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Arnaud Erhart Celebration in Loir-et-Cher this Weekend

My 360 Van Brunt still closed?

Arnaud Erhart is celebrating a major birthday this weekend somewhere in the Loir-et-Cher. Lots of people in America talk about natural wine these days, people even write books, but it was Arnaud who really started the movement in America.

Arnaud is a native of Alsace, worked in various restaurants in France and New York and launched 360 in Red Hook some eight years ago. Its been closed now for three years and Arnaud has moved on to a new career in Oceanography based in Puerto Rico, partnering with Dr. Tania Puell (the niece of Dr. William Meyers of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego).

But we all sorely miss Arnaud. It wasn't so long ago that the only place to get a natural wine in an American restaurant was in Red Hook or in Fort Greene at ICI. Arnaud was the innovator who introduced a whole range of vigernons to America. More than that, he is a great friend, perhaps even a great human being.

This weekend's celebration is going to be a serious evaluation of the man and his work.

Rumor has it that many movers and shakers in the wine business will be attending:

is Alice Feiring going to be there?
Obviously Joe is resting up for tomorrow's festivites. All those blondes you know.

is that last woman a psychic??

whoa, dude! that's exactly what I was thinking!

Joe Dressner - Captain Tumor Man!

Hi, I'm Joe Dressner the famous wine importer and I have brain cancer!

I already have a wine blog and frankly wine is such a luxury business that I hate to mix my cancer problems with my wine observations. I think it would be a general downer for the lifestyle crowd out there.

Furthermore, we in the wine trade always claim there are tremendous health benefits to drinking wine. I've already had cardiovascular bypass surgery over eight years ago and now I got a tumor aggressively rattling in my brain. My colleagues in the glamorous wine industry want me to keep it quiet.

So, I've started this wonderful new blog to discuss wine, brain tumors, my life and to give you hot tips on handling the cancer stricken around you. There will also be practical wine/radiation pairings when I start radiation therapy and chemotherapy next week.

Having brain cancer means I might both physically and intellectually decline. So, I will be using this blog as a venue to pursue petty vendettas against relatives, acquaintances and people in the wine trade.

I might also lose touch with reality and say things that are not true or are only half true. The important thing is to have fun and enjoy this rare and precious time in my life.

One of my pet vendettas is my cousin Dr. Barbara Hirsch. Dr. Barbara Hirsch is a very important Great Neck Endocrinologist, who was raised and nurtured by my parents. Dr. Hirsch waited until my father was near death and my mother was suffering from a rare neuromuscular disorder, to write them a seven page letter denouncing them for being horrible to her for the entirety of her life! Despite my concerns, Dr. Hirsch still refuses to apologize.

Last night, I drank a beautiful bottle of Bourgueil Clos SÚnÚchal 2005 from Pierre Breton. It was sublime and reminded me that I used to be healthy. Not only that, the vineyard used to be there before I existed. It exists independently of my having cancer and will continue to exist. You ought to buy some.

August 2009 Postscript: Not only does it exist independently of my cancer, it also exists independently of Louis/Dressner Selections. After 18 years, they have dumped us for Kermit Lynch. Oh well. At least I'm alive!