Integrity or fundamentalists ?
Always be wary of people who want you too much good. For example, all of those proponents of alcohol danger for whom wine is a deadly poison and only tea is healthy. It was enough to look at the recent TV program Complément d’Enquète of France 2 devoted to the "Lobby of the wine" to be convinced of these views.
There is no question, of course, to boast about alcoholic beverages here, but to make all the vine-growers murderers, of wine as the drink of the devil, and it’s fans mafiosi ...
Oddly, this show that was for the good of all resumed the dubious methods of the supporters, more and more numerous, of this perverse conspiracy theory. A conspiracy this time fomented by a horde of winemakers, corkscrew between the teeth, with bottles in hand, determined to slaughter our girls and our companions in their beds or at least to poison them with their diabolical potion thanks to the complicity of "Power". Except that, as our colleague Jacques Dupont very well dissected in an article in Le Point (https://www.lepoint.fr/vin/lobby-du-vin-fan- tasmes-et-realite-07-03 -2019-2299004_581.php), the French pressure group "antivin" is much richer and active than the terrible pressure group "provin". The latter, moreover, is so active and so powerful that it is not even able to claim the place of this divine drink in our culture, unlike what happens in Italy or Spain, two countries, such as everyone knows, populated by unconscious criminals. It was frankly disturbing, for example, to hear in this program the words of a doctor addictologist, probably taken out of context, seemingly attributing solely to wine the 45,000 annual deaths caused by alcohol in France. Fortunately, we are no longer in the days of L'Assommoir where the ‘big red’ was the most unique escape from miserable lives. Today wine is no longer the gateway towards alcoholism. Its consumption decreases a little each year while the damage due to alcohol increases. Ask the chronic drunkards or the young adepts of the "binge drinking" and the stoned Saturday nights: wine is too expensive and leads neither fast enough, nor far enough, nor strong enough towards the disorderly paradise that is thunderstruck drunkenness.
What is also often forgotten by the proponents of wine in their arsenal of statistics is that, paradoxically, in the wine-growing regions the damage of alcoholism is notably less than elsewhere. One will risk an interpretation: in this domain as in many others, it is the decay of education that causes the worst damage. For wine, good wine is learned, at least the one of which we speak in these columns. It is tasted before being drunk. It is tasted more with the head than with the liver. And the journeys it provokes are not those of drunkenness.
But how can this complexity be understood by an apostle of health at any price, for which any alcoholic beverage must be banned (and perhaps also any automobile since it is proved that the car also kills)?
I will hazard an explanation for this intransigence: our society having long given up the idea of eternal life after death, but life remains essentially deadly, the most desperate of us have arrogated the crazy mission to allow us to live forever on earth. It is enough for them to believe that if we do not eat animal fats or meat, drink no wine, cider or beer if we abstain from all pleasure, then yes, we will live forever. These prophets have an unfortunate tendency to confuse health and holiness, integrity and fundamentalism, even resurrecting the accusation of blasphemy as soon as their dogma is criticized.
Unless they are right? Because, as an old joke goes, if we refrain from smoking, drinking, eating, and making love, we may not be older, but time will surely seem to pass much slower.