Michael Bond: Top wine quotes from the Monsieur Pamplemousse stories

Author Michael Bond, who passed away this week, is best known for creating Paddington Bear. But one of his other characters, Monsieur Pamplemousse, and his pet dog, Pommes Frites, knew their wine…

Michael Bond: Top wine quotes from the Monsieur Pamplemousse stories

Monsieur Pamplemousse was both a food inspector and a detective. The stories were a series of culinary adventures, with many references to the fine wines of France – particularly Bordeaux and Burgundy – perhaps reflecting Michael Bond’s own wine preferences.

Here are some of our favourite wine quotes from the stories…

Monsieur Pamplemousse

‘He slipped the cork under the table for Pommes Frites to examine.

An approving sniff came from somewhere below the folds of the cloth. Given the choice, Pommes Frites much preferred Bordeaux, but he was no mean judge of Burgundy either.

If it were possible to translate a sniff into oenological terms, then Pommes Frites’ verdict was: “If you must have a Côtes du Rhône instead of a decent Pauillac – and seeing we are more or less in the area, why not – then what better than a ’73 Hermitage?”’

Monsieur Pamplemousse and the French Solution

‘As you have so often pointed out in the past, monsieur, “good wine is never expensive, only bad wine”.’

In this story, Monsieur Pamplemousse also recalls being in a restaurant in Lyon and sharing some Montrachet with Pommes Frites.

Monsieur Pamplemousse Afloat

On a coach tour driving through Burgundy.

‘Dijon was dismissed by Boniface with a wave of the hand. ‘The suburbs are now all built up. The only wine left is from Montre-Cul. You know why it is called Montre-Cul?’

There were no takers.

‘Because the vineyards are on the side of the mountain and during grape-picking time people used to stop and admire the women’s bottoms.’

Monsieur Pamplemousse and the secret mission

‘He opened the cartes des vins and as he did his spirits rose slightly… What was surprising was the fact that although none of the entries had been accorded a vintage there were some very familiar names; mouth-watering names. The Bordeaux section in particular sported some highly respected representatives of the 1855 classification.

He hesitated, trying to decided whether to choose a local wine as he’d intended or something more exotic…’

Monsieur Pamplemousse rests his case

‘I congratulate you on the Lafite. It is a great coup,’ said Monsieur Pamplemousse.

‘I read somewhere that it was the favourite drink of Queen Victoria. The cellar book at Windsor Castle lists the 1862 vintage as being the house wine.’

‘She has gone up in my estimation,’ said Monsieur Pamplemousse ‘I had always pictured her as being a little formidable.’

Were you a fan of these stories? Do you have any other favourite quotes?

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