Wine Education: Lucky Spanish children

by Eve Resnick on July 24, 2009

in General

According to Adam Lechmere from, 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.


1 Robert McIntosh July 24, 2009 at 10:16 am

thanks for the write-up

this book was published by the Dinastia Vivanco Foundation and is very much part of their ambition to spread wine culture (not just wine drinking).

I'm giving away a couple of copies via my blog at (post coming very soon) if you are interested 🙂

2 Evelyne Resnick July 24, 2009 at 10:22 am

Hi RObert,

Great to meet you on line. Of course, I'd like a copy! I'm running off to your site! Without joking, I saw the book is available in English and I'll buy it. Dinastia Vivanco is part of the Great Wine Capitals Network and is certainly worth a blog post. Any info on it?

3 Wink Lorch July 24, 2009 at 5:37 pm

This book sounds just so wonderful and I so agree, Eve, that the French authorities must wake up soon and realize their attitudes cannot and must not be sustained.

I read the other day in Revue du Vin de France that most Chinese wine drinkers believe that all French children are still given a small glass of wine with dinner each evening … the writer did not realize that many, many English still believe this too. Yet with the honourable exception of those working or connected with the wine industry, most French families don't even sit down to dinner with their children any more, if they do, they rarely drink wine and certainly don't let the children drink it.

Education about wine is the key to so many of these issues.

4 Evelyne Resnick July 24, 2009 at 5:48 pm

Hi Wink,

Thank for the clever comment. I didn't know about the English thinking that French people still drink wine every day and give some to their children. We already discuss the wine education issue in that blog and I still think education is the key to a lot of the wine industry problems.

Young French people consider now wine as their parents' drink and would NOT even consider drinking some. It's not "trendy" enough, too difficult to understand and to appreciate. As a young adult, I thought indeed wine was my parents' drink but I didn't consider it "difficult" or "elitist" – so young and dumb! I wouldn't drink it as first choice but I knew that sooner or later I would join the club – when grown up – because my parents explained to me how wine was made and its history. I just hope parents would do their job and tell their children how great wine is. Cheers!

5 laura September 1, 2009 at 9:07 am

Hi to all!!
I´m Laura and i work in the wine academy of Spain .Spanish Wine Education (certified program )is doing a tour around 17 cities and is going to do a course in New York on October 7th,8th,and 9th
For further details and registration
When you finish the course yo will have two certifications:
-Spanish Wine Educators
-Certificate on andalusia and its wines
have a nice day!

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