Most French admit they ‘don’t know about wine’

It may be the country’s most famous product but more than two thirds of French people admit they know nothing about wine, according to a new poll.

Most French admit they 'don't know about wine'
Most French people know nothing about wine, a new survey has revealed. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

If you want to learn about wine then there’s no better place than France, or at least that’s what we’ve been telling ourselves.

But according to a new survey the French may not actually be the connoisseurs of le vin that we all thought they were, or not all of them anyway, as TF1 reports.

Responding to the question: "Do you have the feeling you have a good knowledge of wine?"as many as 71 percent of French people admit they don't know about wine, according to a poll carried out by ViaVoice for the Magazine Terre des Vins.

And when asked how much they knew about the famous tipple as many as 43 percent of respondents replied "nothing at all" or not a drop.

Only three percent were confident enough to say they “know a lot” and 26 percent believed they “knew enough”.  

The study suggested that knowledge of wine among French people depended mostly on the social class, they were part of.

Eight tips for buying wine in a French supermarket

For example, 43 percent of managers said they knew about wine, compared to 30 percent of middle managers and 20 percent of employees and 16 percent of blue collar workers.

According to ViaVoice the results of the survey is evidence that the approach to wine in French society is still "very elitist". Plus as household budgets are squeezed, many simply do not have the money to get hold of a bottle of fine wine.

But wine is seen by many as an alternative to the excesses of “le binge drinking”, the Anglo culture of drinking a lot in a short space of time, which has taken hold among France’s younger generation in recent years.

Half of respondents to the survey would like young people to undergo a course about wine to help dissuade them from drinking in excess.

“Faced with the phenomenon of binge drinking and heavy consumption of alcohol among young people the more civilized wine constitutes an alternative in terms of health and culture,” said Terre des Vins.

Whether they know a lot about it or not, it’s clear the French still love a good bottle of plonk.

According to figures from 2011, the average French person drinks just over a bottle a week, six times more than the average US consumer.

And as many as 78 percent of respondents supported a move by French senators in March which made wine part of France’s cultural and gastronomic landscape, granting it special protection.

SEE ALSO: TV adds to tackle 'le binge drinking' in France

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Cold snap ‘could slash French wine harvest by 30 percent’

A rare cold snap that froze vineyards across much of France this month could see harvest yields drop by around a third this year, France's national agriculture observatory said on Thursday.

Cold snap 'could slash French wine harvest by 30 percent'
A winemaker checks whether there is life in the buds of his vineyard in Le Landreau, near Nantes in western France, on April 12th, following several nights of frost. Photo: Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP

Winemakers were forced to light fires and candles among their vines as nighttime temperatures plunged after weeks of unseasonably warm weather that had spurred early budding.

Scores of vulnerable fruit and vegetable orchards were also hit in what Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie called “probably the greatest agricultural catastrophe of the beginning of the 21st century.”

IN PICTURES: French vineyards ablaze in bid to ward off frosts

The government has promised more than €1 billion in aid for destroyed grapes and other crops.

Based on reported losses so far, the damage could result in up to 15 million fewer hectolitres of wine, a drop of 28 to 30 percent from the average yields over the past five years, the FranceAgriMer agency said.

That would represent €1.5 to €2 billion of lost revenue for the sector, Ygor Gibelind, head of the agency’s wine division, said by videoconference.

It would also roughly coincide with the tally from France’s FNSEA agriculture union.

Prime Minister Jean Castex vowed during a visit to damaged fields in southern France last Saturday that the emergency aid would be made available in the coming days to help farmers cope with the “exceptional situation.”

READ ALSO: ‘We’ve lost at least 70,000 bottles’ – French winemakers count the cost of late frosts