Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, 1486 Uffizi Gallery Florence, Italy Liberty of Poetry by Pio Fedi, 1870 Santa Croce Florence, Italy Atop playwright Giovanni Battista Niccolini’s tomb in the basilica of Santa Croce is a statue remarkably similar to New York’s Statue of Liberty. Both depict a woman in neoclassical robes with a crown of rays, standing on a broken chain, her right arm uplifted. Pio Fedi started to design the Florentine statue, known as Liberty of Poetry, in 1870. It was the same year in which Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, designer of the New York Statue of Liberty, was in Italy, fighting alongside General Garibaldi during the Franco-Prussian War. The Coronation Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by Unknown English artist oil on panel, circa 1600 National Portrait Gallery London, England Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss Front view Marble by Antonio Canova (1757-1822) Musée du Louvre Paris, France Venus Bordeaux, 2001 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte by Jim Dine (American, b. 1935) Bordeaux, France The Kiss Bronze by Auguste Rodin Outside the Musée de l‘Orangerie Paris, France
Château Carbonnieux and Thomas Jefferson’s Visit in 1787 Jefferson himself said it best: “…so ask the traveled inhabitant of any nation, In what country on earth would you rather live?—certainly in my own, where are all my friends, my relations, and the earliest & sweetest affections and recollections of life.—Which would be your second choice?—France.” In 1740, the estate was sold to the monks of the Sainte-Croix abbey in Bordeaux and a new era began for Carbonnieux. Initially purchased to be ‘a mother earth’ for the abbey, the Carbonnieux estate soon became the major investment of the Benedictine monks who did not hesitate to borrow huge amounts of money to take their Carbonnieux growth to the very top of white Graves wine ranking. Don Galléas was one of the first to blend varieties and to bottle wine which made it easier for it to be transported and kept for longer before being drunk. His vinification methods and his cellars were among the most modern in the region. In the ranking of the Guyenne Intendance, published in 1776, the white wines of the “Aux Bénédictins de Carbonnieux” were very much appreciated. Although the “premier cru de Pontac” (Haut-Brion) was the reference for red wines at the time, Carbonnieux by far led the ranking of white wines from Guyenne. Thanks to the talents and entrepreneurship of the Benedictine monks from the Sainte-Croix abbey for half a century, the domain […]
Farmgirl in Saint Émilion (right bank of Bordeaux) November 2016 “You had me at hello.” A line made famous by Dorothy Boyd, the love interest in the film “Jerry Maguire.” However, if Dorothy had been a sommelier, she may have said, “You had me at Merlot.” And, with good reason. Merlot, French for little blackbird because of its very dark fruit, is naturally versatile, acclimating to different climate zones and soil compositions, which, over time and a lot of travel, have made it the second most planted red grape on the planet, behind its brother from Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot can be big and rich, but also fruity and soft, without being overly high in acids or tannins. These characteristics make Merlot an elegant and easy choice to drink as well as pair with food. If that doesn’t spark your interest in Merlot, maybe this will. You know all those famous red wines from Bordeaux? Wines that are considered some of the best in the world? Well, they’re all blended with Merlot. And, many are mostly Merlot—especially, on the right bank of the Gironde estuary in the Bordeaux appellation, where it’s the law that Merlot has to be the predominant grape. Of course, the most famous Merlot wine is undoubtedly Pétrus (100% Merlot) from the Pomerol region of Bordeaux. This highly collectable wine can fetch several thousand dollars, depending on its vintage. You may not be as familiar with Merlot’s positive […]
La Cité Du Vin Glass bell jars emitting aromas, interactive maps loaded with video-game technology, and sleek tasting rooms…Welcome to Bordeaux’s new Cité du Vin, which mayor Alain Juppé has proclaimed a “Guggenheim to wine.” Devoted to the history of wine civilization, the Cité du Vin is a glorious, high-tech immersion in the world’s wine cultures. There are 19 sections […]
The water garden at Giverny and Château Carbonnieux October 2017 The Waterlilies Musée de l’Orangerie Paris, France “Here and there upon the surface, with a strawberry blush, lie the scarlet heart and white edges of a water lily. Further on, many more flowers, but paler, rougher, with a coarser grain, wrinkled and haphazardly scattered in such a […]
Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, 1486 Uffizi Gallery Florence, Italy Liberty of Poetry by Pio Fedi, 1870 Santa Croce Florence, Italy Atop playwright Giovanni Battista Niccolini’s tomb in the basilica of Santa Croce is a statue remarkably similar to New York’s Statue of Liberty. Both depict a woman in neoclassical robes with a crown of […]
We all know that life is full of ups and downs. It’s just a part of living. Sometimes, however, we tend to focus more on what’s wrong instead of what’s right. I believe there is more beauty in this world than anything else. And, this year, I refuse to be defeated by anything ugly or negative; instead, I have resolved […]
Warm wishes for a very Happy Thanksgiving!