©2020 Group Nine Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. I hear you… and I feel bad. Binge drinking is popular among students and even seemingly “responsible” people tend to drink too much at dinnertime. Regardless, I feel that more and more young French people are binge drinking. “In New York, folks would barely sit down before I had their order. I met Pierre-Yves in Brooklyn. “C’est culturel,” “it is our culture.” It is true to a certain extent. This remains the best martini I’ve ever had to this day. They do, however, drink differently. Growing up, my mother refused to keep dessert in the house, finding it near impossible to limit herself to some of the cake without inhaling all of the cake. I visited Brittany a few years ago and I swore I would never live there because it reminded me too much of Britain’s drinking culture, which really scared me sometimes. For most Brits a night out = a ride back in a taxi. Je trouve ça choquand, en y repensant, et je suis heureuse que mes parents ne nous ai pas habitués à l’alcool. At 22, I went on my first trip to Paris. I had been looking for an easy out from the not-so-slowly mounting card house of practical anxieties that seemed to be building around me at home. Costa tells me that while studying art in the South of France, he often found himself attending house parties boasting lavish spreads of food. According to the new legislation, since 2009, only adults aged 18 years old and above are now allowed to drink alcohol, including beer and wine. Rennes is even worse… I was shocked when I went there a few years ago, people were drinking beer at breakfast! We drank with one goal in mind. And while he could certainly keep up, this was not the way he would choose to drink. Not bad for someone who just turned 30 , I also occasionally get IDed in Canada and it makes my day . Your email address will not be published. Wine drinking in France is certainly part of a long-standing way of life, but it would be wrong to suppose that the French have always drunk as much as they did, say, 50 years ago. They are taught at an early age that alcohol is something to drink casually and in moderation, not to get drunk. Wine drinking and the culture, myths, symbols and practices associated with it are, for many, an essential part of what it means to be French, but they are also part of a national construction. Indeed, we belong to two countries that differ in their approach to drinking -- there need not be a winner. There’s the saying that alcohol drowns your sorrows. Personally, I could not recall the last party I’d attended without a BYOB mandate in place -- nor did I think I’d ever attended a party where food was available in abundance. You drink with your friends because it enhances the mood, not because you’re trying to get away from something.”. “And it was less fun.”. Wine Drinking Culture in France: A National Myth or a Modern … It came as no surprise that the bottle-and-a-half of red wine, the two gin martinis, the digestif I couldn’t pronounce, and the Champagne “nightcap” I’d consumed the night before had wreaked havoc on my stomach. The irony here, of course, was that I had come to this city -- was here, in this bar, in Paris -- to drink. Wandering through the Marais, I watched, baffled, while Parisians in ascots sipped glasses of Sancerre over two-hour lunches before parading back to their offices. He tells me this on my final night in Paris -- I had been saving this particular bar to close out my jaunt. “For my customers, drinking is a much slower process,” Costa tells me. I would say that, among our generation at least, there is still less drinking just to get drunk, and there’s definitely less vomiting here in Paris on a Saturday night than there would be in Edinburgh, but on the other hand, it horrifies me the way drink driving is still so acceptable here. Marion Demossier’s monograph offers a contribution to the ongoing debate about the role of consumption in the creation of individual, regional, and national identities. Required fields are marked *. Wine drinking and the culture associated with it are, for many, an essential part of what it m... Full description. As in drinking with friends for fun at parties, beers,vodka, everything. France, and in particular Paris, has played an important role as a center of high culture since the 17th century and from the 19th century on, worldwide. Paris has been an important center of politics, commerce, art, music, revolution, and war throughout the world for hundreds and hundreds of … Don’t even get me started on French and “la prévention routière”…! “They can learn to appreciate it as something that compliments a meal.”. But for his distinctly French air, he certainly did not falter within the context of an American bar scene. It’s also true that the age is better checked… so much that I was ID checked myself for a can of crawnberry beer. . Studies like the ‘European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs’ (ESPAD), 2 the ‘Health-Behaviour in School-aged Children Study’ (HBSC) 3 or the cross-national research-project ‘Alcohol Abuse among Adolescents—Effective environmental strategies for Prevention’ (AAA-prevent) 4 point to the widesprea… Have fun & be well! Their excuse? We are not French.”