Drinking French Wine in Troyeville

Neil Pendock March 3, 2009 0

For lunch, a bottle of 1990 Marc Brédif Vouvray with my friend the artist Joachim Schönfeldt at the Troyeville Hotel. It reminded me of that poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Lawrence and Joachim

Drinking French Wine in Middle America

Bought a bottle of Vouvray
and poured out its bouquet
of the French countryside
on the plains of Middle America
and that fragrance
floods over me
wafts me back
to that rainy hillside
by the banks of the Loire
Vouvray tiny village
where I sat with rucksack
twenty-eight years old
seafarer student
uncorking the local bottle
with its captured scent of spring
fresh wet flowers
in first spring rain
falling lightly now
upon me-

Where gone that lonesome hiker
fugace fugitive
blindfold romantic
wanderer traumatic
in some Rimbaud illusionation-

The spring rain falls
upon the hillside flowers
lavande and coquelicots
the grey light upon them
in time’s pearly gloaming-
Where gone now
and to what homing-
Beardless ghost come back again!

As that other Lawrence (although he spells his Laurence), Mr. Jones, proprietor of the Troyeville Hotel remarked “with prices like these, we should be jam-packed every day.” He was referring to the R39 bar lunch special of caldo verde with chorizo followed by a pork schnitzel with chips and a green side salad.

We offered a glass of Mr. Brédif’s nectar to a neighbouring diner Ellie (Elliot Salkow, chairman of Ellies Holdings currently languishing at R1.07 a share on the JSE but worth double that) but Lawrence reports he only drinks Diet Coke, through a straw.

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