01 June 2011

jura bike trip: a brocante in arbois

In Arbois, en route to Poligny, we encountered a big random brocante (flea market). Our friend E rejoiced, because she was finally able to buy a pair of shoes that fit. Until then, having decided to join the bike trip only the midnight before our Sunday departure, she'd been gamely duckfooting along in a throwaway pair of my old shoes, far too large for her.

I came close to purchasing a pair of old sunglasses, but decided against it because they made me look like a super villain:

I bought a sturdy cutting board for a euro. And I took with me the memory of the strange beauty of a guitar case filled with crystal decanter caps.

E and I, as we roamed the length of the brocante scouting for shoes, passed a table of arts-and-craftsy false potted plants covered in papier-mâche butterflies and scarecrows, which table was manned by their middle-aged creator, who was himself outfitted as a scarecrow covered in papier-mâche butterflies. We hurried past, unable to look him in the eye. (Hence, no photo.)

Later we sat at a hotel bar terrace beside the brocante. Everyone else ordered shandies, but, thinking it would be worth tasting whatever inexpensive Arbois swill they might be shilling, I ordered a glass of rosé. I remember noting it was curious that the wine list of the bar possessed no reds, only whites and rosés.

"I ordered a rosé, en fait," is what I said to the server, who served us three shandies and a glass of very obviously red wine.

"That's a rosé," she said, already huffing away. "We have no other rosé!" I suspended disbelief and took a sip. Room temp, fairly tannic red wine. As far as I could tell it wasn't even Poulsard, the lightest of the native Jura varietals. It weighed more like a light Trousseau or a Pinot Noir. What in God's name were they on about? I marched into the bar and explained in what were probably somewhat clumsy terms that I wasn't born yesterday and that she had served me a red wine.

I marched back out with a shandy, having gotten nowhere with the woman, who was bizarrely defensive throughout the whole interaction, as though this were a fight she fought often. Back at our table I theorized that perhaps certain native Arbois folk were so sick of having foreigners send back their reds as being too light that they'd taken to labeling the wines rosés, so as to head off complaints.

This sounds insane, doesn't it? I'm not sure that I'm wrong about this, however. It was a surreal afternoon.

Related Links:

Jura Bike Trip: Excuses
Jura Bike Trip: Saline Royal d'Arc et Senans

Arbois Apéro: Domaine Rolet, Domaine de La Loue
Domaine de la Pinte's 2005 Arbois Pupillin with the Landlady
Stephane Tissot's Arbois with the Landlady
Puffeney's 2005 Arbois and Twin Peaks

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