French drink less wine 法國人飲酒量減少

更新時間 2013年 7月 22日, 星期一 - 格林尼治標準時間11:23
Wine and glasses on a table

Is a change in French tastes due to a change in attitude?

Vocabulary: habits and traditions 詞匯: 習慣和傳統

A new survey has confirmed that the number of regular drinkers of wine in France is in decline, and some traditionalists fear that the beverage seems to be losing its iconic role in France's cultural heritage.

In 1980, more than half of adults were consuming wine on a near-daily basis. Today, that figure has fallen to 17%. In 1965, the amount of wine consumed per head of population was 160 litres a year. In 2010, that had fallen to 57 litres.

According to the International Journal of Entrepreneurship, changes in French drinking habits are visible through successive generations. People in their 60s and 70s grew up seeing wine on the table at every meal. Those in their 40s and 50s see wine as an occasional indulgence. And members of the internet generation do not even start taking an interest in wine until their mid-20s. For them, wine is a product they need persuading is worth their money.

What worries people is the effect the change is having on the concept of French civilisation. They fear that time-honoured values, such as conviviality, tradition and appreciation of the good things in life, are on the way out.

Veteran observer of his nation's way of life, French writer Theodore Zeldin, thinks that a business-style culture has made inroads into France - the bane of all those who prefer to take the time to savour things.

"Companionship has been replaced by networking. Business means busy-ness, and in that way we are becoming like everywhere else," he says.

But Zeldin refuses to abandon hope. "The old French 'art of living' is still there. It's an ideal. It's a bit like the English gentleman. You don't often find an English gentleman, but the ideal is there and it informs society as a whole," he says.

And what survives is "the feeling you get in France that in human relations we need to do more than just conduct business. We have a duty to entertain, to converse. It's about taking your time. After all, that is one of the great things about wine. You can't swig it."

Quiz 測驗

1. Which generation seems to be the least interested in wine?

The internet generation.

2. Which traditional values form part of French civilisation, according to the article?

Conviviality, tradition and appreciation of the good things in life.

3. Is this statement true or false? French people have a reputation for spending a long time chatting and drinking.


4. Which expression means 'something that is on the verge of becoming unfashionable'?

On the way out.

5. Which verb means 'to drink something in large mouthfuls'?

To swig.

Glossary 词汇表 (点击单词收听发音)

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