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…

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…

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…

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…

Périgord Wines: Bergerac and Duras

It was the roses – and the view – that made us pull the car over. Though everyone wanted to make good time, we were compelled to stop, even as other cars whizzed past while we weaseled into a spot across the street from the local cave. Cameras are made with the panorama setting for…

Historic Vineyards of Mâcon

Burgundy, known as Bourgogne in France, is one of the world’s most incredible wine regions. Due to an intense history dedicated to winemaking, there are stories to be told, lifetimes to preserve. Let this video, from Bourgogne Wines provide an introduction:   Vineyards in Burgundy have been cultivated for over 2,000 years, first by the…

Thomas Jefferson in Burgundy

There is a phrase in the French language – déformation professionnnelle – which describes one’s tendency to perceive every situation through the biased eyes of one’s profession. But consider the constant shape-shifting of reality for a man with armloads of professions: inventor, farmer, author, diplomat, ambassador, drafter, architect, teacher, United States President, archaeologist and onward. Jefferson, Wine Lover Thomas…

A World of Flavors in Marseille

The Southern French port city of Marseille has been the entry point for the world since the Greeks settled there around 600 BC. The second largest city in France is home to people of scoping nationalities and this diversity makes Marseille the world’s kitchen. Marseille is also in an excellent wine neighborhood, with the best…

Wine Stories: Bernard de Nonancourt of Champagne Laurent-Perrier

Twelve years ago I wrote a fictional story about a vigneron named Emmeline, raising her daughter in wartime Provence. This character was based purely on imagination, written in my basement office during my maternity leave to care for my middle child. The story was subsequently published initiated a sense of intense need to keep going, to make the…

Champagne avec Les Winophiles Français

Champagne is the focus of this month’s Winophiles treatment. The Winophiles are a group of wine writers and bloggers that love French wine. Each month we focus on an area or aspect of French wine. Topics include regions, routes, food, travel, history, profiles, tastings…we expand widely and seek to learn. Champagne! Just the sound of…

A Time + A Place for Champagne

Champagne is… …home to a 15,000-strong team of highly skilled winegrowers. …an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée or AOC that’s been in place since 1927. …comprised of four main growing areas: The Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs et the Côte de Sézanne, the vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Bar. …situated at a northerly latitude…