. Wine drinking and the culture associated with it are, for many, an essential part of what it means to be French, but they are also part of a national construction. French 20 year olds in a majority don't drink wine or don't drink alcohol with food. I understand like we say here 20/20. Every country has its vices, I guess. Replies to my comments Moi à chaque fois que je dis que je ne bois pas de vin, on me regarde croche! It’s not that the French can drink anyone under the table, but that no one wants to be under the table to begin with. However, those days are gone! In fact, to many it is an essential part of what it means to be French. “The French order less wine -- maybe one bottle for the entire dinner -- and they savor it. You are really good with street photography! Wine drinking and the culture associated with it are, for many, an essential part of what it means to be French, but they are also part of a national construction. England is terrible for this too and I feel exactly the same way about it – somewhat ashamed too. I was born and raised in a country marked by binge culture. From our petit noir (coffee) and teas to classic apéritifs and cocktails, no cup or glass is spared from the … Wine drinking and the culture associated with it are, for many, an essential part of what it means to be French, but they are also part of a national construction. They do not possess some remarkable gene that gifts them with supernaturally high alcohol … Glad you like the candid shots! See the Privacy policy for more info. Based on beer, wine, and spirit consumption, we ranked the countries by the most and least years of life lost. “Oh how American.” he would tease, each time I urged him to take a shot before heading out for the night. I come from Paris, so I was not exactly used to seeing people sat at their doorstep with bottles of beers, like in Ottawa. I hate any talk of the English yobbery and try to distance myself from it! French kids learn how to drink at home with their families, not with each other,” says Louisa Crawford, an American student who studies, currently, at the American University of Paris. Your goal is not to get drunk, it’s to spend as much quality time in this place with these people as possible.”. At the same time, you’d be hard pressed to find a majority who truly believes the American approach to drinking is the best one. In much the same way, I found myself incapable of saving money: Throughout my fringe adulthood, my bank account hovered gracefully above empty. Drinking Down the Days. The French are not simply better at drinking. I would certainly say that many of the Bretons I know could rival the Scots for their drinking capacities (Understanding Frenchman is an exception!). I subsisted on office Cheetos and Keurig coffee -- until I got paid. Terraces encroach on the sidewalk and French enjoy their favourite activities: drinking, eating, chatting and smoking. I have seen it many many a time, even in the Metro. European adolescents attract public attention because of their high alcohol consumption 1 but adolescent alcohol use varies considerably across as well as within European countries. Or maybe I am getting old? Wine drinking and the culture associated with it are, for many, an essential part of what it means to be French, but they are also part of a national construction. To be clear, I neither want nor deserve your pity. The process is delicate, almost surgical. Your email address will not be published. Salut Zhu, You’ve been successfully subscribed to our newsletter! Wine drinking culture in France has traditionally been a source of pride for the French, and in an age of concerns about the dangers of binge-drinking, a major cause of jealousy for the British. Wine drinking culture has traditionally been a source of pride for the French. Bibliographic Details. I also agree that there are more problems with drinking in the UK than in France, but that there are some quite serious problems in France with drink driving. “Because it’s not taboo or forbidden [in France], booze isn’t super lusted after the way it is with American teenagers. I pranced around in penny loafers and shift dresses, smoking long European cigarettes, lowering my voice to say café s'il vous plaît to bow-tie clad waiters. 