Help L’Occasion get to Bordeaux

In each category and for each zone, the article that gathers the most votes will win the grand prize, meaning an all-expenses-paid trip to Bordeaux in April 2018 during the famous “en primeur” week.

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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.

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…

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…

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…

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…

Provence in the City: Simply Provence Wines

Last month I attended Provence in the City, hosted by Vins de Provence. Over 25 winemakers met with wine industry and media folks at the Public Hotel’s historic Pump Room in Chicago.  It was a gorgeous spring-like day in typically chilly-in-February Chicago. The afternoon’s wine was offered alongside a buffet-in-courses; some of my favorite elements were the spring green salad…

{French Wine: Rhône Valley Road Trip}

“Do not search in a wine for the reflection of an exact science. The formulas of scientific oenology are only a thin competition which does not know how to respect the mysteries of eternal creation.”  ~The late Jacques Perrin, Château Beaucastel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape   If only lightly familiar with French wines, Champagne or Burgundy probably pop…