Dessert Wines from Southern France

Family-run domaines are the standard in the Southern Rhône. Generation after generation maintains cultural and regional wine footprinting while making effort to step them into the world. VDN represents a product that mirrors this balance of yesterday’s ways emerging fresh into a range of new tastes.

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Wine Wrapped Up: The L’Occasion Gift Guide

To give the gift of wine is to give a bit of life – a bit of someone’s life’s work too – for others to enjoy. To be toasted instantly or tucked away for later, the bottles hold promise because they are emblematic of sharing. Here are a few of the bottles that have brought me enjoyment, that have inspired and delighted me or taught me something new this year. Thank you for joining me on L’Occasion in 2017. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year. 

A Romantic Italian Christmas At Home

Of dinners with jazz, and great wine, and succulent things that children don’t always appreciate. Of woks and fondue pots, and the glorious leisure of the 70’s when it was acceptable for adults to ignore the kids in favor of pleasure. Of keeping the little drink umbrellas in the bar, rather than the Barbie house. Why not celebrate a romantic holiday at home now, even when the kids are still here?

Before the End of the Year Try French Dessert Wines

In the course of a good year, a wine lover tries dozens of new regions, maybe even hundreds of new bottles. Generally speaking, few of them are likely to be French dessert wines, or dessert wines at all. It is true that they don’t have any sort of quaff-ability, but that’s the nature of the…

5 American Wines for Thanksgiving

I’ve selected a set of wines, each made by an American winemaker, to represent the talents, spirit, dignity, integrity, and creativity that is celebrated each year on Thanksgiving.

Wine for the Quiet Season

When November joins us each year, I’m reminded that there is a quiet season. This phrase entered our life many years ago during annual travels to Door County, Wisconsin to celebrate our November anniversary. Door County is a coastal place, heavily enjoyed during the warm summer months for hiking, biking, boating, swimming, outdoor strolling…summery stuff….

What We’re Drinking: Wines from the South of France {#Winophiles}

Boomerangs, sunscreen, ice cream, adhesive labels, pianos, violins, scooters, slippers and even pool tables are some of the things that are made in Occitanie. For our purposes, the French Winophiles are more interested in the drink that has our affections: wine. Occitanie is the area that many of us call the Languedoc or Languedoc-Rousillion –…

Merlot: The Busy One

On my kitchen counter, at that very moment, was the collection of Merlot that I planned to feature in this post – all of which hail from either Napa or Sonoma. And I was reminded that while everything is impermanent, wine included, that wine is the essence of moments – the structure of life and vibrancy and nature and work – packaged for us to evoke the actual elements of vitality from any given spot where wine grapes can be grown.

It’s Time for Languedoc Wines

a chance to explore and share the landscape, people, flavors and wine of this beautiful region. Situated near to Provence, Bordeaux and Northern Spain, this region expresses stunning topography and miles and gorgeous vineyards of ever-increasing quality.

What Does it Mean to Be Made in France?

Earlier this month, I lined up a set of wine bottles from France. Each one from a unique and stated region, each one bearing a label like a little luggage tag: here is my home. To the French people, their government and producers indication of these regions is of the highest importance. While American consumers…

A Château in Provence

I wrote the book before I’d been there, which may seem a backwards way to craft a novel. But by the time the book had been outlined, characters created, fictional wines made this place had begun to feel like home. My novel isn’t about this place exactly, but it is about the feeling of this…

Ancient + Native: Rural Festival Emilia

Isidoro and Giovanni Lamoretti cultivate indigenous Italian grapes on their hillside farm near Parma, Italy, neighboring the Torrechiara Castle. They maintain dedication to a particular varietal, Lambrusco Maestri, known for soft creamy bubbles. Ancient documentation shows that Lambrusco grapes have been cultivated in the region since 160 BC. To call them ancient is, well, obvious –…

Find Your New House Wine: French Wine, Priced Right

Before our tastes tended toward the eclectic, my husband and I employed a house wine. A very affordable bottle, a Southern Rhône blend, that we relied upon for nearly any occasion. When recent guests (my cousin and lifelong friend and her husband) came to visit, they asked for recommendations. I shared that lately I’d been…

Affordable French Wine

Affordable is an arbitrary term. We all have our personal price preferences for wine we purchase to drink at home or at a restaurant. For most of us, triple- or quadruple-digit pricetags are out of reach for everyday drinking. Let’s say that around $20 (~€17, ~£15 at the moment) is affordable. Sure, you’ve seen the…