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We’ve enjoyed a couple of terrific wines this week.

The first was a 1996 Paul Jaboulet Aîné "Vieilles Vignes,” which was wonderfully smooth and deep, and one of the best French red wines we’ve ever tasted (in our admittedly limited experience). We have two regrets on this wine – one is that we don’t have more of it at hand, and the second is that we cannot remember who gave us the bottle. (If you’re out there, thank you.)

The second was a Chilean white, a 2003 Hacienda Araucano Sauvignon Blanc from Jacques & Francois Lurton – which was positively tangy and light, with hints of melon and grapefruit and maybe even a little lime. An excellent summer wine.

And if you’re looking for something to do while sipping, we watched a couple of terrific documentaries on DVD over the past week that we can recommend without hesitation.

The first, “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls,” is based on the excellent Peter Biskind book, and the subtitle tells you everything you need to know about it: “How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood.” The movie isn’t as comprehensive as the book was, but is entertaining nonetheless, with some fascinating on-camera interviews with some of the survivors of the period. We happened to be a film student in Los Angeles in the mid-seventies, so this one seemed like familiar territory.

The other is a film by documentarian Errol Morris: “The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara.” Using on-camera recollections from the sometimes prickly former Secretary of State, and much of the time focusing on the mistakes and miscalculations of the Vietnam War, “Fog of War” is a marvelous piece of work – introspective and sweeping, eloquent in both word and image, and thought-provoking at a time when the cause and effect of war is very much on the national psyche.

Oh yeah…we also saw “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” with the kids…and can recommend it as easily the best of three Potter movies so far. This isn’t an original thought, but “Azkaban” is the only one of the Potter movies that actually looks like a movie – it is fast moving and has a mysterious air about it that seems appropriate to the world of witches and wizards. (The other two movies were like Books on Tape with pictures.)

Have a good weekend…and Sláinte!
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