In the beginning it was a French paradox. Why do the French have fewer cardiovascular diseases than people in other developed countries? Why is the occurrence of heart attack still so moderate in this country where moderation is so bad?
Well, let's see, let's see.
Low cigarette consumption? Hum, here's an explanation that does not make a hit.
Cretan eating habits? Hard to believe. Especially if you're coming back from Crete, by the way.
But no, the wine, I tell you. Wine is to France what the lung is to Molière. Wine? Wine, since the French are the world's biggest consumers. However, it is well medically established that regular consumption of wine (if it remains moderate) protects against cardiovascular disease.
Bacchus have you got heart? I might indeed. But it is nothing yet.
As the musician Jean-Philippe Rameau - a very French musician - makes him sing in his opera Platée :
God of liberty,
Father of sincerity
You allow us to laugh.
My heart full of truth
Go and relieve yourself by saying so. »
If wine is good for the heart, it is good first for the heart that is moved. "What is beautiful is what moves," says Baudelaire. Wine is not only good - as everyone can see by the immediacy of the effect - it is also beautiful.
It's all a matter of mood in the sometimes dull fabric of life and time. Wine is the shimmering nuance of mood, painting the grey matter with the colours of joy. The ancestral background of good living in this country where, as La Fontaine wrote: "It is the background that is least lacking". It's obvious as always with La Fontaine; but let's hope that this fountain is not water.
It is not by chance that in the land of good living and happiness - "Heureux comme Dieu en France", as the English say - wine has always been seen as a detail of savoir-vivre that reflects the national culture.
The Wine is thus of France as the rabbit is of garenne.