Milk was promoted in wine region

Having seen much written recently about the best wine regions, etc., I felt compelled to write about one probably few Canadians ever visit.

Dear Editor:

Having seen much written recently about the best wine regions, etc., I felt compelled to write about one probably few Canadians ever visit.

I worked in France in the early 1960s on a US/NATO Cold War Defense contract.  We had to visit all the US Air Bases in Europe, Western Asia, and Africa.

On one of those visits, my team of four Electronic Tech Reps were driving through the France/Germany border region, and we stopped to overnight in Nancy, in France.

It happened that there was a huge Wine Festival in progress at the time.

That region is mainly known for white wines, many of the varieties would be familiar here in the Okanagan.

At the time, the recent (or current, I don’t recall exactly)  French President Pierre Mendes-France was on a campaign to get the people of France to start drinking milk rather than wine, he had a healthier and more nutritional lifestyle  in mind for the French people.

As we walked downtown to a restaurant for dinner, I suddenly stopped and pointed.

Across the intersection was a square building about eight stories tall.

Between the fourth and fifth level was one of those New York Times Square type signs that have the brightly lit words travelling continuously around the building. We all had a great laugh at the local wit and humour.

The sign read (hopefully I still have some French left in me):  “Quand les vaches mange les raisins, nous bouverons du lait.” “When the cows eat grapes, we will drink milk.”

It still brings on a hearty chuckle when I think about that evening.

Gary Bazan

Summerland