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St Emilion homage

September 6, 2012

Last night then to the Genesis of red wine, the very centre of all things holy, the pretty village of St Emilion in the Bordeaux region, home to some of the finest crushed fruit in the world. Actually this years crop is not crushed yet, most of it is still hanging deliciously on the vines.

The Reverend Jeff will argue vacuously that the seat of religion is a more important starting point for civilisation but he is so wrong. Jerusalem may be from where his particular religion emanated but although it did produce  a good rousing song of the same name, it does not have the same resonance with anyone who respects, and makes a religion of, enjoying good wine. St Emilion, a name to savour rather than pay homage to a saviour.

I am talking about red wine in particular, created in gods own vineyards in Bordeaux. This is what keeps my little world on the straight and narrow but it does not always work so well for that nice lady decorator. Last night when we were having dinner and, rather inevitably, a bottle of very fine St Emilion in a restaurant called L’ Envers De Decor set amongst ancient high village remparts, and whilst my blackberry was at hand and thus able to make a note, made the mistake when talking about different types of terracing of referring to something called “pazy craving”. I have craved red wine but not as far as I am aware never pazy. I took this picture whilst I was at worship.

On the way across France we visited Bordeaux itself which is a very attractive conurbation for lunch, but what I was looking forward to was Grand Cru land itself. It was before getting there on the drive up through the vinyards when we were between Castelnaudry and Bordeaux that we came across (sic) the village of Condom. In itself it was worth no more than a stupid public schoolboy guffaw and I had resolved not to mention it in this earnest and exalted column as I had left all the public schoolboys back in Valbonne, so we managed to pass the village without much comment. However the next village along was called Les Passages, and I just missed getting a photo of a road sign on the motorway with the two together, otherwise you know what would have been today’s featured picture, especially for those public schoolboys who so enjoy reading this missive although seldom admit it.

This morning after a thorough exploration of the village and the careful consideration of what wine to buy given the current favourable exchange rates (which I shall be checking moment by moment with Currencies Direct) and whether to stuff it in the car or have it shipped back to England, I shall be visiting the holiest of holy sites. Pomerol, a tiny village nearby is to red wine what Bethlehem is to the Reverend Jeff. The birthplace of Chateau Petrus, the finest wine ever made.

Yes, it is ridiculously and ruinously expensive, and yes I have only been lucky enough to taste it twice in my life, but I shall look and salivate without noticing, just like that horrid hound Banjo without whom I have been blessed these last ten glorious days, him being in prison back in the UK.

Then later today we shall head inexorably north closer to England, doubtless with the first hints of autumn as an unwelcome reminder of the English winter that awaits me, to the Loire valley to collect, as the pub landlord Al Murray describes “some white wine for the ladies”.

Chris France

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    September 6, 2012 12:33 pm

    I know I shouldn’t get sucked in but here goes…..

    ‘God’s own vineyard’…….note the capital letter and apostrophe…….

    This may be pedantic but how can God own a vineyard if he doesn’t exist ?

    As I have pointed out times without number the unconscious human mind gives away our true feelings and understanding in spite of the drivel that so often spews from our mouths (or keyboards for that matter) !

    Condom ? I’m surprised you didn’t slip in just for the experience.


  2. September 6, 2012 12:52 pm

    “we head inexorably north closer to England, doubtless with the first hints of autumn as an unwelcome reminder of the English winter that awaits me” I THINK NOT!! we are getting out the , T-shirts and cheeky bits to bask in the late Indian summer, so make sure you have the white knotted traditional handy at hand as we approach the weekend reportedly a reliable 28c on Sunday. Happy travels you two.


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