Once upon a time last year Melanie Torres noticed that the wine connoisseurs in town
were unable to sate their palates on what was available in the local markets. She
began wondering how a way could be found to secure stocks of some of the best French
wines known worldwide and which she was familiar with back home.
After meeting Rasy Sim, an importer who said he could import anything she wanted,
the idea was born to set up "La Vinotheque," which as one Frenchman explained
to me is like a "bibliotheque" only for wines.
British Ambassador David Burns came into the picture. He asked Torres how he could
purchase French wines in bulk. The idea took on substance and under the direction
of Madame Lork Kheng the company Khmer Commerce International was set up to formally
promote La Vinotheque's establishment. The services of a wine consultant were secured
in the form of Gilbert Mehat from the distinguished Groupe Rothschild.
With everything in place and the wine in town, La Vinotheque held its grand opening
on Sept. 24.
At the inaugural ceremony Mehat said, "Le vin, la vigne, ces mots n'évoquent
au bord du Tonle-Sap que des flacons fermé et remplis de rêves, de savoir-faire,
d'amour des beaux produits."
As an interesting bit of history, Mehat also noted that it was in 1516 "sous
le régne du Grand Souverain batisseur ANG CHAN que les missionnaires portugais
introduisent le vin à la Cour de Phnom Penh."
The opening of La Vinotheque was a happy occasion for all those who appreciate the
fine wines of France.
Regrettably this story closes on a note quite au contraire.
Whoever stole my French-English/English-French dictionary, could you please return
it. I need it.