Archive for the ‘Ex libris vino’ Category

The wine festival of Montmartre

June 4, 2009

Clos Montmartre (2)

Michael Oudyn

I am away from Barcelona visiting Paris.  I find myself up in Bohemian Montmartre gazing through a wire fence at  the vines of  “Clos Montmartre”, the last active vineyard inside the Paris city limits.

“Clos Montmartre” is found on a quiet picturesque backstreet up a hill from the Moulin Rouge where Toulouse-Lautrec drank his Earthquakes (half cognac and half absinth) and then died of alcoholism at  36.  It is just around the corner from the house where Maurice Utrillo was born, raised, and took to painting the (more…)

Rabelais and A.C. Chinon

April 13, 2009

Pantagruel has a snack and a little glass of wine

“Drink constantly.  You will never die”—Francois Rabelais

I really want to like the wines from Chinon, one of the only Loire Valley villages specializing in red wine.  This has less to do with wine per se than with Francois Rabelais. This bawdy 16th century Franciscan monk and extravagant humorist is Chinon’s favorite son and he dedicated his great satirical novel Gargantua and Pentagruel to the “most noble and illustrious drinkers”.  Legend has it that his father made his own wine on Clos de l’Echo.  This property, widely considered the best plot in Chinon, now yields the single-vineyard flagship wine at Couly-Dutheil, perhaps Chinon’s most prestigious name.
In English the adjective Rabelaisian has come to mean crudely humorous; “gusty and exuberant with the pleasures of life—food, drink, and lovemaking”; “grotesquely exaggerated satirical”. Gargantuan means huge, prodigious, gigantic. (more…)

Rabelais’s wine wisdom

April 13, 2009


“I drink no more than a sponge”

“When I think, I drink.  When I drink I think.”

“No clock is more regular than the belly.”

And my personal favorite, “There are more old drunkards than old physicians”