Wine, not…

San Francisco is great wine country, but in our little world, wine was a weekend treat to be enjoyed with friends over a good barbeque, or with a picnic at the beach. It was not a beverage, but a special moment.

Then we moved to Paris.

The first month we had an expense account and no kitchen. I got to eat out every day, twice a day. At lunch time I’d notice my neighbors whetting their palate with rich, enticing reds to accompany their confit de canard. It was one of the coldest winters in history and everyone was eating gras. After three days of this, I decided to do something wild and order a glass of wine with my lunch. I was drinking alone, mid-day and it was lovely.

After lunch I’d explore the neighborhood, learning where to shop and finding the men and women who would be making my life livable; a tailor, a cobbler, and a glazier to replace the 150 year old glass window my daughters broke, were priorities. So was a cavist who didn’t try to take advantage of my accent and sell me astronomically expensive grand crus for my coq au vin recipe. Which is how I met Didier, at Ryst Dupeyron, an armagnac specialist operating from a shop that has been in business for over a century. Or, about the year my daughters’ window was first installed.

Didier turned me on to Armagnac, offered Porto tastings and hooked me up with Lillet. He’d introduce me to a new apéritif every week and every week I’d buy a bottle to bring home and try with the girls’ dad. We were developing something of a cellar.

At dinner, we couldn’t resist a glass, or perhaps even 1/2 a carafe with our meals. Did I tell you it was cold out? It was cold out and we were having the time of our lives tasting all these complex, mind pleasing subtle French wines to pair with all of the new French recipes I was testing out and the fabulous cheeses we were savouring. It was wonderful. And we weren’t even gaining weight!

One morning I awoke with a head ache. Like a normal person, I went to take a pain killer from the medicine cabinet. In a moment of bizarre inspiration, I decided to test my reading skills and read the warning label on my Tylenol (Doliprane). It read,

“If you consume three, or more glasses of alcohol each day, consult a physician before taking this medication.”

I scoffed. Then I hesitated and counted. One glass at lunch, an apéro, one, maybe two glasses with dinner. 1+1+2=4. Holy moly, TinTin, I was an alcoholic!!!

I was shocked, and a bit disappointed to realize that I had been destroying my liver without really having had the fun of being drunk. I have since matured and (try to) limit myself to a glass at dinner only a couple nights a week, with a touch of folie on the weekends. Not an easy task, but a working girl must work.

MY SUPPLIER/ Ryst Dupeyron

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2 thoughts on “Wine, not…

  1. Funny, Mme. Sylvie!!! I feel like one during my yearly sejour in Paris. . .
    It gives me an embarrasing moment when Ryst Dupeyron is mentioned. Years ago, a bill came from a credit card company and I saw a charge from Condom! With a red face, I told Monsieur that I didn’t buy any and maybe it was him but upon closer inspection, the culprit was Ryst Dupeyron……

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