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Paris Diary: Wonderful Wines
Want to see the French at their best: relaxed, convivial, and exquisitely well informed? Wine tastings at the Grains Nobles wine tasting club on the Left Bank offer members a parade of France’s best winemakers, where their wines and viticultural practices are commented upon in the little club’s vaulted cellar by France’s leading wine writers. (The French word for winemaker is vigneron, which better translates as “vine grower” — the wine makes itself)
We always spit the tasted wine into the small, stainless steel spittoons positioned in front of each chair — unless it is really good, which it often is, to judge by the rising volume of conversation in the room as a night’s tasting progresses.
In listening to winemaker/artists talk about their craft, and in tasting their wine, one comes to a much better understanding of Louis Pasteur’s oft-quoted dictum: “A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world.” There is no irony in these words.
Addendum: Unless you are buying at the cellar door, which we try to do, young French wines are usually more expensive in France than in America. France has heavy social taxes on payrolls, which makes distribution expensive; high taxes on all types of alcohol; and on top of that, the government slaps a 19.6% sales tax on almost everything — a rate that will go to 20% in 2014. Live free or die.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…