cutting off the nose to spite the face

Or is it a question of digging our own grave? In any event, this is just not worthy of a great nation, or of a people who think they are a part of a great nation.

French wine didn't make us stupid. French wine didn't make us do wretched things to people we know nothing about. French wine didn't make us greedy and provincial and it did not endow us with a dangerous sense of moral superiority over the entire world. French wine didn't make us cowards. French wine did not turn the world against us.

French wine will not end the "American century."

We're going to do it on our own.

We've been told all year that Americans want to punish France for showing good sense lately in its foreign policy, but I wasn't ready to take the story seriously - until now.

The usual contingent of American wine merchants were mostly absent [from France's largest wine fair this week in Bordeaux], confirming to many at the fair that American ill will over France's opposition to the war in Iraq bruised more than egos.

French wine sales to the United States, once French winemakers' most promising market and now one of their greatest competitors, are going down the drain.

Up to now I had actually thought this nonsense would blow away quickly and that we would soon be directing our anger to the right target: the entire American media and political establishment. In fact it’s clear we haven’t learned a thing, and the result will not be disaster just for certain French industries.

French wine, and perhaps the French aeronautical industry and many others as well, may never recover from American fear and stupidity, but in the end the real victim will be America and everything that a wise and generous America could have been for itself and for the world.

In the meantime, chez nous, we enjoyed a magnificent bottle of French wine last night. The entree was a plate of sauteed sea scallops on a bed of wilted frisee tossed with sauteed shallots, chanterelle and balsamic vinegar. The wine was a Muscat 1992 Grand Cru Goldert Domaine Zind Humbrecht, and the recipe was that of Mario Batalli. An odd combination, but I think "surf and turf" always requires imagination when matching wine and food. Besides, the Zind was getting antsy sitting in the rack here.

Vive la France!

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Published on June 30, 2003 11:43 PM.

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