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Terri L. French, USA


Table Setting

her hands–
creases on
french linen

Eighty-six year old Nathalie Aufauvre shakes her head as three women pull a flowered table cloth this way and that across the mahogany table. She snatches a silver butter knife from one guest and lays it carefully against a crystal holder. At each setting there are three glasses, one for water, one for red, and one for white wine. The Aufauvre family from Chassagne-Montrachet has made wine for over 400 years. The guests have come over 4,000 miles to tour the region and taste the wines, but first the table must be set. . .properly.

After much placing, replacing, and scolding in French the napkins are finally folded and fanned out on top of the plates. Everyone looks pleased. Nathalie is frowning.

She sends one of the men to fetch the table leaf as the women remove the dishes and wait to begin again.

santè!
the taste of terroir
on the wine's finish


Note: Santé is a term used in a toast, as in, "to good health". Terroir comes from the word terre meaning "land". It was originally a French term in wine, coffee and tea used to denote the special characteristics that a certain place bestowed upon particular varieties. It can be very loosely translated as "a sense of place."


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