Wines news of France XII !!

And time again to talk about one of my favorite subjects, wines! It’s been a long time since I started my wine appreciation and the flame continues today as well as passed on to my sons. Let me tell you in this cloudy day in the Morbihan a bit more on the wines of France!!

After the Drouhin family and the Bouchard Père & Fils house, it was last May 2021 ,the turn of the Jacques Bollinger Company (SJB) , which notably brings together the brands Bollinger, Ayala, Chanson Père et Fils or Delamain to set its sights on the vineyards of Oregon in the United States announced the acquisition of the famous winery Ponzi Vineyards. A takeover in the strategic continuity of the SJB to strengthen the presence of its products on the American market, the world’s leading player in exports of Champagne, Burgundy and Cognac wines. The Bollinger family have just announced the arrival of Jean-Baptiste Rivail (Pommery, Hennessy and Newton Vineyard Napa). The latter will manage and develop the Ponzi Vineyards estate by occupying the position of CEO, from October 4. He will also be responsible for coordinating the development of the group’s brands on the American market.

We have observes with emotion the elite cider makers settled in Brittany, Normandy, Mayenne, Perche, the Basque Country and Switzerland, determined to shake up the art of drinking of their contemporaries. In mid-September, around twenty of these highly qualified craftsmen gathered at the Atelier de la crêpe, the international school of the crepe maker on Quai Duguay-Trouin, in Saint-Malo, to meet the general public, share their experience and talking about the future. Cider accounts for 1% of the drinks consumed in the world, and within this 1%, the cider makers who have imposed their bottles on the tables of trendy bistros and starred restaurants following Eric Bordelet (Mayenne), Cyril Zangs (Calvados) and Johanna Cécillon (Côtes-d ‘ Armor) represent another percent. For lovers of hand-made, one cannot imagine a more perfect luxury product. The movement is not as powerful as that of natural wines, but the philosophy is the same: to bring into the bottle the beauty of the gesture of artisans in love with their terroir and their plant material. This is to remind Bretons and Normans that cider does not only go with galette-sausage. Another time, it will be elsewhere. Yes indeed, its a whole dinner bottle try it!

Booming in France since 2013, Japanese sake has not only conquered the palates of food lovers, but also the hearts of adventurous brewers. Today, there are several cellar masters specializing in this Japanese alcohol. In Japanese, the word sake refers to any alcoholic drink made from rice. To stand out on the local market, the Japanese even speak of Nihonshu (Japanese alcohol) to designate this very special beverage. Over the past seven years, the consumption of Sake in France has literally tripled, well helped by the many passionate ambassadors of this Japanese nectar. To brew sake with local products, here was opted for Camargue rice and Île-de-France water. Today, many French-speaking brewers have gone to Japan to train with renowned tôji ,and return to France to open their brewery . But there is no uniformity in their approaches, with two approaches that stand out among French tôji (brewers) without being completely opposed: on the one hand, the purists, who advocate the tradition of Japanese masters, and the modernists who seek to play with recipes and create a “French sake”. More curiosities into the world of alcohol but me rather stick with wines or beers only.

And speaking of wines…! Tthe Head Sommelier-consultant and former director of the sommellerie of the Ritz Estelle Touzet, speaks of her beginnings and some recomm. It was a Burgundian pinot noir that will make her want to make it her profession, a Clos de La Roche 1996 from Domaine Dujac, Grand Cru of Morey-Saint-Denis. From Bristol to Ritz via Crillon and Meurice, voted Best Sommelier of the year in 2011 by the Academy of Culinary Arts and first woman in the world to reach the coveted position of Head Sommelier of a three-star Palace restaurant in 2010, Estelle Touzet has today behind her a journey to die for, which could make her a haughty woman, but which contrasts on the contrary with the softness of her blue lagoon eyes. Her favorites of the moment are: (prices in France).

Champagne Etienne Calsac – Les RevENTS Brut Nature “An abysmal purity” Avize Champagne Price: 84.95 € .An excellent blend of Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier and Arbane, three emblematic grape varieties of Champagne, unfortunately practically disappeared.

