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…

Lessons from a Biodynamic Winemaker in France

I take a notes like a squirrel on the bird feeder – fast and and full, getting it all down before someone changes the subject. You’ll know me by my notebooks. More often than not, however, the stuff that really sticks with me doesn’t require a scribble. My memory serves in certain moments where everything…

A Sense of Provence: Domaine Dalmeran

On a recent trip to Provence I met with Ana Lopez from Domaine Dalmeran for a tasting of their red, white and rosé wines. The domaine is located in Les Baux-de-Provence AOP, a region that makes organic and in many cases, biodynamic, practices a thumbprint for the appellation. I’ve written widely about the AOP so…

The Good Wines of Lirac

Last fall I spent some time with winemakers in Lirac, a cru located across the Rhône River from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I covered a significant conversation with Rodolphe de Pins, winemaker at Château de Montfaucon and Co-President of Lirac AOP in a recent piece published on Palate Press: I’m in a vineyard on top of a graceful…

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…

Holiday Wines from Southern Rhône and Provence

  The dishwasher is finally empty. The tablecloths are washed. The tree is up. This means…we’ve wedged between Thanksgiving and Christmas and in my house we are celebrating everything. Whatever comes our way gets decorated, wrapped, sang to. This isn’t just our house, I get the feeling…everywhere you go (it’s beginning to look a lot…

Harvest in Provence

Here we enjoy scenes of the vendage, wine grape harvest, at Château Romanin in Les Baux de Provence AOP. I’ve had the great pleasure of enjoying the wines of Château Romanin during my visits to Provence. I still remember drinking my first bottle during a rainy spring evening in little cafè called Le Marilyn in…

Tour de France: Mount Ventoux Wines

A kindly giant who watches over the aromatic garrigue scrubland and the carefully tended vineyards, Mont Ventoux shelters wines conducive to sharing and close companionship – celebrated with a fragrant, flavourful centrepiece. ~ CHRISTOPHE TASSAN Sommelier and Rhone Ambassador The Tour de France 2016 Stage 12 of the Tour de France will route cyclists from Montpellier…

Luxe Provence: Wine Tasting Guide to Les Baux-de-Provence AOP

In partnership with Luxe Provence, I present this Wine Tasting Guide to Les Baux-de-Provence AOP. This stunning guide includes: 36 Hours in Les Baux-de-Provence region Wine Tasting Route Restaurant and Hotel  Suggestions 5 Wines to Try Now Meal Pairing Suggestions Join me at Luxe Provence for these details and more…there may be some surprises in…

A Provençal Rosé with a Summer Supper

I’m as fond of the poolside drink as anyone else, but when it comes to rosé I find food-friendly (and even, at times, age-worthy) bottles are available. Provence AOP rosès comprise one of the most compelling wine frameworks available right now. I have what you might call a background in Provençal wine. I’m studying to…

L’occasion of a lifetime: The Wine Blog Awards

The other day I was on the playground, watching my young niece navigate the swings and slides while my kids were at a practice. I was in a pleasant conversation with another woman I know, also a mom, about honors language arts classes. The conversation turned to Great Expectations…the great ‘beach read’ for all middle school…

NYC Festival Features Provence Rosé

  Last week I spoke to Pierrick Bouquet, founder of the upcoming Pinknic Festival at Governor’s Island in New York City. This event will feature a well-known bottle of Provençal rosé: Whispering Angel from Château d’Esclans. I also had a conversation with Paul Chevalier, National Fine Wine Director for Shaw-Ross, the importer of Château d’Esclans wines….

Will Travel for Wine

L’occasion Passport: what it means to me to move around the world to taste wine and meet winemakers. Contagious: The Travel Bug One of my early wine tasting trips was to a little town in Northwestern Illinois called Galena. Galena is one of those delightful spots, with a historical downtown, a river view, lots of charm. Ulysses S….

Vouvray during WW2: A Wine Worth Fighting For

The wines of Vouvray, in France’s Loire Valley, represent the ancient treasure that is French wine, a wine worth fighting for during WW2. Hidden Bottles, Wine Parties in Prison and a Historical Winemaker: Gaston Huet At the mention of Vouvray, I’m reminded of a gentleman that passed way about 15 years ago. That he lived into…