Another Can of Wine for You?

If putting water in your wine is considered, in France, as a transgression bordering on heresy, drinking wine from a can will be seen as true sacrilege … Nonetheless, on the other side of the Atlantic, where the vice of junk food first raised its ugly head, there, where any and all outrages against the French way of life are permitted, the benefits of wine in cans are being looked into … but not for any “illogical and fascinating” French reasons. It’s easy to see many practical and environmental advantages, and the spirit of that “way of life,” governing the mores and customs of the world’s most beautiful country, is seen as “vainglorious and pedantic Frenchness” among the Anglo-Saxons, who are more used to living their lives according to more practical rules.

“Wine is not fizzy pop!” a good French citizen will declare with grandiosity, conscious of honouring, in his or her own way, the Gallo-Roman heritage of the terracotta amphora. It is because of these much-revisited historical considerations, greatly magnified by the French genius for words and grand, forceful declarations, that the French would always rather drink the worst plonk from a real glass bottle than sup a fine vintage from a silly aluminium can. Having a revolution and cutting the royal family’s heads off is one thing; ridding yourself once and for all of “serf” syndrome is another. Feudalism lives on in the mind … It is noticeable that the French often gush with admiration for traditions linked to historical nobility, even when they are stupid and old-fashioned, and show disastrous contempt for any gifted genius who shows signs of arising from the common stock. The French will always cast a baleful eye on any member of the hoi polloi who succeeds in those domains assumed to be the preserve of his or her betters.

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