chapter  13
16 Pages

The enemies of wine

In exploring the fear of wine some key contextual factors need to be considered. First, it is important to distinguish wine from alcohol generally. The two may often be grouped together by some of their critics, but there are also times when wine is singled out, perhaps as a ‘better’ form of alcoholic drink, occasionally as a worse one. Second it is worth noting that those who are opponents of wine may sustain that position for the short term or the long term. War or sudden social unrest may change those who are otherwise sympathetic to the consumption of alcoholic drinks into temporary adversaries. Finally, it is important to remember the substantial cultural differences in attitudes to alcohol generally and wine specifically (Robinson, 1988). Southern European countries have little tradition of opposition to alcohol. Scandinavian countries (except Denmark), North America and the Antipodes – traditionally more focused on the consumption of beer and spirits rather than wine – have been key campaigners in the crusade for prohibition. Interestingly, England has been more lukewarm in its opposition to alcohol consumption, although Wales has had a strong historical commitment to temperance.