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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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…

Climb to the Top: Alpine Wines of Italy

Earlier this year, I interviewed Lucio Matricardi, Ph.D, of Mezzacorona Group, where he is the winemaker for Rotari Trentodoc, Mezzacorona and Stemmari. Rotari Trentodoc is located in the Dolomites, in Northeastern Italy, part of the southern limestone Alps. It was this conversation with Matricardi that churned up my enthusiasm for winemaking and grape-growing in the…

Wine for a Summer Cookout

Many years ago I hosted a cookout party for family and friends to celebrate my sister’s achievement of earning her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. I made, truly, the best pulled pork this side of the Mississippi and I thought to myself (as I often do): Rhône reds.  Turns out, I had a houseful…

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,…

5 Italian Easter Dishes and Wine Pairings

A robin made a nest in the wreath on our front door. She’s been out there, fluttering from the edge of the roof, to the twigs in the planter, to the shrub…constantly moving about. My husband called it: she’s going to lay eggs.  New Life and A New Season Now there is one delicate blue…

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…

Winemaker Rendezvous: Lucio Matricardi Ph.D. of Stemmari

TODAY WE WELCOME A RENDEZVOUS WITH WINEMAKER LUCIO MATRICARDI, Ph.D. WINEMAKER AT STEMMARI ON THE ISLAND OF SICILY. LUCIO IS ALSO THE WINEMAKER AT ROTARI TRENTODOC AND MEZZACORONA IN ITALY. I’ll tell you what I was thinking, in the days leading up to my call with Lucio. Have you ever heard someone say to a young mother -several…

6 Wine Bloggers Cover Corsica

This month we see Corsica. Our French Winophiles group is scheduled to stop at the French island of Corsica via our blogs and we’ll all meet to share notes, pictures and food-parings on Saturday, February 18th at 10 am central on twitter under the hashtag #Winophiles. According to Provence WineZine: Corsica, as a French territory or,…

Corsica: Where You Don’t Need an Invitation

My first French teacher was from Marseille. I learned Provençal dialects, accents and lifestyle as my first course in “becoming” French. This began what has been a lifelong connection with Provence leading me there many times, introducing me to many friends and helping me to obtain my Provence Wine Master status (exam next month!). While in…

Getting Into Savoie with the French #Winophiles

The French Winophiles You may have noticed mention of the Winophiles group on L’occasion lately. The French Winophiles are a group of bloggers that love French wine. Most of the people in the group have some sort of specialty or favorite region. There are writers that are cooks with an interest in wine, wine writers…

Savoie with the French #Winophiles

Unforgettable Savoie January brings a trip through the Savoie wine region, on the eastern edge of central France. People from all of the world are called to this area for natural beauty, with a crown of Alpine features. It is also home to three wine appellations composed of 20 different geographic districts. Dominant Savoie grapes inclue Mondeuse, Pinot…

5 Italian Christmas Dishes and Wine Pairings

When I was a child, I was always fascinated to hear the stories of Christmas traditions in foreign lands. Holiday magic in my own home was often peppered with imaginings of what children in other places would eat, do and see in their homes. When Santa Claus came to our door with an orange and…

The Crus of Beaujolais

This article explains the most prestigious wine of Beaujolais, a wine region in France. It occurred to me, during the last few days of Beaujolais Noveau bustle and celebrations, that the Beaujolais region in specific teaches us about French wine on the whole. One of the things people tell me is that they don’t understand French…