I don’t do nearly as much drinking as my blog might lead you believe. I actually do a lot more writing and reading about wine that I do drinking it. But, I do my fair share and I’ve learned that sometimes you must be open-minded. Sometimes you have to be vulnerable, try something new. Look at things a bit differently, especially when you are on a trip.
When you travel, you are putting yourself Out There. For real. You are off the plane, exhausted and dirty, consider your bad side exposed. You drag behind you everything you have in the world, in a suitcase you haven’t seen for hours and have no idea what it experienced in the hold (seriously, have you heard about oysters & sheep on the airplane?). Getting a cab or train in your native language can be worse than Algebra II but now everything is in French (or German, or Portuguese, or Dr. Seuss). And the jet lag, glory be to a nap right about now…
See, you need a drink. Here’s some passages from my notebook that might make life easier. Thanks to the gorgeous and talented VinePair, for welcoming me as a contributing writer. Please like, share and follow along like a good girl (or boy).
Drinking wine in France reminds me of eating lobster in Maine. For many Americans, French wine and lobster mean white tablecloths, snotty staff and confusing methods – Oh, and wallet-busting expensive. But the reality is drinking wine in France or eating lobster in Maine is practically effortless. And, delicious. Of course, delicious.
Photo via VinePair. Look at them, drinking and enjoying!
I woke up this morning to my copy of Provence WineZine, introduced with this kind note from Susan Manfull, fellow wine-devotee and publisher:
Please help me welcome new contributor Jill Barth to Provence WineZine. Jill is currently writing a novel about a family of vintners in France during WW II, a project that has taken her to Provence where she is known to have popped in to a winery or two. Her post today is about Domaine des Terres Blanches, a winery our family and friends visited on one of our first trips to Provence. This Domaine was an early convert to organic viticulture. Please welcome Jill with a comment on her post!
Take careful steps, enjoy the moment. Beautiful, ancient, earthbound, desirable. I can’t imagine spending the stroll with anyone but my husband…for romantic reasons, definitely…but also because I can turn, at any moment, to my lifelong partner and say,
“Remember our afternoon in Eygalieres?”
And I’ll know that he understands deeply & we can dip into the memory together. It’s the most silky thing a couple can share: a succulent memory.
My brother and I recently had the pleasure of a free weekend around Orange, the center of the Côtes du Rhone wine region in and around Provence. This highly productive region is famous around the world and these wines land on almost every table in New York. From $10 (Domaine Jaume) to $120 (Château de Beaucastel), you can find an excellent selection on our shores. From fresh and fruity to dark and brooding, the “CDR” makes it all.
Rather than use words here, let’s let the photos speak for themselves. Just looking at the vines you can see the incredible diversity in the wines. For a handy map click here. The photos are my brother’s.
While this blog is primarily devoted to wine, I’ve got from a different topic for you today.
In addition to being a writer, I’m also a certified Yoga teacher. I’ve been taught in the methods of BKS Iyengar. Last year I designed and taught a class to relieve the effects of stress and anxiety with yoga. I was recently asked to write an article, based on the course. It has been published this week in The Trailhead Magazine.
2015 unfolds… it seems to open up just for me. Here’s January! You want another one? Here’s February! It’s delightful; it makes me hungry. Lots of great things building in these stacks on my desk. My novel first draft is headed out be edited, so that’s where my head and heart are at. Also, meet me here for upcoming pieces on What I Learned About Wine from Drinking with French People, A Road Trip Through France, Winemaker Profiles, and this list goes on…
Sometimes I feel like I just met my desk, my computer, my notebooks… like it’s my first fancy date with my novel, my projects, my pictures… like maybe love is in the air this time of year when it comes to Doing the Thing. Have you heard that? Just Do the Thing. It’s like wash bowls, carry wood. There’s something heart-balancing that comes from work we love.
I’m sharing the love with you, and I hope you’ll share it too (but remember, this stuff spreads).
What’s the work-love of your life doing to you these days? Where are your heart and head?
I recently read a very interesting post about sweet wines from France on Jill Barth’s excellent blog. So I thought I’d do something on the superb but little known wine fom the Saumur vineyard – le Coteaux de Saumur. The reason that this superb wine is so little known is that it is incredibly rare with an appellation of only 12 hectares, (less than 30 acres). The total yield is around 40000 litres but, in reality, it never reaches this quantity and in many years none is made at all and in others just one or two winemakers may decide to do it. This is why I always refer to it as a “mythical” wine when we are tasting it on wine tours.
The cépage is 100% Chenin and the vines have to grown on “islands” within the greater Saumur appellation where the chalky limestone comes to the surface. It…