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Great surveys of our time - The French and rosé

Yes, really.

Asked how they felt - not about whether they would be caught dead drinking the stuff, even if the cooking sherry, Galliano, retsina etc had run out - about producing it by mixing white and red rather than a brief maceration of the pulp and skin of red grapes, they answered 'Non, écrasez l'infâme' with quite some vigour - 87% were against, and 91% of the over 35s. This possibility has been raised by their friends and ours in Brussels, by the way.

As ever, there is a wealth of highly entertaining demographic detail to pick over too, with the retired the most anti - 94% and the unemployed and other economically inactive the most likely to shrug - 23% thinking it a good idea. There's no substantial gap between men and women. Northerners were the least vexed at 75%, while the good people of Normandy and the Centre are heading for the barricades at 92%. The people of Anjou, those most likely to feel the impact, are captured under Brittany, PdlL and Poitou Charentes and oppose it 90% to 10%. No 'don't knows' there, which is heartening.

Fans of Arlette Laguiller's Lutte Ouvrière (the old school trots) are the keenest at 25%, while Communists are the least enthused at 9%. Perhaps this could be a shibboleth when faced with assessing the precise politics of any members of the French extreme left one might encounter.

Getting away from matters of principle and onto enlightened self-interest the people of Rhones Alpes and, hilariously, the Auvergne (The French equivalent of the Scots for the stereotype of tight-fistedness) would be the most prepared to hasten to their wine merchant or supermarket if mutant rosé was cheaper at 17%. Their next door neighbours to the South in PACA and the Languedoc are the least likely to be swayed at 11%. Lutte Ouvrière and FN voters show themselves to have no exalted sentiments, with 29% and 24% swayable by price. Not Communists though, as only 7% can be bought.

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