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Post Bordeaux, Port, and the English
Created by John Eipper on 09/22/17 4:20 AM

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Bordeaux, Port, and the English (David Duggan, USA, 09/22/17 4:20 am)

Bordeaux was controlled by the English for more than 200 years during the late Middle Ages (Eleanor of Aquitaine and all that). The last battle of the 100 Years' War was at Castillon-sur-Dordogne in the Gascony region (of which Bordeaux was the capital), in 1453, when John Talbot's English forces were defeated, not too far from St. Emilion, where I was a year ago.

Chateau Talbot, one of the 4th-growth Bordeaux vintages, was John Talbot's historical manse (he was also the Earl of Shrewsbury).  A bottle sells for around $60-120, depending on vintage. In fact it was the British negociants who brought Bordeaux wine to the knowledge of the rest of the world after the Napoleonic wars, and the trophy for winning the British Open golf tournament (or just The Open to the cognoscenti) is known as the Claret Jug, claret being another name for Bordeaux.

I think the RAF fighter pilots would have understood that and not settled for a glass of port, an inferior beverage from a middling European country which once was ruled from Brazil.

JE comments:  A word in defense of Port?  It was a particular British favorite from the 18th century, after the Methuen Treaty (1703) established the still-unbroken alliance between Britain and Portugal.  After Methuen, wine from the treacherous French became downright unpatriotic.

A fortified brew, Port also ships better on long and hot sea voyages, unlike finicky French reds.

Some Wikipedia fun-facts:  always pass Port to the left (Port to port), and to inspire your neighbor to hand over the bottle, you ask her or him, "Do you know the Bishop of Norwich"?  If the reply is in the negative, you add:  "He's a terribly good chap, but he always forgets to pass the Port." 

'Nuf said.

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