Do the French Have an IQ of 12?

There was a moment back in the early 1990s when many folks in the wine industry believed fervently that America’s Neo-Prohibitiionists would play a key role in inhibiting the marketing of wine in the United States. Mothers Against Drunk Driving seemed to have the ear of every law enforcement agency in America. It appeared their goal was nothing less than stopping all drinking. The news about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was everywhere and threatened turn off every single pregant woman in America from even having a sip of wine during their 9 months of gestation.

None of these threats to common sense came to any serious fruition.

However, were these threats to have played out in a destructive way, it’s likely that the fate of the wine industry in the United States would have looked like THIS.

The apparent French ban on publicizing wine on the Internet is so entirely absurd it reads like something that might have come out of the mind of HG Wells during his most cynical moments.

Try to wrap your mind around this. The French government is very concerned about its wine industry’s ability to compete against global competition. So, it goes about reconfiguring the ways by which French winemakers may label their wines, then instructs them: "But don’t tell anyone about your wines….Shhhh! You can make the wines, but don’t market them."

Yes, the french may have a bit of a problem with alcohol abuse.  But are they really dead set on hamstringing perhaps their most famous product, a product that goes a long way toward defining their national identity, in order to address a problem that is unlikely to have anything to do with the production of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Provencal Rose and Chateauneuf du Pape? Really?

I thought it the height of silliness when, after 9/11 America went on an anti-France crusade with out stupid "Freedom Fries" and the ongoing bashing of the entire country. Now I’m not so sure. It appears to me the French do indeed deserve a bit of severe bashing. Not for any stand they may choose to take against American hegemony, but rather because it’s down right dangerous to do business and have relations with a country that appears to have a collective IQ of 12.


7 Responses

  1. Tom C. - May 30, 2008

    The Decanter article seems to say only that the French government is forbidding wine from being SOLD over the Internet, not from being PUBLICIZED over the Internet. Still bad, I know, but not quite as bad as you suggest.

  2. th - May 30, 2008

    Allora, Tom, just forget the French and drink Italian wines.

  3. el jefe - May 31, 2008

    Actually, the earlier ruling against Heineken in February established that wine cannot be publicized or advertised on the internet, because it is not expressly allowed.
    I urge you to read some French history. You’ll see that this “collective IQ of 12” is not a recent development…

  4. Lar Veale - June 1, 2008

    Cheese eating surrender monkeys is how Homer J. Simpson referred to them

  5. el jefe - June 1, 2008

    If you want some really good fun, try going to, enter “french military victories” in the search box and click “I’m Feeling Lucky”….

  6. Watson B - June 2, 2008

    is it just me or was the whole purpose of modernizing the French Wine industry an attempt to make them competitive on the global market… maybe they didn’t understand that it’s called the World Wide Web for a reason…

  7. St. Vini - June 2, 2008

    “Cheese eating surrender monkeys is how Homer J. Simpson referred to them”
    Right show, wrong character. Groundskeeper Willy hardly coined the term, in any case…

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