S6: Aigurand to Super-Besse: Prado Pastis de Marseille Apértif Anise

No, Pastis is not a wine, and yes, Marseilles is so far from Super-Besse that we might as well be drinking a California Zin. But, at least judging from the “World of Wine” Google Earth listings, this stage runs through the Great Wine Desert of central France. If you know of a wine we missed, by all means let us know and we will dutifully drink it. If we weren’t saving it for a later stage we could drink a AOC Côte Roannaise, since you could get there by helicopter from Super-Besse, but we don’t see any AOCs you could actually smell from the route…

But Pastis, pastis travels well, and if you drink it in a cafe in middle America, you look like a pretentious Francophile, which is what we are. Pernod is the most common anise beverage in the US, but Prado seems a bit subtler. There’s a nice product description at WallyWine which discusses the historical relation to absinthe.

And actually, we do have a wine set aside for tonight, but we’re not crazy about it. We laid in a supply of rose’ for another purpose and when we got around to thinking about the tour, we realized we actually had five bottles from Costières de Nîmes. So that AOC is our domestique, and tonight after our Pastis we’re drinking a pink which is adequately described by this merchant:

The Chateau Guiot Rosé has an electric pink color, deeper than most Rosés. This wine displays an intense nose of rose petal, bing cherries and ripe strawberries. Supple and harmonious, this refreshing wine is perfect for summer drinking.

And a note about Pastis:the classic French zinc bar
recipe seems to be 5 parts water to 1 of Pastis, but perhaps because we’ve enjoyed the occasional London Fog, we think the extreme astringency of a jot of Pastis over a single ice cube is great. But if you’re hot and sweaty from mowing the chervil, by all means go with the refreshing classic.

Oh, and a toast to “little Tommy Voekler.” What’s the French for “showboating?”

[and has anyone but Phil Liggett noticed that these climbs today are up Gorram volcanoes?!] um… fly to the finish…

[[And note to self: plan anise-themed dinner with 5:1 pastis refresher to start, lots of bulb fennel and star anise dishes, and a more intense Prado-based beverage to go with a licorice dessert at the end. ]]

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