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…

What You Can Learn About Wine From Drinking With French People

I don’t do nearly as much drinking as my blog might lead you believe. I actually do a lot more writing and reading about wine that I do drinking it. But, I do my fair share and I’ve learned that sometimes you must be open-minded. Sometimes you have to be vulnerable, try something new. Look at things a…

On the second day of wine…

#12daysofwinefacts According to Moët & Chandon you should place the bottle in a Champagne bucket, fill bucket with one-third water and add ice cubes to top. Leave for at least 15 minutes before serving to bring champagne to the proper temperature (8˚-9˚C/46˚-48˚F). Your friends will be asking you so, when do we drink… If you…

French Dessert Wines for the Holidays

Even though we won’t be eating Thanksgiving dinner for days, and Christmas dinner for weeks I’ve already chosen the wines I’ll serve because of course I need to need taste-test them, admire the bottles and simply rest in the security that there will be lovely drink to toast the good fortune of the holiday season.

{French Style} A Party Guide

Bells will be ringing….doorbells. Your doorbell.  All those guests,  work-people, in-laws, neighbors, cats-from-down-the-street, the cast of Downton Abbey, members of Congress… Wait, you aren’t hosting top-cats & dignitaries?  Well, you can. Here’s how to zest up your party with French class & style: {French Style} A Party Guide

How the French find Joie de Vivre in daily life

“She wanted to live, and live fully, and to give life, she who loved life! What was the good of existing, if you couldn’t give yourself?” ― Émile Zola, The Joy of Life Joie de vivre. A love of life. Joy in living. The sound of those words lights the spirit, makes one want to…

Great French wines | Is it all about Labels?

“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle” … Paulo Coelho, Brida It’s unromantic, pouty: Labels, methods, classifications and designations… not the most loveable aspects of wine says wine writer Jill Barth… Our most…