop out of their head. And even the suggestion would have some people’s eyes popping before the picketing and protesting ever began.
I am proud to be the first post on this one! With all the wonderful news about drinking wine in moderation, you’d think all the health groups would be jumping on it. I adhere to the “European” philosophy on drinking in general. And I love the eye popping thing.
I have fond memories of wineries my son (16 at the time) and I visited in the south of France: Languedoc, Roussillon and the Cahors area. We would walk in and there would be no discussion as to the age of my boy. The proprietor simply set up the glasses and we tasted. Talk about a bonding experience. There is no better way to teach moderation, and to learn. No fear.
I remember drinking wine in Madrid, Spain at the young age of 19 and the young bartender 16 year old bartender serving me drinks, because his mother and father had errands to do. That’s family values!
Well, let’s say it: America will never be like Spain or France or Italy. Too many religious and so-called moral (and of course legal) barriers stand between us and the natural, easy regard of (European) humans beings toward wine. We started our children on wine, diluted with a little water, at dinner when they were 12 or so. By the time they were 16, they knew how to serve and drink wine properly and how to express their reactions. So arrest me.
3 years ago, I was in Burgundy and went to a small producer in Saint Romain, where a 12 year old girl and her 6 year old brother came greeted us (their mom was busy cooking upstairs)…poured us wine, we bought from her and moved on our way.
A great experience all around, as this young girl could actually talk about the wine (just a bit) and poured things in the correct order.
I echo Fredric’s sentiments. Culture and wine should not be nearly so mutually exclusive as, say, culture and being a mallrat.
Tear down the wall!!
Tom thanks for your kind words at The Wine Commonsewer and your good work.
I noticed the trackback didn’t take here. Not sure why it is difficult to make that happen with Typepad but it seems to be an ongoing difficulty. 🙂
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