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Allô, allô, Bonjour!

Voici, the last Slurp of the year. Read it thoroughly as it's close to bursting at the seams with educational tidbits!

Allez, à l'attaque!

In this Slurp!
Crying is obligatory
A restaurant to cry for
Nicest X-mas present

Crying is obligatory



Crying is a physical process during which the human body produces tears. This can be caused by Sadness but it is equally possible that it is induced by its antipode: Joy.


However, according to The Cure, boys don't cry.
Gents therefore cry largely in secret, while ladies have no problem bawling their eyes out in public.

The American sociologist William Frey who studied this phenomenon, also found that women cry a lot more often than men: on average 5.3 times a month, as opposed to men who only cry 1.4 times. Interestingly, Freys findings showed that both genders tend to feel a lot better after a good cry.


The Swiss/American psychologist Aletha Solter wrote a textbook on why babies cry. She is of the opinion that one of the reasons that newborns cry is to release the stress they experience.
According to Solter it is therefore important to allow the baby to cry as much as it needs. 'Don't try and distract them, don't give them any food, and certainly don't stuff a pacifier in their mouths,' says this baby-expert. 'Let those little ones wail. Crying is necessary. It'll do them good.'

A wistful tear at the parting of summer


We looked back over the summer with a nostalgic tear in our eye.


We reminisced over our dutiful castle chickens, who would poop out their daily eggs and then come sauntering in through the open kitchen door to inform us of their contribution.


The egg man at the market used to watch us with a hollow eyed stare as we walked past him, but it didn't bother us. We lunched in the shade of the plane tree, and life was beautiful and without sorrow.


The harvest was rich and the grapes were sweet. When the last grape splashed safely into the barrel, the summer went. The next morning we looked out the window and saw the vineyard bathed in a golden glow.



The grapeless vineyards turned yellow...


... So we took the Méhari to its night shelter for a well-deserved winter holiday.


We cried hot tears of joy at the birth of our new wine. Unbelievable, how generous the year 2015 has been to us. The sprightly fresh rosé smells and tastes of a mouthful of wild strawberries, and the Sauvignon Blanc, well....still needs a little more time.


At the moment it still has the look of gone-off breast milk but, the scent of citrus fruit and Boxtree is already wafting over the edge of the glass. Only a couple more weeks and then hmmm....

The weeping vineyard


When the grapevines, tired out by the harvest, eventually let their leaves drop, the vineyard is covered under a yellow-gold blanket.


The flow of juice in the vine root comes to a halt and the plant is preparing to nod off to hibernation. That is the moment we embark on the vineyard, pruning shears clutched in our fists.


'Snap!' it resounds in the fragile morning silence.
'Snap!' the sound carries far and wide.
'Snap!' another twig bites the dust. The grapevine sheds a tear and mourns her lost youth.
But not for long, because when spring comes, she shall rise again. Stronger than ever.

The wine lets her tears run free


At the end of day of hard manual labour we are castle-bound. We stoke up the fire and open a bottle of beautiful Bordeaux. And yet again we are faced with tears. This time it is the wine itself that's weeping.
This phenomenon incidentally, is one that so called wine experts love to surround with a bit of pomp and pedantry.


These 'Great legs' or 'Church windows' as the experts like to call them, are supposedly a sign of quality.
Don't fall for it.
Tears in your glass are merely an indication of the alcohol percentage in the wine. After swirling the wine, it flows back down in rivulets along the inside of your glass. But wine consists of a number of different components that do not have the same weight. Alcohol is heavier than water and flows back at a slower pace. The higher the alcohol percentage the slower the tears flow. C'est tout.

Crates of tears


A big winesale company on the phone. If we'd be so kind as to put together three thousand one-bottle-cases of Château la Tulipe, because it would make such a lovely Christmas present. Goodbye weekend! But maitre de chai Philippe knows no trepidation, so we brushed off our tears and set about the task with cheer.


Now the job is done and by the time this Slurp glides into you mailbox, the cases are on the shelves.

A restaurant to cry for


Our wheels ambled calmly along the Côte d'Or, the Burgundy gold cost, when suddenly an alarming rumbling sounded from beneath our seatbelts. Hunger. Unfortunately this arose at a most ill suited moment: we found ourselves in the most expensive wine village of the world.


But we had no choice. The only restaurant for miles around was so frightfully posh it was cordoned off with crush barriers.


The prices were amped up to astronomical heights, which was why the all but empty restaurant was solely inhabited by a few wealthy Chinese.


This did open up some interesting opportunities for psychological and anthropological observation. We were able to study up close how the affluent easterners, all the while tipping back large tumblers of Romanée-Conti, kept up to speed with the Nikkei-index on their phones.


Opening the 'Carte des Vins' was a unique experience that led to what is medically known as acute cardiac arrest.


After skillful mouth-to-mouth resuscitation by the winegrower's lover we asked the waitress meekly for a bottle of house red.


The next experience of note was the cuisine itself. Which turned out to be attuned to the palate of the oriental guests.


Hence we had the choice between a dish of raw jellyfish in a sauce of toy poodle urine (on the left) or strips of dog foreskin on a bed of buffalo testicles (pictured right).


The biggest event of that lunch hour however unfolded at the end of our meal. In order to please their Eastern benefactors to the depths of their follicles, the managers had flown in a specially trained waiter from China.


Knife in hand, the exotic specialist was poised for attack behind the cheese mobile laden with highly aromatic French fromages.


It was clear that this was his first encounter with this element of Cuisine Francaise. Cautiously the easterner poked at a piece of Epoisses, a red cheese with a scent that makes the wallpaper peel off the walls.


After this fearsome stinker had been served, the cheese novice applied himself to a Vieille Tomme, a Pyrenean sheep's cheese that, because of her impenetrable structure, is sometimes used in the reinforcement of dams.


When he, after a number of feverish attempts, he had failed to gain even an inch on his unpasteurized opponent, the young cheese master's eyes glazed over.
With a savage war cry he plunged on his adversary. ''CHIHUWAWAAAAAH!'


We watched in astonishment as our Chinese fellow diners purchased a summer-house-with-swimming-pool-worth of wine to take home.


It was time to leave this parallel universe. Financially depleted but mentally enriched, we returned to our own planet.

Joyeux Noël & Bonne Année


You can find Château la Tulipe de la Garde Bordeaux Superieur at Sainsbury's supermarkets.
Cliquez ici for more information.


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Voilà, here ends the final Slurp of 2015. All that remains is for us to wish you a very happy Christmas and a cheerful New Year.

Allez, Wholeharted Santé!

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