14 Countries You Wouldn't Believe Encourage Drinking During … I don’t find it shocking, I was only allowed a very very tiny sip! Don't subscribe Though, when I was a kid, I liked tasting wine and cider. France does produce good wine and a lot of people truly enjoy it, but I am really not sure nursing a can of beer while grocery shopping should be considered “normal” or “part of the culture”. Or maybe it’s because our generation is settling down and having children? When my American friends and I went out to the sort of bass-rattling art kid dance clubs we liked best, we always appeared to be the most intoxicated people at the party, hoisting our limp bodies in and out of cabs while our Parisian friends puttered home on foot, relatively unscathed. Having arrived from a country where a taste for Sancerre develops at 13, he was struck, unsurprisingly, by the behind-closed-doors binge drinking that characterizes the American college dorm. “It’s hedonistic in a different way,” Costa explains. Yes, Nantes has a strong drinking culture, like most of Brittany I think. No matter how much time you spend in Paris, there will always be more to learn. Wine drinking culture in France has traditionally been a source of pride for the French and in an age of concerns about the dangers of ‘binge-drinking’, a major cause of jealousy for the British. It’s very common people eat with alcohol. Subscribe to get new articles delivered directly to your mailbox. Wine drinking culture in France has traditionally been a source of pride for the French and in an age of concerns about the dangers of ‘binge-drinking’, a major cause of jealousy for the British. You have heard it said that there is no such thing as one drink. Ou bien quand on est invité quelque part et que je demande qqch sans alcool, parfois les gens n’ont pas! The idea wasn’t that we would keep drinking at these parties until we were wasted, it was that we could be together, and enjoy each other, and drink and eat all night long.”, “You drink with your friends because it enhances the mood, not because you’re trying to get away from something.”, “[In France] wine is a part of the table that accentuates rather than dominates the dining experience,” adds John Slover, sommelier and corporate wine director for Major Food Group. But at some point, while I’d been busy tasting things, and wandering aimlessly (the French have a word for that: flâner), drinking became something other than an aversion tactic. They’d shoo me away four times before they even ordered a drink -- they were taking their time.”, As Costa sees it, efficiency falls fairly low down on the roster of French priorities -- one of the reasons American tourists in Paris are often frustrated by the slow service. The French are not simply better at drinking. You can also subscribe without commenting. At the time, he was writing a short thesis on Patti Smith, and he spoke arguably better English than I did. The legal drinking age in France used to be 16 years old for beer and wine, just like the drinking age in Spain and Italy, and 18 years old for liquors and spirits. “We do shots and get wasted in France obviously, but not even close to as much as in the US. “Back when I was waiting tables, French couples would come in, sit down, and begin to talk. I read the same about UK teens and I wondered what triggered that (positive!) change! “Your whole experience is centered around actually enjoying yourself. It was also my understanding that the French could drink anyone under the table. Ou genre juste de l’eau ou des sirops…, Mais c’est vrai qu’ici c’est spécial avec l’alcool. The Brits have got one thing right, though, and that’s the line of taxis that is always waiting outside the bars. Described by some as a national product, or as a 'totem drink', wine and its attendant cultures supposedly characterise Frenchness in much the same way as being born in France, fighting for liberty or speaking French. Brittany and Great-Britain do share the same drinking culture! Je vois complètement ce que tu décris! Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Stunning photos again. Described by some as a national product, or as a 'totem drink', wine and its attendant cultures supposedly characterise Frenchness in much the same way as being born in France, fighting for liberty or speaking French. It requires its own sad form of athleticism. In fact, to many it is an essential part of what it means to be French. But in my defense, this was how I learned to drink. “Americans work and work, then they have all this bad energy they want to do something with, and so they drink,” says Remy, a Parisian bartender at a dim speakeasy called Little Red Door (Petite Porte Rouge) on a residential street in the 4th arrondissement. This was how I introduced myself to the City of Lights. They’ll flag you down if they want something.”