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This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Château's and More Château's

Chateau Margaux
While in the Bordeaux region of France we did a Viking River cruise and took daily trips to visit several of the many wine Château's in the area.  At one of the sites we visited, our guide discussed the influence of Maryland resident and wine connoisseur Robert Parker who publishes the wine Bible The Wine Advocate.   She noted that "When Mr. Parker gave our wine a 100 point rating a few years back - kaching!"  She went on to explain how wine futures are purchased based on the early samples and ratings such as those done by Mr. Parker (click here for related explanation.)

(The tour guide who told us this was an expat American working at the Château.  When I asked her how she landed there she said, "I was in Paris, met a French guy, got married, got divorced and here I am."  I commented "A variation on the Jimmy Buffet some-say-a-dude-is-to-blame?"  She laughed and said "Something like that."  During the course of my visits to the Château's, I met a couple of other young ladies who had a similar story.  When I asked one of them about this she smiled and said that France was loaded with American expat women who fell for a French dude's spiel and ended up staying in France.  Turns out that these ladies comprise an expat category of their very own "spousal immigrants." (click here.)

As to how much sway Parker has over the wine industry check out the following:

The manager of Château Cheval Blanc, Jacques Hebrard, was outraged at the evaluation of his 1981 vintage barrel samples made by influential wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. and asked him to re-taste. Upon arriving, Parker was attacked by Hebrard's dog as the manager stood idly by and watched. When Parker asked for a bandage to stop the bleeding from his leg, Parker says Hebrard instead gave him a copy of the offending newsletter. Hebrard denies that Parker was bleeding.
However, Parker did retaste the wine and found it significantly changed from his previous evaluation; he therefore gave the wine an updated evaluation in a later issue of his publication The Wine Advocate.

One of our fellow Viking travelers Mark Love made the following excellent video.  Mark documents many of the cruise's sights and experiences including a trip to Cognac which I will tell you about in a later post.  If any of you are interested in a Viking cruise, Pam and I are planning one along the Danube for next November.  Join us if you can.

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