As we all know, food can be a powerful weapon at times, both physically and metaphorically. Earlier this year, a couple was arrested for attacking each other with pizza rolls, and in July employees at a North Carolina Zaxby's were accused of tormented police officers with extra-spicy chicken wings. But in June, street vendors also dropped two tons of French fries on a city hall in Belgium as an act of protest.
Now, it appears alcohol is being used as a similar tool in France, where a "shadowy group of wine terrorists" tipped over five large vats of vin as part of a "militant action to protect local produce from foreign imports," the Telegraph reports.
On Tuesday night, between 5,000 and 13,000 gallons of wine from a local wholesaler were dumped down Avenue Maréchal-Juin in Sète—a Mediterranean port town in southern France—flooding the road with several inches of blood-red liquid. The wine also seeped into cellars and underground garages nearby, filling the entire neighborhood with its scent. Firefighters were sent to clean up the mess, though sadly none of the wine was able to be salvaged.
An investigation is currently underway, but the group Comité d'Action Viticole is claiming responsibility for the fermented attack. Upset with the French government over its reluctance to help local winemakers—all the while that the importation of foreign wines drives down French prices—the group has instigated similar events in the past. In 2009, CRAV "militants" poured out the contents of 1.2 million bottles from a winery in Nimes.
"The groups's leader, the late Jean Vialade, enjoys near celebrity status for his wine-related exploits," the Telegraph writes. "Muammar Gaddafi, the former Libyan dictator, is said to have once offered him $50 million [of] a military training to 'overthrow the French government.'"
Frustration over the importation of wine to France extends beyond CRAV, however. This past April, an unrelated group of wine activists hijacked five Spanish wine tankers and poured out 90,000 liters on a French highway.