. There’s the fact that the French is one of the unhappiest nation on earth. I know that because I spent half of my teenage years in France and the rest of them in England. “La modération” is a foreign word here, in Brittany. “[In France] you’re always eating and drinking, drinking and eating,” Costa explains. Looking for comrades to start a revolution. Americans might order a wine for each course. Folks showed up with wine, with baguettes, with triple-cream French cheeses. But we won’t fully adopt the French wine drinking culture, and why should we? We did not enjoy drinking -- we enjoyed being inebriated. The St Patrick day feels also a bit too much: I didn’t know and we were there once, and all downtown was drunk. I had been in Paris not 24 hours when I found myself squatting on a shaded corner in the 9th arrondissement, vomiting into a wax pastry bag, having lobbed the pain de campagne it once held at my boyfriend so I could use it as my personal puke sack. Then came expensive dresses! In fact, the table is such a beloved piece of real estate, the opportunity to sit there discounts the desire for just about anything else. He wore gauzy, ineffective cloth scarves that made no secret of his Euro-status. The culture of France has been shaped by geography, by historical events, and by foreign and internal forces and groups. Wine by the bottle sold for a fraction of the price I was used to paying, and it was all markedly better quality (or at least I assumed so, this was France). I guess it makes sense that it’s part of the culture , Hem… Each time I go to Brittany, I’m chocked to see that many people drinking in the street, in the middle of the day. THank you Barb! Je ne dis pas que les gens sont toujours bourrés, mais même aux enfants on trouve ça normal de les habituer dès tout petit au champagne, au vin etc. Even though I grew up in France, the drinking culture never ceases to amaze me. Drinking culture is the set of traditions and social behaviors that surround the consumption of beverages containing ethanol as a recreational drug and social lubricant. Wine drinking culture in France has traditionally been a source of pride for the French and in an age of concerns about the dangers of 'binge-drinking', a major cause of jealousy for the British. It seemed inarguably true that the French were simply better at drinking. Drinks at bars! Wine culture in France can be seen as an arena on which multiple interest groups compete, ... Review of Marion Demossier (2010) Wine Drinking Culture in France: A . Wine drinking culture in France has traditionally been a source of pride for the French and in an age of concerns about the dangers of \'binge-drinking\', a major cause of jealousy for the British. The French are looking at each other, they’re conversing. Meanwhile, I'm writing, travelling, taking pictures and sharing stories. “You’re indulging in food and drink at the same time, but one bolsters the other. It is definitely true that wine consumption is on the decline in France and beer consumption and consumption of hard alcohol is on the rise. I had the inverse culture shock when I arrived in Ottawa. Looking back, it is probably why I chose not to drink, even subconsciensly. “Filial Piety”, The Manuscript (currently querying), “Second-Hand Dreams”, a Short Story (free download), Panama, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil (2008-2009), Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand (2010-2011), Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Guatemala (2011-2012), Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil (2015), Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil (2017), Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil (2018), Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile (2019), Peru, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile (2020), About, contact, adventures, projects and more, The Most Unglamorous and Glamorous Sides of France in the Same Story (Part II), The Most Unglamorous and Glamorous Sides of France in the Same Story (Part I), Food Adventures in Brazil – Padaria 101, Comida Por Quilo and Tapioca, Just published Christmas Eve in Rio de Janeiro, Just published São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro, Just published 8 Signs You’ve Landed in São Paulo. For many of us, drinking is a sport. As a server, you don’t even really need to attend to their table. It was a cycle that called for personal deprivation, an all or nothing approach. Well it’s a complex topic and there are different points: * Alcohol culture is often food related. It is unclear to me why we were under the impression that we couldn’t mix anything with the pseudo-nail polish remover we were downing, but the point is not the vile beverage itself -- it’s the way it was consumed. There is no legal drinking age—technically there is but I have never seen it being enforced, and teens can easily buy alcohol at the supermarket or in bars. “I still think about the amount of terrible vodka underage people would sneak into their dorms and drink discreetly while I was studying in Boston,” says Pierre-Yves, a graduate student in Paris who asked that I omit his last name. I wouldn’t say it’s a french thing, as I’ve never seen it elsewhere! Hard liquors are for the rare wild nights out.”, Pierre-Yves’s first foray into American drinking culture was when he was studying abroad. Marion Demossier (2012) Wine Drinking Culture in France: A National Myth or a Modern Passion?, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 2010. In Nantes, the area between Commerce and Bouffay is a long succession of pubs, kebab restaurants, cafés and wine bars. On the other hand, I appreciate that most family event (like Canada Day) is alcohol free. And I drank. While sober, we were