Wednesday, January 14, 2009
As a serial wine drinker, I must admit that overall, the Frenchies are impressing me more and more with their "vin" (wine), and their incredible knowledge of it. As I arrived here from the States a few years ago, Red Zinfandel (not the pink stuff, although this grape has been in vogue now in the Hamptons for the past couple summers), and grand Tuscan reds were my staples. That is to say until I visited Giverny a few years back. On this day trip, home to of course Monet and his gardens, our driver/tour guide wanted to bring us to one of the best restaurants in the region. When he drove up to the said "resto", my friends and I gasped and then laughed out loud - we were brought to an American hotel chain with a restaurant. As we walked onto the property and were shown to our table, we all gasped again, but this time at the incredible view of the valley. It was as if an artist had painted an amazing landscape in front of us. We of course relaxed and were treated to a wonderful French meal. I asked for a wine recommendation from our waiter to go with our "entrecote" and was offered a wonderful bottle of red wine. If you ever are able to taste a bottle of Pomerol from the Aquitaine region (near Bordeaux), you will fall in love with it....we all did, and when the Pomerol was paired with my beef "à point" (meaning the meat was cooked medium), I melted, as did the meat and grape in my mouth.
As the economy takes a temporary nosedive, wine producers are actually forecasting an increase in production and exporting. And it appears that the United States will consume more wine in the upcoming years than that of Italy, Spain and France according to the International Wine and Spirit Record. In fact, France consumes less than its Chunnel Neighbor, the U.K.( quelle surprise!) Also, there is tough competition from Down Under and South American vineyards, specifically Argentina and Chile, as all of these countries produce good quality wine at affordable prices overseas. And guess what....you won't find many bottles of them around here nor will you easily find quality Italian and Spanish wines at either supermarket or wine shops.
But you're in France, home to some of the best vintages, yet, you can find excellent quality at a very affordable prices. To get the best bang for your buck$ ( or £, € etc) I recommend going to a wine shop and telling them what food you want to pair your wine with and how much you want to spend. I can honestly say, the "caviste" ( the one who sells you the grape libation) will steer you in the right direction almost every time.
The economy may not be in the best shape, but that doesn't mean you should deprive yourself of life's simple pleasures. When you visit the city of lights, you won't have to break the bank to enjoy quality - at least not for the wine.
Posted by Yetunde at 13:36
Monday, January 5, 2009
Finally, it really feels like winter!
It comes after the holidays, but Parisians and tourists are enjoying the snow which has fallen for most of the day. It really is a nice change of pace and brightens up the city.
Walking up rue Lepic in the Montmartre district today proved rather tricky and yet fun. I watched as locals and small tour groups representing many areas of the world tried to navigate slippery sidewalks and slush puddles and all the while carrying that Parisian staple....the umbrella.
Under heated lamps, sidewalk cafe's were at capacity, the crowds burying their noses in a chocolate viennoise or un creme and even some couldn't resist un kir royale, even though it was just 12:oo.
Fashionistas, never mindful of the weather, sported knee high come hither boots and mile long scrarfs( another french staple) while the young flirted with throwing freshly packed and dense snowballs at strangers and at the old, who wheel their carts with today's fresh ingredients from the local markets.
Although it's rare, here's hoping for more of the wintry white wonderland. Now go cuddle up with a loved one and enjoy un chocolate chaud.
Posted by Yetunde at 18:19
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
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