The French Paradox

Why is it that the French, they say,
Can smoke and drink and eat paté?

Desserts so rich they’d stop a train.
Sauce so thick it’d ground a plane.

Fried duckling skin and stinky cheese,
Beurre blanc and meat they “mangent” with ease.

Perhaps the Atlantic sets them apart?
Why does all this fat not affect their heart?

A riddle, yes, it appears to be.
The answer not one we’d expect to see.

The drink which monks refined with skill,
The plonk the Romans long did swill,

A beverage that Bacchus knew could make itself.
One that grows much lovelier resting on a shelf.

That lowly grape, found ’bout everywhere,
Plus yeast will yield beyond compare,

Elixir that poets and madmen crave,
Which makes those timid soon grow brave.

Supplies the tongue with wit and stealth,
Yet sipped with care assures good health.

Fruit of the vine, so bent and gnarly.
Vitis Vinifera: you got it, Charlie!

The liquid lovers well define,
This candy for the soul . . . is wine.

Courtesy of Peter Palmer 1992


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