I’m not sure why, but I’m not a big fan of taking on trivial issues with no defined limits and the potential for producing erroneous or superficial analyses (in the best hypothesis).

Then I realize that I’m a journalist, and I can’t afford to be behind the times, and that there are certain issues that are significant enough to investigate even if I don’t have all the necessary information.

In this case, I’m referring to the risks to our wine industry posed by the so-called “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan“, which will be put to a vote in the European Parliament at the end of February and, in reality, represents a strong attack on alcohol consumption in all forms, including wine.
But the offense against alcohol consumption did not start these past few weeks: for many years, the WHO (World Health Organization) has issued strong warnings against it.

In the last few days, also the World Heart Federation (WHF) affirmed that the researches demonstrated that no alcohol quantity is good for the heart, denying the so called “French paradox” on which our world has based a large number of communications strategies and event tied to the “wine and health topic” for the last decades.
For the few that listen to the word “French paradox” for the first time, I would like to remind that they were researches emerged from French epidemiologists that highlighted a correlation between low mortality/chronical illnesses and wine consumption.

So, I think we can safely say that the time of the “French paradox”, a sort of armistice between wine producers and medicine, is definitely over.
I’m not sure it’s worth attempting to reintroduce or defend something that has already passed.
I am aware that I am affirming something that is not particularly popular among the authorized personnel and those who work in the wine world.

I absolutely understand the colleagues of Unione Italiana Vini, who recently published a headline on the front page of their weekly journal, “Il Corriere Vinicolo“, that sums up their situation perfectly: “In trench!”.
I admit that I, too, would want to go into trenches because I sincerely feel that behind such indiscriminate anti-alcohol legislation is not just science, but also a lobby, if not governments, that safeguard their own interests through particular politics.

It is at the very least naïve to believe that we all love wine and that we all perceive its international export as a totally good thing.

I remain convinced that wine drinking serves as a deterrent to the abuse of other alcoholic beverages.
Let’s be clear: wine is the worst alcoholic drink for those looking for a trip.

Despite this, I believe that it is now more appropriate than ever to break out from the protective wine consumption logic in relation to healthy nature subjects.
The “drink responsibly” concept must be kept without being naïve and superficial, but always being conscient that, unfortunately, the abuse of alcoholic drinks is a world plague.
For this reason, according to me the best defense of the responsible wine consumption is connected of the development of the wine culture. A culture that, despite those many times that we tell ourselves lies, is still scarce in a country like ours that has far wine roots.

Wine culture in Italy continues to be the privilege of a small élite. Of course, through time, we have seen proliferate sommelier courses organized by various entities that surely enlarges the group of experts, but these are numbers that remain much more reduced than what we can imagine.
How many times have I heard our colleagues say: “Fabio I would like to open some important bottles with friends or relatives from time to time but they still struggle to understand the difference between a classic method and a charmat so, at the end of the day, one wine is as good as the other“?.

As a result, I now believe that (despite trying to defend our position – those of the producing countries – well, at least in Europe), it is equally important to define a new wine culture development model, with much broader projects, capable of intercepting a wider public without the arrogance of expecting them to become professional sommeliers.

Where there is knowledge, it’s unlikely there will be abuses.
The more the wine culture will rise, the more it will grow an adequate consuming model not only in quantity but especially in quality.
And it is right on this field that we must focus our efforts.