|In this golden bottle of champagne, “Ace of Spades,” one finds the perfect cocktail of luxury, promotion and ultimately celebration when its cork is popped.|
In a recent PEW study wherein citizens of 10 countries* were asked several questions about their optimism for the future, the French proved to be extremely pessimistic. The Japanese were the most unhappy with the current state of affairs in their country and sidling up closely behind them was France, the country known for its sense of joie de vivre.
In reponse to the question: “Over the next 12 months, do you expect the economic situation in your country to improve, remain the same, or worsen?” only 17 percent of the French expected improvement, 35 percent predicted status quo and a rather shocking 48 percent are waiting for things to worsen. (The Japanese, though resigned to the present stagnant situation in their economy, showed more hope for the future, only 29 percent thought it would be worse.)
|Jay-Z and Beyoncé drink Ace of Spades champagne. (To read more about it and other bubblies, please click here.)|
I don’t know about the tone of news programs, magazine and newspaper articles in other parts of the world, but we are treated to a constant barrage of harrowing statistics about the sorry economic state of affairs in France. From the debt to unemployment, morose is the order of the day from those whose business it is to keep us informed.
Realizing the demoralizing effect of these constant reports, an interesting television program tried to boost our mood with stories about what the French are doing well and why they should begin to think positively about their future.
|The Marquise de Pompadour, known for her beauty and intelligence, ordered not only expensive porcelain and jewels, but also champagne from Möet & Chandon.|
The first positive example was champagne, the official quaff for celebrating anything and everything. In that respect the champagne business is booming. Every minute, 580 bottles are sold around the world. Champagne has always been considered a mainstay of France’s reputation for luxury it was after all, we’re told, first appreciated by Louis XV.
Möet & Chandon, now owned by Louis Vuitton, has precious sales books in its archives that show an order the king’s mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour, placed in 1743.
|With the royal seal of approval, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge christen something-or-other with a bottle of Bollinger champagne, the first choice of beverages for James Bond. Difficult to trump that sort of publicity, non?|
From there the program offered more examples of why the French need to snap out of their malaise citing such prospering areas of progress and innovation as: medical laboratories, aviation, robots (yes, a relatively new start-up seems to hold great promise), and, of course, the luxury sector which was and is France’s specialty.
Also mentioned was the site Vente-Privee, proof that where there’s commerce, there’s hope.
I’ve been known to pour a coupe de champagne when things are not going well. Somehow the bubbles boost my spirits. For a moment during the program I thought maybe the French were exporting too much of their champagne and not drinking enough domestically, but that’s not the case. The French still drink it more than any other country. At least that’s what the reportage said.
* The other countries in the studies: United Kingdom, United States, Spain, Israel, South Korea, Germany, Greece and Italy.