What a month for celebrations! For Americans, July has the 233rd year of Independence and France her 220th. The “People” arose July 14th 1789 and stormed the 450 odd year old Bastille prison, number 232 Rue Saint-Antoine of Paris. Her revolution was internal and justice was swift. So swift, necessity being the mother of invention, a guillotine was the outcome for most of the royals.
From Wikipedia I quote: “In the early afternoon of around 1:00, the crowd broke into the undefended outer courtyard and the chains on the drawbridge to the inner courtyard were cut. A spasmodic exchange of gunfire began; in mid-afternoon the crowd was reinforced by mutinous Gardes Françaises of the Royal Army and two cannons. De Launay (the prisons Governor) ordered a ceasefire; despite his surrender demands being refused, he capitulated and the vainqueurs swept in to liberate the fortress at around 5:30. When the rioters had entered the Bastille, they collected cartridges and gunpowder for their weapons and then freed the seven prisoners (which they had to do by breaking down the doors, since the keys had already been taken off and paraded through the streets). Later, the governor and some of the guards of the Bastille were killed under chaotic circumstances, despite having surrendered under a flag of truce, and their heads paraded on pikes.”
Join the beautiful and talented Cara Bertone and the owner of Veritas John Winthrop (Los Angeles’ based direct wine importer of supreme French wines) at Pourtal on Tuesday, July 14th when we will feature wines for the “People” (hold the pikes).
They will both be there to share the storied wealth of these fantastic French country wines: Olivier Merlin’s Macon "La Roche Vineuse" 2006 (the secret choicest table wine of the Big Dog French winemakers) or the Jo Pithon Anjou "Les Pepenieres" 2005, an absolutely mind-bogglingly, stunning Chenin Blanc. Rounding out the red Burgundy contingent with Roland Thevenin’s Monthelie 2005 or Camille Giroud’s "Le Croix Moines" Maranges 1er Cru 2006 (an extraordinary “sleeper” wine for lover’s of les vrais Pinot Noir). Plus, who could not have the ultimate red summer sipper, Michel Lafarge’s deliriously guzzleable Bourgogne Passe-tout-grain "L'Exception" 2006, a Gamay & Pinot Noir tout de suite tradition or the sturdy Michel Guignier Morgon "Cuvee A L'ancienne" 2005. All told, we will have 18 wines to celebrate with AND one of the descendents of the Bastilles Governor De Launay, a Touraine Rose of such discretion and delicacy, capitulation is de riguer!
To those who joins us on the 14th, a complimentary Kir will be served to all who recite the serment du jeu de paume (the Tennis Court Oath).
“We swear never to separate ourselves from the National Assembly, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the realm is drawn up and fixed upon solid foundations.”
In the immortal words of Phineas Beck, “These French people know how to LIVE!” Salute!