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Vin & Société, promoting responsible drinking: the success of a day-to-day commitment

 Vin & Société, promoting responsible drinking: the success of a day-to-day commitment

Rooted in the French cultural heritage, wine is not a local product like any other as it contains ethanol. The French wine sector has therefore taken the responsibility through Vin & Société to encourage responsible drinking through all their actions becoming actors in daily prevention. 

Vin & Société’s commitment is built around four key areas that have already produced tangible results:

  1. Support for the organisation of responsible wine events

For the last several years, Vin & Société has supported consumers and events’ organisers promote responsible consumption during wine events while working to prevent drink driving incidents. In this regard, partnerships have been established with several companies offering blood alcohol control devices (nearly 300,000 chemical breathalysers have been ordered since 2017). Tools have also been created to facilitate the coordination with road safety stakeholders, such as the interactive map of stakeholders, which lists the authorities to contact by region. Above all, it is mainly about ensuring the long-term continuity of these moments of culture, tradition, and conviviality by guaranteeing their smooth unfolding and the safety of the attendees. Major French wine festivals such as the Bordeaux Wine Festival or The Yellow Wine Festival in the Jura region show excellent results in terms of road safety. During the 2023 edition, only two people in Jura had their drivers’ license revoked for drunk driving out of the 21,000 people present.

  1. Educational tools to inform consumers

To meet consumers' need for information and allow them to have the best possible experience in the vineyards, Vin & Société has developed a guide on responsible consumption. This credit-card-size support sums up drinking guidelines, blood alcohol concentration limits, people who should avoid alcoholic beverages, good practices). More than 700,000 guides have been distributed since 2015 in cellars and during wine events. Other materials, such as the memo on the act of spitting, have also been produced to train consumers in this gesture. Lastly, a national campaign was also carried out to raise awareness among pregnant women (nearly 2,100,000 people exposed to the message “A good wine can wait 9 months”).

  1. Tools to support and train professionals and future professionals

Because wine professionals are the first ambassadors of responsible consumption to consumers, several tools have been created to support and train them. An educational support, intended for all people who serve wine, and entitled “Welcome to the world of wine tasting”, highlights ten tips on key responsible actions and attitudes (“lead by example”, “water, more water” or even “to spit is to enjoy”). Training is also offered to future wine professionals. Thus, Vin & Société has developed a specific training module alternating quizzes, immersive experiences, and games. This 3-hour module aims to present the concepts of responsible consumption and heavy occasional drinking, to remind the students of alcohol units and low-risk drinking guidelines, etc. 450 students have been trained since the launch of the training in April 2022.

Furthermore, Vin & Société is also committed to improving operators’ self-regulation practices in terms of communication and marketing. The Evin law (regulatory framework for the promotion and advertising of alcoholic beverages in France) is a complex piece of legislation that raises many questions. An online training module has therefore been available since 2020 to all professionals in the sector to master the essential provisions governing the communication of alcoholic beverages in 45 minutes. No less than 4,000 professionals have been trained since the launch of the platform in January 2020. In addition, Vin & Société organises regular webinars to explore certain themes in more depth (social media, influencers, wine tourism) and trains 650 people every year.

  1. A national campaign that combines diet, moderation and pleasure

Lastly, prevention involves sharing wine culture and educating consumers about wine core values. In 2021, Vin & Société initiated the campaign, “a good wine is served with everything, especially in moderation”, which aims to remind people that moderation, pleasure, and food can be compatible. This campaign was built around a website which allowed Internet users to discover their “foodista” profile through a quiz. Food and wine pairing recommendations are then offered depending on the results as well as a message of moderation. The campaign received more than 24 million views and nearly 65,000 people visited the “Food et Vin” website to discover their profile.

Exploring the wine world, understanding its culture and values can be combined with educational and preventive messages, without any intent to be paternalistic. Positive prevention proves effective, as recent surveys show in France: the majority of French individuals adhere to low-risk drinking guidelines. A harmonious balance has been achieved between imparting knowledge and fostering societal commitment.