quiet, awkward, stiff. But I did read recently that for the first time, teenagers in the UK are drinking less than they used to, so maybe times are changing … Slowly! I keep your data private and only share it with third parties that make this service possible. Wine drinking culture in France has traditionally been a source of pride for the French and in an age of concerns about the dangers of 'binge-drinking', a major cause of jealousy for the British. It seemed inarguably true that the French were simply better at drinking. “Here, you take a long lunch, you go home early, you stay home if you’re tired. I am not a teetotaller but I find it strange and slightly annoying to see people drunk in public during the day… And it gets worse at night, especially in the downtown core, where people party until sunrise and occasionally fight, get sick or express their drunkenness loudly in the street. booze isn’t super lusted after the way it is with American teenagers. Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, get Next Flight Out for more travel coverage, and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun. Drinks for strangers at bars! French and English teenagers and young adults have the same drinking culture. The Merry Drinker (c. 1628–1630) by Frans Hals. It was a vehicle of presence. But French hosts relished the fact that they could feed their guests. “Drinking was a transgression and you had to hide to do it,” he recalls. “In France, drinking is more than a national sport... it’s an art! Okay, maybe “amaze” is the wrong word: it actually scares me more than anything. So it is a Brittany thing… and I am not the only one being shocked! Wine drinking and the culture associated with it are, for many, an essential part of what it means to be French, but they are also part of a national construction. In France and Spain people tend to drink for pleasure and are less inclined to binge out. The fact that you can only buy alcohol in registered shops (= LCBO for Ontario) made also a difference : I see people going out of this shop with a cart filled (I mean filled to the top) with packs of beers. Wine drinking and the culture, myths, symbols and practices associated with it are, for many, an essential part of what it means to be French, but they are also part of a national construction. But if you learn to savor a glass of red wine at 15, you’re unlikely to distill the practice of drinking into a means to an end. It was also perhaps the longest I’d ever taken to consume a single alcoholic beverage. Wine drinking and the culture associated with it are, for many, an essential part of what it means to be French, but they are also part of a national construction. Wine drinking culture has traditionally been a source of pride for the French. All I, on the other hand, was doing my best to avoid drinking at all during daylight hours, knowing that I wouldn’t stop once I started, needing to save strength for a long night of drinking ahead. France has one of the most expensive licensing system I know, one of the toughest too, and people are shitty drivers. To be honest, I’d rather live with the UK’s binge drinking problems than France’s drink driving. Irrelevant coffee table books! Apparently, it’s not that the French can drink anyone under the table, but rather, that no one wants to be under the table to begin with. I partake a little but have had to learn to express a friendly when I have reached my limit. Wine drinking culture in France has traditionally been a source of pride for the French and in an age of concerns about the dangers of 'binge-drinking', a major cause of jealousy for the British. France does produce good wine and a lot of people truly enjoy it, but I am really not sure nursing a can of beer while grocery shopping should be considered “normal” or “part of the culture.” There is no legal drinking age—technically there is but I have never seen it being enforced, and teens can easily buy alcohol at the supermarket or in bars. Great candid shots( as usual). Though I notice that they tend to sell more and more alcohol inside the event area, like during the Music festivals. No spam, no sales pitch, just two weekly stories. Described by some as a national product, or as a 'totem drink', wine and its attendant cultures supposedly characterise Frenchness in much the same way as being born in France, fighting for liberty or speaking French. While he speaks, he stirs his riff on a gin martini, served with a sprig of rosemary, a house-made dry vermouth, and bitters deposited with an eyedropper. There was no middle ground between absence and excess -- in my enclave of the world, New York City, USA, that was just how consumption worked. I agree with what Candolia said about our generation drinking less to get drunk. French drink a lot but they don’t realize it. (même si c’est juste tremper les lèvres). Alcohol, of course, was no exception. For some countries in Europe, like Italy for example, children are eased into the drinking culture. 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