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03.26.2008

My Next Wine Vacation: Paris Pawn Shops

dusty_bottles.jpgAs a kid, I badly wanted to be an archaeologist for a period of time. When I was twelve, I saved up until I could (with a little help from Grandma) buy a metal detector.

I suppose I've never lost the fascination with buried treasure. Heck, I went to Egypt on my honeymoon. And if I had a TV, I would definitely watch the Antiques Roadshow.

Which is why, I suppose, that I now desperately want to spend a few weeks canvassing the back alleys of Paris now that its pawn shops are accepting wine.

OK, so it's not quite that simple. Apparently this is a well organized campaign run by a large French financial institution, which holds the wines centrally and then auctions them off if they are unclaimed.

For a moment, though, I had visions of wandering through a little out of the way shop, and finding some dusty bottle that an old widow needed to sell in order to get an operation for her cat.

I would bring the bottle home, pop the cork on my 1978 Cos d'Estournel and send a silent prayer to the patron saint of veterinary surgery for a speedy recovery.

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