When we decided to make this trip we told Mum at one of our Friday night dinners. She was so excited she raced off to get her books and notes from her trip done some twenty years earlier. We talked over the following weeks where exactly we should go and she had us in fits recounting events from that trip she did with Maree and Marica when she was 60. I read her diary then and she gave it to me sometime before she died.
Her descriptions are just as she talked and she included little notes to me in her Irish book about what we shouldn’t miss and who she met at a certain place, or a note from the family history that she remembered about there. it’s pretty special to have her words and thus her voice recounting the visions and the people. Here’s an excerpt from their stay in St Emilion.
On the way back to the train it was pleasant to hear a familiar voice call to us. “Are you visitors?” Turned out it was Paddy O’Flynn from Co Cork who invited us in for free wine tasting, which is rare in this famous wine region.
Contrary to NZ it is not done to try and maybe buy. You are obliged to buy when you try here and some, (most) ranged from 65 francs to over 300 francs.
After telling Paddy my Mother was a Flynn and her father came from Co Rosscommon, he gave us plenty to try-mostly ones I hated. I explained I only drank rubbish at home and he agreed he was the same when he first came to this area, but had developed a palate for the finer ones and now couldn’t drink the cheaper ones. I thought how good it was not to have this ‘developed palate’ and could still enjoy ‘Cooks Chasseur’ with my smorgasbord all for under $20, but I obliged by buying a very nice red which he said he knew I’d like, in his lovely Irish brogue, for 98 francs. Good thing I never had time to convert it to $NZ as would never have paid anything like $30 at home!
However we have drunk the beautiful red liquid after first letting it breathe and warmed with the cup of my hand. Strangely I’m not drunk like I would be with the rubbish I normally drink. The box alone must be worth 6 francs. The great brand is Chateau Roc De Cambes 1988. Cotes De Bourg. Produit en France…The cork certainly will come in handy for cramps .