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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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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise 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 Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud