It’s not easy to choose a side when, in his own government, those who said “Oui” to Dry January have formed a group around Agnès Buzyn, Minister for Health, and those who said “Non” have flocked to the side of Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume, defender of “the French cultural exception.” President Macron has never hidden his love of wine … and, accordingly, has declared that he is not in favour of his presidency supporting this initiative from the other side of the channel. Added to that, it wouldn’t have been a good idea to slight, even for a month, the jewel in the crown of French “savoir vivre” at a time when D Trump’s America wants to sink the Hexagon’s wine fleet by weighting it with heavy taxes. All of that is understood, and let’s be clear, French wine is not alcohol, like the whisky of those devils the Scots. The emphasis here should probably have been placed more on “savoir boire” than on the transcendental nature of things, as with other emblems and for the greater good of the winegrowing industry, France knows how to bring all its sovereign weight to bear so that the scales of culture (and even of health) always tip the right way.
Which leads us to quote a certain Phil Woods: “Oh, the French, without whom things would be only what they are.”