It’s January and many people are on the dry, but one of France’s foremost chefs Alain Ducasse is on the warpath when it comes to Dry January.
The French chef told AFP “I like swimming against the tide,” he told AFP yesterday on his plans to sell bottles of Bordeaux and Burgundy at discount prices in his restaurants, in order to encourage his customers to drink wine by the bottle rather than the glass.
Dry January, a trend, which started in Britain a few years ago and has spread to other counties, is also taking root in France. However, there is opposition to the idea, with Ducasse leading the charge against it.
“I’m obsessed with selling wine,” Ducasse said, adding that he was horrified to see customers in New York order iced tea with their lunch instead of wine.
The French way with wine involves drinking little and often, the lifestyle includes wine with meals, in moderation. If people imbibe the French way then there is little need to go dry in the month of January, the argument goes. However there has been some conceren over the amount of alcohol consumed in the country n recent years with experts advising people to drink no more than two glasses of wine per day, "and not every day".
France has the third-highest alcohol consumption per capita of alcohol among the 36 members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. However, President Macron was forced to step back from plans to campaign for Dry January in France due to the pressure applied by the very powerful wine lobby.
Wine consumption in France is beginning to change with the usually ever-present bottle of red on business lunch tables becoming a rarer sight these days.
“I’ve noted that trend,” says Ducasse, “but I don’t want to see or hear of it, I am opposed to it”.