First there was the recent shocking revelation that many French restaurants are secretly serving dishes made in a factory and flash-frozen. And now this:

Have the French gone crazy? Following close on the heels of Winestar‘s French wine in a can — and not just plonk, but vintage red, white and rosé from such prestigious appellations as Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley — a French producer is introducing cola-flavored wine.

Say what?

Hausmann Famille, a branch of the firm Châteaux en Bordeaux, has introduced Rouge Sucette, a red wine doused with cola flavor targeted for a younger audience.

In France, sad to say wine drinking has plummeted in recent years, particularly among the young, who are more attracted to beer and spirits. A BBC story by Hugh Schofield from Paris explains: “Recent figures merely confirm what has been observed for years, that the number of regular drinkers of wine in France is in freefall.” He wrote that in 1980, “more than half of adults were consuming wine on a near-daily basis. Today that figure has fallen to 17%. Meanwhile, the proportion of French people who never drink wine at all has doubled to 38%.”

“Rouge Soucette” means “Red Lollipop.” At our Bastille Day dinner, we drank two wonderful French rosés, and a bottle of Alsatian Riesling, all to the glory and love of France. And now this.

I keep telling you people that the times are evil. When will you believe me?

[H/T: @lhuizenga, at whose Dakota chateau one can presumably expect to drink the finest vintages of Frisian vintners.]