An Afternoon in Provence {Picture Tour}

The world is full of gorgeous places, but a top experience for me is an afternoon in Provence. The weather there this month has been lovely; pools are open and some people have even dipped a toe into the sea. The blooms are outstanding, the air is fresh and the rosé is chilled.

“We had been here often before as tourists, desperate for our annual ration of two or three weeks of true heat and sharp light. Always when we left, with peeling noses and regret, we promised ourselves that one day we would live here. We had talked about it during the long gray winters and the damp green summers, looked with an addict’s longing at photographs of village markets and vineyards, dreamed of being woken up by the sun slanting through the bedroom window.”
~Peter Mayle, A Year in Provence


The marvelous Château des Alpilles in St. Remy-de-Provence

The marvelous Château des Alpilles in St. Remy-de-Provence


The grounds under sparking sunlight at Château des Alpilles.


La piscine at Château des Alpilles. If you have an “Ahhh!” now is the time to utter it.


More gorgeous, the allee at Château des Alpilles.


A perfectly iced bottle of Cuvée du Bâtonnier Rosé from Domaine Valdition, which is just down the road. We had a second and third bottle of this by the time our stay was complete.


Contrast of sun, sky and stone at Les Baux de Provence.


Les Baux de Provence. That sun! That sky!


Longform Fiction Pick of the Week

The Speed of Stopping was chosen as Longform’s Fiction Pick of the Week.

I wrote in my journal, after this bit of recognition:

How does it feel to have readers like to read it?


It’s a feeling I think I’ll milk for awhile. (And enjoy later, over a glass of wine. I know it’s going to be something Rhône, something Red and something I share with my darling husband.)

The Speed of Stopping {Fiction}

I wrote a story about a man, a physicist. It’s a fiction piece, and it’s been published in the April issue of Gravel Magazine.  It is free to read, and it is being shared with you.

It’s not about wine, but the main character’s name is Burgundy. You know what I’m sayin’….

Read it here: The Speed of Stopping

I also must mention the professionalism and clarity exhibited by the staff at Gravel Magazine. It’s been a pleasure.

Introduction to the Wines of France

Last month, I wrote an article for Vine Pair about Drinking Wine in France. As a partner to the article, check out this rich and telling infographic: The Complete Intro to the Wines of France.

This covers, in brief: AOC, popular wines in France and quick facts. Perhaps the most valuable is the map of French wine regions in general. Enjoy!

Infographic from Vine Pair.

Infographic from Vine Pair.


What You Can Learn About Wine From Drinking With French People

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!

Photo via VinePair. Look at them, drinking and enjoying!

The full article contains no sulfites and can be found on VinePair here: What You Can Learn About Wine From Drinking With French People.

Domaine des Terre Blanches {Profile}

terroir 2


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!

The article is published here: {Domaine des Terres Blanches} In the predominantly organic appellation of Les Baux-de-Provence.

This piece was a dream to write. Research began with a visit to the winemaker and wrapped up with an interview with the winemaking team. It’s all here, including photos and my tasting notes.

I drooled over Provence WineZine pendant longtemps, so becoming a regular contributor is making my month. Enjoy the read.


A few of my recent favorites from PWZ:

You Know Mirabeau Rosé, but Have You Met the Red?

In the Depth of Winter I Uncork a Bottle of Rosé.

Provencal Pairings: Wine with Food.

An afternoon in Eygalieres, Provence {picture tour}

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.






Photo tour of the Côtes du Rhone in winter

Jill Barth:

This is so restful and lovely. A photo tour of Côtes du Rhone in winter. I have a personal love for Vacqueyras, which is included here. Passing along the gorgeous love.

Originally posted on Talking Tannins!:

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.

Beaumes-de-Venise (town of Suzette)












Plan de Dieu (near Cairanne)

St. Joseph


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Yoga for Stress & Anxiety

yoga for stress 2While 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.

Read the article here, with my compliments.



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?