Yes, I got past the x-rays. I'm telling you, putting wine in these test tube like vials really works. I didn't have a lot, but the vials (Domaine Deux Anes, premier pas) got me through. I arrived to Paris. Alas, no great eating or drinking, but I do love the wine selections in Naturalia-- the organic food chain. Picked up a Cheverny, I never had. Cheverny is about six miles west of the town of Blois, central Loire. At first I thought, this 8 euro bottle is okay. Then I took a double take. Delicious. The wine picked up depth and did that little magic trick of changing with each sip. 50 % Gamay, 35 % Pinot noir, 15 % Cabernet/Cot, I no idea if the wine, M. Quenioux's Domaine de Veilloux, is available in the States. It should be, if it's not. Let's fast forward: TGV-ed down from Paris to Beaune with the wine importer Jenny Lefcourt. Her France-side partner Francois picked us up in a car that smelled profoundly of dog, he swore he had cleaned it. 'No amount of cleaning will ever get this smell out," I said. But it was kind of him to make the effort. Imagine popcorn to the extreme. Remembering Francois's extraordinary sweet dog and thinking of the sweet thing and popcorn helped transform the experience. Our first stop , after a much needed coffee and as many gougeres as they had to sell at the spot right next to Dix Carnot, was Saint-Aubin, just north of Chassagne to visit Domaine Derain. "The last time I saw you," I said, "you were dumping the spit bucket out of the window at the Chateau d'Angers,," He roared. To say Dominique has a Keith Richards look (though younger by over a decade, I imagine) isn't stretching the truth. He recalled the wine bacchanal vividly. The affair was so medieval, if I saw couples cavorting in the corner and a fat man pulling the leg off of a spit roasted turkey and chomping down, I wouldn't have been surprised. But yes, he remembered, it was a good time. Dominique, still ruddy from the hard vintage of 2008 is in Biodynamics and he told us that the difficult vintage was good for him. After tasting I have to agree. Derain has a way with whites. Pick them up if you see them, the Aligoté is spicy anglular and the St. Aubin whites have an edge and lovely lemon. And he also has a delicious, easy to drink, perfect for aperitif sparkling chardonnay that I forgot to take notes on. Look for it in the states in April. (notes coming) After a brief lunch, it was down five hours to the dark south.