The consumption of wine over the last few years reflects deep changes: from a daily consumption of wine – which had a food status – the French have gone over to a more occasional and festive consumption (Aigrain & al, 1996, 2000) where wine is considered as an alcoholic beverage. Accordingly, in 1961, 126 litres of wine were drunk per year and person in France, compared with 56 litres in 2000 (Simonnet-Toussaint & al, 2004, p 99). This trend, which indicates the occasional consumption of wines, is being confirmed among young people. “From food wine to pleasure wine” (Corbeau, 1997, p 255), from a popular daily consumption to an occasional and increasingly unisexual wine consumption: it would be legitimate to ask if these obvious behavioural changes are also accompanied by a profound change of the image of wine, until now the official French beverage. Fischler (1990, p 81) underlined that “food provides sensations, and these sensations allow them to exercise symbolic and real effects, individual and social ones”. Thus, considering the evolution of the lifestyle and eating habits of young people of this century, we wondered how wine was perceived in a country with a strong viticultural tradition. Through the analysis of the current image wine has among young adults, we will try to understand their relationship with wine. How do these young people, who consume little or no wine, perceive it? What does the individual tell about himself, how does he fit into the time, the society, his family with regards to wine? What kind of subjective investments does wine benefit from?
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