"Have you seen the Champs-Elyses?" My friend asked as we walked to the George V metro. "Sure," I said as carelessly. She looked at me with suspicion, as if to say, "Geez, Alice, I knew you were blas, but I didn't know you were this jaded." As we neared the metro, we were intensely locked into conversation about her recent encounter which involved removal of great lingerie and a man who lives too far away. Then, I dropped out of the conversation, retreating as if a Vespa was gunning for me. "What's the matter?" she cried. "It's beautiful!" "Thank God," she said, " I was worried about you." I had seen the Champs, but not with the sun turned off. It was all decked out in gorgeousness, like an elaborate fireworks display; shooting and dripping all over the bare limbs of the Rue's trees as if draped in electric blue living, jumping bean like icicles. We tucked into the Metro and sped to the 15th. In case you had any doubt, don't. It's damned expensive over there if you play your reservations properly, food and drink can work in your favor. Like at Le Dirigeable Because the wine list was so damned good, I forgave the fact that Le Dirigeable (37, Rue Alleray +33 1 45 32 01 54) had sterile atmosphere and surly service. I ordered the 2006 Philippe Pacalet Bourgogne (32 euro) and at the sake of repeating myself, it was kick ass. Even though I had visited Philippe a few times I never tasted his simple bourgogne, just his grander offerings. At first I was a little self-conscious. My friend sipped. Could this wine impress the wine novice (but lingerie pro) I was dining with? I loved it but could she understand it? Good question. It's not exactly a wine that comes around to grab you by the throat Now, remember, I had just arrived in Paris after spending time with a domaine who airbrushes the tannins out of their wines. I licked up each and every luscious stemmy tannin greedily, savoring their subtle grit on my tongue and savoring the hints of roses and ink. And if my friend didnít immediately understand it, who could blame her? After all I insisted on the herring! The little salad I ordered was perfectly yummy. The herring salad was formed into the shape of a Fes, with endive and potatoes. The fish were smoked, more like kippers, (reminiscent of the lovely smoked thumbs of oily fish I ate on Islay). But with the burgundy? A disaster. I didnít care. Whatever. And it was a great lesson for my friend in bad wine and food pairings. But, I did try to get a decanter. I was eager for her approval, for a convert, for her to say, "So these are the wines you talk about. Gorgeous!" But no decanter arrived. Still, by the time the herring melted into the next course, pumpkin soup--- creamy, pure tasting pumpkin soup dotted with crunchy flavorful chestnuts and then into the cheese (albeit cold), she got the wine. She really got it.