People in France are not drinking enough wine, apparently, sooooo it seems like it would be a really good idea to combine oenology with the music of Raffi and drag the little tykes into the fray before they go all abstinence crazy or some such insanity.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
Have the French gone crazy? Following close on the heels of Winestar's French wine in a can — and not just plonk, but vintage red, white and rosé from such prestigious appellations as Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley — a French producer is introducing cola-flavored wine.
Hausmann Famille, a branch of the firm Châteaux en Bordeaux, has introduced Rouge Sucette, a red wine doused with cola flavor targeted for a younger audience.
In France, sad to say wine drinking has plummeted in recent years, particularly among the young, who are more attracted to beer and spirits. A BBC story by Hugh Schofield from Paris explains: “Recent figures merely confirm what has been observed for years, that the number of regular drinkers of wine in France is in freefall.” He wrote that in 1980, “more than half of adults were consuming wine on a near-daily basis. Today that figure has fallen to 17%. Meanwhile, the proportion of French people who never drink wine at all has doubled to 38%.”
But will a starter wine flavored with cola and playing to a younger generation’s sweet tooth lead to an interest in learning about — and appreciating — their wine heritage?
Rouge Sucette — “Red Lollipop” — is cheaper than wine. A bottle will cost just under $4 in France and will be sold primarily in hypermarchés (huge supermarkets). How many Red Lollipop drinkers will graduate to something more sophisticated is not yet known.
The BBC story on the decline of wine drinking in France probably helped to stir up the French to go all Candy Cabernet on the world:
Does the seemingly perpetual decline in consumption of France's national drink symbolise a corresponding decline in French civilisation?
The question worries a lot of people - oenophiles, cultural commentators, flag-wavers for French exceptionalism - all of whom have watched with consternation the gradual disappearance of wine from the national dinner table.
Recent figures merely confirm what has been observed for years, that the number of regular drinkers of wine in France is in freefall.
In 1980 more than half of adults were consuming wine on a near-daily basis. Today that figure has fallen to 17%.
Meanwhile, the proportion of French people who never drink wine at all has doubled to 38%.
In 1965, the amount of wine consumed per head of population was 160 litres a year. In 2010 that had fallen to 57 litres, and will most likely dip to no more than 30 litres in the years ahead.
At dinner, wine is the third most popular drink after tap and bottled water. Sodas and fruit juices are catching up fast and are now just a short way behind.
According to a recent study in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship, changes in French drinking habits are clearly visible through the attitudes of successive generations.
People in their 60s and 70s grew up with wine on the table at every meal. For them, wine remains an essential part of their patrimoine, or cultural heritage.
The middle generation - now in their 40s and 50s - sees wine as a more occasional indulgence. They compensate for declining consumption by spending more money. They like to think they drink less but better.
Members of the third generation - the internet generation - do not even start taking an interest in wine until their mid-to-late 20s. For them, wine is a product like any other, and they need persuading that it is worth their money.
Personally, I am sticking to lemonade.