the belles of st emilion

Internet watch: it is now 14 days since the technician was here. Me: 0; French administration in the service sector: 1.

Making sure we know a little about what we're tasting.

Making sure we know a little about what we’re tasting.

There’s no accounting for taste. We start the week out with an introduction to our audit teams. There are three different companies and six different teams involved, to identify what’s going on with the fiscal numbers from real wine estates in the Bordeaux area. We have almost two months to complete the work, so you can imagine that it’s going to be complex. The first half of the exercise will be to decipher the French documentation and accounting style and identify a few areas worth further analysis. I’m going to need a few drinks for this one… Fortunately, there’s an international wine dinner schedule early in the week. This is our opportunity to a) drink wines not from Bordeaux, which is harder to come by than you may expect, if you’re located in Canada or the US, where availability of a wide variety is the norm. And b) mingle with the other wine students here at the school. It’s my first time drinking Russian wine (no, no, not vodka), so truly an international experience! Read More

water into wifi

I’m pretty sure the internet is never coming to 22 Cours de l’Yser.  One of the things I’ve been taking for granted in the western world is internet access. Even on the camino I had (free) wifi access almost every day. But here in France, with a resident address, local bank account, my purchase of the service over two weeks ago, even a rendez-vous with le technician over a week ago, there is still no connection. As instructed, I call the phoneline, only to be informed by audio message that my internet has already been activated. There is no option to speak to an operator. I contact the company on Facebook to inform them that my internet connection is not set up yet. Read More

de-nature of de yeast

As if French spelling wasn’t tough enough as is: the biggest news this week is that the government has passed a law to change the spelling of over 2000 words, to remove hyphens from some words and the circonflexe (that’s the hat over this î) from the letters i and u, where the pronunciation and meaning are unchanged. Actually, this law passed 25 years ago, but nobody noticed until a TV report a few days ago, and language purists everywhere were up in arms about it. So much for 12 years of learning the wrong spelling at school…. Read More