A Case of Sour Grapes

France's favorite comic-book character is Astérix, a diminutive Gaul who gets loaded on magic potion before beating the daylights out of Caesar's invading legions. In real life, Rome gave France the grape, whose sophisticated cultivation the French now claim as one of their crowning contributions to civilization. Recently, anti-globalization maestro José Bové has adopted Astérix's moustache along with his approach to foreign policy — with U.S. multinationals taking the place of the Roman army. That comic-book reading of 21st century economics prevailed last month in southern France, when Robert Mondavi Corp. abandoned plans to produce wine in the village of Aniane...

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