Wines from the Rhone region are warm and big-hearted wines. Photo: Getty Images.

France’s pride in being the world’s wine capital took a knock yesterday when it emerged that almost three quarters of French people confess to knowing next to nothing about the drink.

In a poll for the magazine Terre des Vins, 71% of people questioned responded “no” to the question: “Do you have the feeling you have a good knowledge of wine?”

When asked how much they knew about their national drink, 43% of respondents replied “nothing at all”, while only 3% replied, “a lot”, and 26% “a bit”. Far from being the drink of the masses, wine in French society remains “very elitist”, the poll found. Wine literacy depends largely on which social class the consumer comes from, with 43% of managers saying identifying themselves as connoisseurs, compared with 30% of middle managers and 20% of employees and 16% of blue-collar workers. Poorer French families said they never had the chance to develop their palate as fine wines were too expensive.

The figures were backed up by a wine shop owner, who told Le Parisien: “I’m appalled to see how little people know about wine. 3/9/2014.