I was ultimately in the area to be part of a round table on wine homogenization. On the panel was a man often called the Michel Rolland of Spain. When our moderator, an adorable Cristina Alcala asked us, Ignacio as well as Cesar Cubillas, a rather simpatico wine importer, what are the components of great wine, Ignacio said, "Land is the least important." Then he went on to tell us about a viognier he made far, far, away on soils and in a climate that even made Ignacio wonder if planting the grapes and making the wine would disturb the natural order of the universe. A woman in the front row glared at me. She probably heard what I was thinking and hated me. It was her favorite wine. That night, Cristina, Rosa and Marta, all friends from Madrid went out to dinner. Remember this address, it was one of the best meals I've had in ages. Talent. Big talent. Casa Marcelo Rue Hortas 1 Santiago de Copostela casamarcelo.net amuse was frozen rhubarb, looking like a slab of tuna on crushed ice, all bitter, sweet, limey, acidic. A lovely alvarinho. Loved it. From Marcial Dorado,, previously a Galcian mussel fisherman and now a Portuguese winemaker. Perfect, salty, angular. And even though there was a parade of dishes, as there is no menu and Marcelo just cooks, this slab of shiny mackeral was like pure lardo in an assertive and smokey Pimenton sauce The next morning I left for the airport. Twelve hours and a few cancelations and fits later, I landed in Paris. Having missed my flight I was hosted by the Ibis (now known to me as the abyss) Ville, B&B. There are three Ibis at CDG. I went to all until I found the right one. As soon as I saw the desk I knew I was in for it. I could smell the critters when I walked across the threshold. I was carefu, didn't leave anything on the bed. I went down to eat--they give you free dinner and all. Great, I thought. I was suprised to find a very palatable celeraic remoulade. A decent pichet of quaffable cote du rhone. An odd place, it felt like an airplane even though I was on the ground. I left my nightgown behind. I had a sneaking feeling that it was the right thing to do. Two days later I was covered in bed bug bites. And am still watching and waiting to see if I brought them home with me. So far so good!