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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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Comments (4)

03.28.08 at 11:03 AM

My kind of post Alder. I think your best bet would be to hit up all of those old, classic wine hording, chat loving, French dames directly.

I can just imagine you stalking the old ladies of Paris, a baguette under one, raincoat covered arm, twirling your waxed moustache with exquisitely manicured fingers. It all goes swimmingly until you open your mouth and reveal the awful truth that you don't actually speak French and are patently American.

Showing surprising fortitude, the old lady rips the baguette from your hand and swipes you around the noggin with it. Stunned, you fall in the gutter as the lights from a nearby cafe, blinking erratically, cast an eerie light on the proceedings. The old lady recovers her dignity, checks the status of the two-legged cat cowering in her handbag, and totters off homewards.

As she moves through the darkening streets she wonders if perhaps she might crack open one of the hundreds of bottles of wine that her father left in the cellar. "Non" she decides. Pierre at the pawn shop promised to give her a few Euros for them so she can pay for that prosthetic paw for Henri.

Alder wrote:
03.28.08 at 11:35 AM


What are you doing? Gunning for the Fiction Editor position here at Vinography?!?

:-) Love it.

03.29.08 at 12:39 PM

Love it! My husband can't wait to get back to Paris not that the Pawn shops have taken on a new bend!

When you are ready to plan your next Parisian holiday, please contact me. You and your bride are welcome to stay in my flat in the 15th! Really.

John Nezlek wrote:
03.31.08 at 1:53 PM


Let me know if it works. I have found wines in France to be surprisingly expensive, at least in shops.


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