Domaine Landron Chartier – Muscadet Le Ponceau 2018 “A magnificent touch of the mouth” Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire Loire Valley Price: 18.90 € .This cuvée has been aged on fine lees for 18 months, which gives it a magnificent touch of smooth and velvety on the palate, all guided by a mineral structure, elegant and chiseled.

Domaine Les Poëte – Guillaume Sorbe 2014 “A fine and elegant tannic structure” Reuilly Centre Loire Price: 25 € . An astonishing Pinot Noir from Berri! According to the sommelier, a wine capable of competing with the great Burgundy terroirs.

Domaine Chanterêve – Les Hautés 2019 “A star dancer of the Opera” Auxey-Duresses Bourgogne Price: 64 €. From a place called “Les Hautés”. “Straightness, elegance, depth, flavor … This wine swirls in the mouth like a star dancer of the Opera, with grace, fluidity and serenity. Nothing is left to chance, everything is perfectly mastered, leaving in the mouth a sublime sensation of perfection “.

Family reunion, business dinner or aperitif with friends: beware of blunders when sitting at the table. Especially when it comes to wine, from choice to service, paradise is sometimes paved with bad intentions… à la Française!!

5 smart tips: Choose the wine before the dish! Starting from the bottle will allow for a better pairing and it’s always easier in that sense. Respect a service order, from the youngest to the oldest. It is recommended to serve white wine before red wine, the lightest before the more tannic, the youngest first, to increase the intensity, both in terms of taste and emotion. Open the bottle and taste it beforehand. This double precaution will prevent you from ending up with a possible corky taste when serving and, moreover, you will be able to assess whether the wine needs a little aeration, in which case it will be good to decant it. Limit the number of wines served … and favor magnums when crowded! Better a few wines, but carefully chosen, than a string of insignificant bottles. Provide 2 bottles of the same wine. In case of a corky taste or deviance, it is always better to have a spare bottle.

5 mistakes to avoid: Serve reds at room temperature. Gone are the days when wine was “chambered” in rooms not heated to 13 °. Too hot, the red wine loses its flavor and precision. Do not exceed 16-17 ° (knowing that it will heat up quickly in the glass and throughout the meal); fruity reds can be served cooler, around 14-15 °. Do not have tasting glasses. The glass is essential because it reveals the aromas and texture of the wine. Reserve the champagne for dessert. Champagne and dessert rarely go hand in hand; and out of pity, avoid chocolate, the ultimate enemy of bubbles. Place the champagne at the start of the meal, or even throughout the meal, without skipping the cheese. Serve the reds on the cheese. The tannins of wine and cheese? Enemy brothers. Apart from rare exceptions (Saint-Nectaire for example), few cheeses go well with red wines. Change the model and think white. Your life will be wonderful now. Serve a Port or a pastis as an aperitif. It is a French tradition, but traditions are made to be debunked … A spirit, a powerful alcohol will numb your taste buds from the start. You may be in a good mood, but not sure that your palate will go away. remember. I am a drinker of red porto but do leave time done with the apéro before beginning the meal.

And on the realm of drinks, and you know it James Bond is back, see the latest and last of Daniel Craig with sulky Ana de Armas (Cuba/Spain).

The now famous maxim dictated by James Bond to bartenders “shaken, not stirred!” recalls that Agent 007 is first and foremost a cocktail lover, especially the dry martini. But is he content with this unique beverage? The favorite of his drinks is undoubtedly the dry martini, which James tastes with a very specific recipe that calls for the use of vodka ,combined with a dose of dry vermouth , and especially “shaken not stirred!” In other words, prepared in a shaker and not stirred with a spoon as usual.
James Bond will however deviate from his habits in Casino Royale by ordering a Vesper of which he delivers the precise recipe to the bartender: 3 measures of gin, one of vodka and half a measure of Kina Lillet. Obviously shaken! Note that it is very difficult today to be able to make a real Vesper since the Lillet house, producer of wine-based aperitifs, has long since stopped the production of this variant based on quinine. Also, he usually, more in the news, to serve a Whiskey & soda,(my Dad old favorite!) again with a preference for a particular spirit: bourbon. In some filmed episodes, Bond will be able to indulge in tasting local drinks such as Mojito (rum, mint, lime, sugar and sparkling water), Mint Julep (whiskey, angostura bitter, sugar, mint), rum soda/Cuba Libre or classic among the classics, the Americano (campari, red vermouth, sparkling water and orange or lemon zest) or the Old-fashioned ink (sugar, bitters, rye whiskey and orange zest) Finally, the agent 007 sometimes shows a weakness for bubbles, especially when he is in gallant company. Here again, Bond asserts a very precise taste: vintage cuvées from Dom Pérignon (in the first episodes) and the production of the Bollinger house, which has just celebrated 40 years of “kind” collaboration. An investigation by the very serious British Medical Journal in 2013 looked at all 14 of Ian Fleming’s novels and found that Agent 007 would consume 4 times more alcohol than the norm for an adult. Fortunately, all this is fortunately only cinema! Aha oh yeah!!! Nice going Agent 007!

