Leave it to the French to spend their hard-earned tax dollars sponsoring wine and cheese parties here in the U.S and around the world. Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the French government, along with a handful of wine and cheese producers, is spending over $2 million to sponsor these parties in order to "show that French cuisine can be relaxed."
If you want a chance to have the French pay you to throw a party, head on over to the contest form at houseparty.com. One thousand winners will get a 15 percent discount on certain French wines and receive a free gift when ordering French cheeses from specified websites.
Okay, so they're not paying for the whole party, but in these trying economic times, we all need a little stimulus package—even if it's only 15 percent.
Plus, according to the Wall Street Journal, winners "receive a hamper of French-themed party gear, including a corkscrew, an apron and a CD featuring pop singer Carla Bruni, wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy." Seriously?
I think this is a really cute idea, although I have to say I'm a little disappointed in the cheese end of this contest. For starters, Roquefort will be off the table if the tariffs enacted by the Bush administration early this year go into effect as planned on May 9.
Also, the folks organizing the event are worried about offending Americans by including "stinky cheeses" in the mix. As a result, they're sticking with more crowd-pleasing specimens like fresh goat cheese and Comté. I say, if Americans can't handle the stink, get out of the cheese shop.
Still, I think I'll apply to host one of these parties. After all, I buy French wine and cheese all the time without any discount, and serve them to my friends. Why wouldn't I jump at the chance to get a little payback for my efforts?
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