According to Adam Lechmere from decanter.com, a Spanish children’s book, El Estornino Saturnino en la Tierra del Vino (The Gloomy Starling in Wine Country) by Judith Sáenz de Tejada won the prize for best illustrated wine publication at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2009, which took place in Paris on July 1st, 2009.
Without even reading the book, I feel very happy for Spanish children whose wine culture is explained to them with care and certainly talent. It will be a long time before French children can have access to such a book. Spain understood the need to promote the wine industry as part of their cultural heritage. France is on its way to destroy one of its cultural gems as well as a very important economic resource.
Indeed France is depicting wine as evil – it must be part of our axis of evil of sad memory! Vineyards are part of our landscapes like wine is an important component of our lifestyle. In spite of that, French children are taught that wine and any alcohol beverages will lead to alcoholism, drunk driving, cancer and tragedy. They’re not taught the beauty of the wine countries, how wine is made and the true values of wine as a cultural product.
The good side of this story is that Judith Saenz de Tejada’s book was awarded in France by a French institution. The first step towards the recognition of the true value of wine? Let’s hope this book will be translated in French for the good of our children and of their education.