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“Wine can offer oxygen to the spirit, I thought … going into the kitchen to cook some elk steak … and not incidentally opening a bottle of Domaine Tempier Bandol because I had read a secret bible in France that said to drink red after dark to fight off the night in our souls.”
— Jim Harrison
It’s true. All of it. The secret bible, the almost potion-like power of any wine from Domaine Tempier (the Rosé is wonderful). The matriarch of Domaine Tempier is Lucie Peyraud (“Lulu”) who turned 102 in 2019. She is also the author of a cookbook with recipes from the winery called “Lulu’s Provençal Table,” with a foreword by Alice Waters.
This is the story of France. Where mythology and history and aesthetics and food and words weave together like a peloton of cyclists, carrying with it all the hope and the fear and the tragedy of being alive and of being a human. That is why this three-week march through the country of France is so important to all of us. This year is no different, even though the timing is different, and the state of the world is anxious and afraid. But it’s still our story. It’s our past and our future. The Tour de France holds our narrative, whatever part we play in it: fan, athlete, reporter, photographer or casual observer.
There are those who think (and they aren’t wrong) that the race should not happen this year, that, like college football or high school sports, it’s not worth it. I understand that opinion and there are days when I would agree. Then there are the days when I wake up and I get on my bike and I ride and I dream and I realize there’s no guarantee of anything and the heroes and heroines of cycling offer up their efforts and their dreams for us to consume and inspire us to keep moving forward. We have to keep moving forward, carefully and wisely, but forward. Oxygen to the spirit.
Last year after a long highway transfer, we found a quiet restaurant by a small river and there was the 2016 Domaine Tempier Rouge on the menu. Just one bottle left. We ordered it and after the first taste, I fell in love. Just like writer and poet Jim Harrison.
Cheers to you, Lulu, and cheers to the Tour de France. Enjoy our 196-page homage to the greatest sporting event in the world in one of the most beautiful countries on earth.
— Brad Roe, Publisher