Well I’ve got one of those horrible head colds / sinus infections that make me feel like hell: Throat burns. Sinus aches and I’ve got about enough energy to open an envelope.
One thing I’ve found that makes me feel a lot better is hot toddy. You can make them with pretty much any liquor. Essentially they’re hot water, booze, sugar and a squeeze of lemon. This version actually breaks through my taste buds. Makes you sweat like a meth addict mind you, but that may be good for you.
4 parts hot water
1 part vodka or rum or Canadian whisky
1 part Saskatoon liqueur
honey or sugar to taste (1 – 2 tsp)
1 wheel of lemon or lime.
The Saskatoon berry liquour comes from LB Distillery. I imagine you could sub in crème de cassis.
So after a hard morning of touristing we repair to Restaurant La Tour Eiffel. It is about 200 meters from its namesake on the Quai D’Orsay, maybe 50 yards from the Seine.
Now if you have ever done this at say the foot of the Empire State Building or near the Tower Bridge, you know the drill: food and drink are expensive. You are paying by the hour rental on a few square feet of expensive real estate.
You can imagine my surprise when I ordered the most expensive wine on the menu (st. Emilion grand cru) for €38.
Remember in France this includes all taxes and tip. In Saskatoon at a shopping mall resto a $38 bottle means about $50 after taxes and equivalent tip.
For $38 in Saskatchewan you get a so-so bottle of wine, maybe a Chianti or an overblown zin or pinot noir (I.e near crap).
The theory is our completely absurd liquor distribution system pays for a social safety net… Not like the capitalist French system, red in tooth and claw…
So after a brisk 20 klicks over hill and dale Sairey and I stagger into La Vieux Logis, drop our packs and begin attempting to mitigate the pain.
This means a NINE course meal using fifteen pieces of cutlery and five different wines.
I’m not sure which took more stamina.
All that aside, Vieux Logis is a serious French Hotel, with a stunning kitchen and staff. Well worth a stop if you find yourself in the vicinity. And ask the Maitre D’Hotel about Bergerac wines. He’s an enthusiast and had us drinking some fabulous wines.
Okay so there I am in a tiny urban grocery store, Carrefour’s City, maybe 1500 square feet, about the size of the potato chip section of a WalMart. At the check out I realize everyone of the seven shoppers I can see is buying tonight’s dinner: the older lady bought a salad a slice of ham and a half bottle of Bordeaux, the guy behind me a stick of broccoli, a minute steak, a bottle of mineral water and a bottle of rosé (Languedoc).
According to my doctor they were buying one day of food and a week of alcohol.
So this means a substantial chunk of the french population is alcoholic. Furthermore it means they’ll all die young. But the funny thing is they’re mortality rate is no worse than ours, and life expectancy the same…
Posted in Wine
Man am I getting tired of corked wine. I am ESPECIALLY tired of $50 wine that’s corked.
Last summer I visited Columbia Crest and discovered they test all cork deliveries with spectrometers refusing any that are tainted. This should be the industry standard. At the very least you need to send a random sampling of bottled wines to a lab checking for contaminants.
I know of a winery that lost half a bottling run to TCA taint: the cause was the paper filter in the bottling line; the contamination likely happened in a warehouse or a shipboard container. In short, aside from instructing staff to smell all paper and wood products, there is no way other firms’ QC programs will catch it.
If you’re going to sell a $50 consumer product you need to pay attention. There are too many good wineries for me to bother retesting wines where the maker cannot bother implementing quality control.