But First…Dessert (with the French Winophiles)

The experience of French dessert wines is textural as much as flavorful. The balance of sweet and savory, viscosity and lightness, of freshness and stability…

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New Roots Along the Canal du Midi

Ventenac-en-Minervois is a small village in the Languedoc, in the Occitanie department of southern France. The local cave is located on the Canal du Midi, a traveler’s dream of a waterway that was once used to transport wine across the country via barges, such as the Marie-Therese, a restored boat docked outside. Replanting an UNESCO Heritage Site The Canal du Midi…

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 –…

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…

Drink Occitanie: Domaines Paul Mas Winemaker Bastien Lalauze

After a recent trip to the Languedoc (known now, departmentally as Occitanie) I’ve noted several themes running through the wine conversation about the area, present both in southern France and abroad. My recent conversation with Bastien Lalauze, winemaker and estate manager sustainably-farmed Château Martinolles in Limoux, a sparkling wine property in the Domaines Paul Mas family brought to life these themes, illustrating where practice and perception are coming together in a very exciting circuit

Mapping France in Wine Bottles: Where to Get Affordable French Wine

If you have the impression that finding affordable wine in France is hard – it is definitely time to revisit that stance. My husband and I have taken several road-trips through France, meeting winemakers and tasting wine – much of it high-quality, AOP wines with price-tags that need to be forgiven for their modesty. Where…

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…

Rosé and Sea Salt

It has come up in conversation – many times – as one of our most extraordinary experiences in France. It is certainly hard to describe and after chatting about this place, I generally feel like I left out the real story. This is because Grussian, a commune in the southern French Aude department, is experiential….

Like a Local in Languedoc Wine Country

We started May in France and ended it in California, with a bit of sweet ‘real’ life in between. The trips allowed us to bask again in warm favorite spots, and afforded us – in good measure – the opportunity to sit in new seats and chat with new voices. We’ve got stories to tell,…

Five Wines For a Beautiful Day

Who wants to drink a glass of chilled wine, face to the sun, ice-bucket ready? As Spring bursts in the northern hemisphere, it is time for fresh and vibrant wines in white and rosé. There are five days in the week, five wines to try: Riesling from Nik Weis My Riesling selection is the 2015…

Charming Wine for your Sweetie: Toad Hollow Vineyards

Let me count thy ways…that Toad Hollow Risqué is a charming bottle to share on this, the most romantic of holidays: St. Valentine’S Day (Most Romantic? if we are to believe what we are told. And do we believe what are told? Never! But do we like wine to share with someone sexy? Always!) How…

Books for Winelovers

November is National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo in writer-code. During this month, writers are challenged to write a 50,000 word book. The NaNoWriMo community provides support, inspiration and tracking functionality. There have been several years that I’ve participated, and I’ve gone on to complete a partially-prepared-during NaNoWriMo story, the one that has emerged as my favorite…

The Original Bubbly: Blanquette de Limoux

Looking for bubbles, sparkles and fizz? Don’t call it Champagne, this is Blanquette de Limoux, from Languedoc. Time to pop the cork! Earlier this year I wrote a piece for Palate Press about the Languedoc Outsiders, a group of winemakers from all imaginable backgrounds and locations who landed in Languedoc order to make. While researching the story,…

The Languedoc Outsiders

I recently had the good fortune of getting to know Louise Hurren, founder of The Languedoc Outsiders. This group of winemakers caught my eye earlier this year with their enthusiasm around Vinisud’s annual event, which takes place in their home-base of Montpellier. According to the Vinisud website: VINISUD is the showcase for the world’s leading…