a prime(u)r on bordeaux wines

this guy is my hero

this guy is my style icon

I see him standing in front of the Cahors booth, burgundy-trouser-clad and scarf elegantly draped, modish black-framed glasses resting on top of his head, holding back his chin-length salt-n-pepa locks. He casually swirls the wine around in his mouth, gesticulating with glass in hand, and nodding emphatically at his friend (presumably) in appreciation for what he is tasting. And then I see it; a liquid Arc de Triomphe that leaps from his lips and dives into the spit bucket on the floor one foot away from the tip of his pointed shoe, with barely an errant splash; clothing, countenance and dignity intact. I am immediately and intensely jealous. Read More

all the world’s a stage

Talk about an awkward ele-vader encounter.

Talk about an awkward ele-vader encounter.

Although I like to tell myself that I am the soul of wit and easy repartee in English (constantly…validation is so comforting!), it’s becoming painfully obvious that I’m nowhere close in French. Generously, I’m about the level of awkward elevator dialogue: my conversational one-two punch is 1) the weather and 2) how’s it going..? – with the hope that the answer is a simple ‘fine’, or ‘ça va’ as, with nothing left in my verbal arsenal, my follow up usually reverts back to 1) the weather. Fortunately, I am somewhat less terrible at hearing and understanding French, more so in person than, for example, over the phone. I’ve made much more progress here, but I need to focus very hard to pick up on facial and vocal cues to understand the words and context. Were I to be less forgiving, I might admit that it probably looks suspiciously like staring. So: awkward elevator encounter with someone who says next to nothing and stares, probably stands too close, and that’s French me in a nutshell. (I’m a hoot. We should totally hang out some time.) …This is why I prefer to communicate via email. Read More

c’est pas graves

…except when it is. The region, that is. I’m about a week behind on posting, so I have TWO weeks to tell you about, plus a teaser about where I am for my week of vacation.

Science, like the internet, is always right.

Science, like the internet, is always right.

Last week brought a whole different kind of school – one focused around the journal club that we’re starting; a class structure that allows each of us to research our own topics and bring our own scientific articles to educate and engage each other in discussion on viticultural issues. Remember that scientific mumbo-jumbo from a few posts back? Yeah, reading articles is tougher than it looks. We start by learning HOW to read articles. The first thing we learn is: don’t believe everything you read.  Sort of. Read More