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The Vines of Robinson Crusoe

As a young kid my imagination was swept away by tales of pirates and castaways in the South Pacific. In particular I was captivated by the tale of Robinson Crusoe, mostly based on the fantasy of being clever enough to actually survive and live in comfort on a remote tropical island. Of course, when I got older I realized that as inventive as Robinson Crusoe was, he was missing some pretty big essentials there on the island that rendered it slightly less than paradise in my opinion. The two things he was really missing? Women and wine. OK. Maybe he was also missing the Internet, or even just a good book or two, for Pete's sake. But my fantasies were first really shattered by the realization that the guy had no romantic prospects and no wine to drink.

But today I found out I may have been wrong about the wine. According to a story in (of all places) the Belfast Telegraph, I've learned that the tiny island of Rangiroa in French Polynesia is actually growing wine grapes and making wine.

Hard to believe isn't it? Apparently the Carignane and Muscat de Hambourg grow in the shade of Coconut palms on earth that the enterprising vineyard owner had to ship in from neighboring Tahiti.

I'm still shaking my head in wonder. Maybe life marooned in the South Pacific wouldn't be that bad after all. I guess it would just have to be on the right island.

Read the full story. Thanks to Andy at Spittoon.Biz for the tip on the story.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.