The legal drinking age in France is 18. Vendors in stores, bars, or other establishments selling alcohol to individuals under 18 may be fined up to 7,500 Euros for breaking the rules. They rarely card, but rely on subjective judgements of whether people are old enough- which includes both appearance and behavior. In other words, if you order a drink with dinner or in a bar, you'll probably get it. If you act like a bunch of lager louts, they'll cut you off. I find it hard to believe that you get alcohol so easily in England, but you drink in France if you behave yourselves.