An outspoken opponent of Dry January, French chef Alain Ducasse has slashed the prices of top bottles of Burgundy and Bordeaux at his restaurants to encourage diners to splash out on wine.
As reported by The Guardian, Ducasse is keen to curb the growing Dry January trend by lowering the prices of some of the finest bottles of Burgundy and claret he sells, so that his guests are more likely to order a bottle rather than sticking to by the glass.
“I like swimming against the tide. I’m obsessed with selling wine,” Ducasse told The Guardian, revealing that he was “horrified” to see diners in New York drinking iced tea at lunch.
Even in his homeland wine sales in restaurants are taking a hit as tea and other sophisticated non-alcoholic offerings grow in popularity with the lunchtime crowd.
“I’ve noted that trend but I don’t want to see or hear of it, I am opposed to it,” Ducasse told the paper, adding that he wants to “rid consumers of their inhibitions” with regards to drinking wine.
In November, the French government abandoned a campaign urging people to give up alcohol in January after the wine industry pushed president Emmanuel Macron to drop it.
Dry January began in the UK in 2013 and has since been adopted around the world. Last year one in five Americans participated in the initiative, giving up alcohol for the first month of the year.
Alain Ducasse has runs restaurants all over the world, including the three Michelin star Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in London and Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenée in Paris.