The Fête des vendanges de Montmartre or Montmartre Harvest Festival returns from October 6 to 10, 2021,(now) after a 2020 edition canceled due to the pandemic. On the program: culinary discoveries, parade, live shows, but also discovery of the vines and tasting. Nearly 500,000 visitors are expected for this 88th edition of the Montmartre Harvest Festival, which is held close to the Sacré-Coeur. This 2021 edition is sponsored by musician Keren Ann and cartoonist Jul. Some of the classic events will be: Le Parcours du Goût: You can taste organic and local dishes and wines. Around the Sacré-Cœur, Azaïs, Saint-Eleuthère, Cardinal Guibert,strets and parvis de Sacré Coeur. Vineyard tours : An unprecedented discovery of the Clos Montmartre vines, protected heritage, in the companion of the historian and lecturer Jean-Manuel Gabert. On Rue des Saules. The Ban des Vendanges: This parade is the highlight of the Fête des vendanges. The opportunity to meet, among others, Alain Coquard, President of the Republic of Montmartre and Gilles Guillet, Grand Master of the Clos Montmartre brotherhood … On Rue des Saules. More info official webpage: https://www.fetedesvendangesdemontmartre.com/

There is an open-air laboratory, opposite the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences (ISVV), is called “plot 52”, for these 31 red and 21 white grape varieties drawn from French and southern vineyards as well as the eastern Europe. The experiment is due to the notion that by 2050, Bordeaux could experience a climate of Seville (very hot). If we do nothing now on the grape varieties, we run a great risk of losing the typicity of our wines! 30 years ago, the wines came out at 11 ° / 11.5 ° degrees, today it is 13.5 ° / 14 ° . Since this year, they can integrate in small doses six new varieties including the Portuguese Touriga Nacional and Galician/Portuguese Alvarinho, selected from studies on “plot 52”.

Verzy belongs to the historic vintages of Maison Veuve Clicquot from which Philippe Clicquot founded the House in 1772. The House also has a Manor surrounded by a park within which it has just launched a major project presented to the press on September 28, 2021. A 2000 square meter vegetable garden planted following the principles of permaculture. A true collection, it already brings together more than 300 species and pretty curiosities. The project has also made it possible to create footbridges inside of the company. For the daily maintenance, the House calls on volunteer winegrowers, who often have their own vegetable gardens. They sometimes bring interesting varieties themselves and in return benefit from the expertise. This garden is for them a source of inspiration which could accompany the evolution of the cultivation practices of the House, which has just started certification a year ago. organic production of part of its vineyard ,La Maison uses the vegetable garden for the kitchens of the Hôtel du Marc, its guest house in Rémoise, and the rest for the Restos du cœur charitable organisation. The official Veuve Clicquot webpage : https://www.veuveclicquot.com/fr-fr/notre-maison/lexpertise-du-champagne/le-vignoble

There you go folks, another wonderful episode in my wine news of France, a continuing series, thanks for your readership over the years. Hope you enjoy this episode of wine, cocktails ,movies and more. And remember, happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

2 Comments to “Wines news of France XII !!”

  1. Some very interesting tips here! I did not know about reds with cheese for example. Any wine will do for me as I love them all! Especially with cheese. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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