Monthly Archives: August 2012

Discussion Points for Shadow of the Silk Road by C. Thubron

Here are some themes for us to discuss at the next meeting:

1. Religions found along the way; Christians, Nestorians, Taoism, Muslims, etc.

2. SARS virus and impact on the author’s journey, p. 84, 86, 104

3. Inventions dispersed east and west, p.15,  78, 103

4. Behaviors and values of the Chinese people, p. 46, 109

5. The Sogdian Trader evoked by the author

6. Caves and objects at Dunhuang, p. 87-

7. Relationship between the Tibetans and Chinese

8. Characters met along the way, p. 58, 115, 124

9. The Tocharians, p. 110

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Roger’s Wine Corner: “Does Place Really Matter?”

Here we will compare what many wine experts call the wine that is the truest expression of the grape; Sauvignon Blanc.  This phrase is used to describe Sauvignon Blanc because, unlike many other wines, it is usually not oaked (aged in oak casks), it rarely is aged more than 12 months, and no additional sugars are used that can impact alcohol content and sweetness.  In addition, the production process is often very similar for SB from place to place (country to country).

We will taste a California SB, a Chilean, and a New Zealand SB.  This comparison should reveal distinct taste profiles that are a reflection of the grape and its terroir – the distinctive environment from which it comes. Or, for a more exact definition –  Terroir is the special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place bestow upon particular produce such as wine, coffee or tea.

At this tasting I will stick my neck out and, after blind tasting all three, I will match each wine with its country of origin – here I will either establish my credentials as wine director of the club or, simply put, that I drink too much!  Stay tuned.

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