Wines news of France XLIII !!

Well, we are fully in Winter, we are now 10C or about 50F clear skies in my neck of the woods. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wines news of France. By the way for the non Romans XLIII is no 43, First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers since November 26 2010 of my blog! Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give you some news shall we. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Who says Valentine’s Day, says candlelit dinner between lovers , Some of my favorite dishes over the years sadly won’t be having any as no mom nor wife around;but happy Valentine’s Day to all who can, Duck à l’orange is one of those recipes with a sweet and sour flavor, like duck with peaches or cherries, specific to bourgeois cuisine. This type of association where the flesh rubs shoulders with the sweet/salty prohibits an overly classic choice. duck à l’orange calls for the sweetness of a sweet or syrupy white wine, which will be able to titillate the orange and, at the same time, blend with the sweetness of the sauce. The lobster is playful and the options for tuning it are quite numerous. It often depends on the sauce that accompanies it. In this case, it is the peat, present in this lobster sauce, which makes the bridge. The smoke is exacerbated and brings, especially on the finish, a lot of complexity and length to the encounter. If you do not have this wine, the sauce imposes an oxidative type wine which can absorb the peaty side of the dish. However, we must not switch to too pronounced a rancio. A savagnin is of course the best solution, because its natural acidity sets it admirably on the lobster and its sauce. The delicate flesh of the scallop goes wonderfully well with white wines, but also champagnes and certain red wines. A brut or non-dosed champagne with a very clean taste and a very fine bubble, will go beautifully with raw scallops, for example. It is necessary at all costs to avoid sugar and champagnes filled with large bubbles.

In the film Saint-Amour, with Gérard Depardieu and Benoît Poelvoorde, the AOC Saint-Amour makes its cinema. But do you really know this name? Here, everything breathes romance. Starting with the name of the village, Saint-Amour , which owes its name to a certain Amor. A Roman legionary whose statue naturally stands next to the church. The full name of the town is Saint-Amour-Bellevue. And indeed the view is superb. The town is 20 km south of Mâcon, at the northern entrance to the Beaujolais Wine Route. Here, they produce red wines with 2 different typicities. Depending on whether the maceration is short or longer, they obtain light and aromatic wines that can be consumed soon after harvest, or more robust and tannic wines that can be kept for 4 to 5 years. Saint-Amour is obviously the quintessential Valentine’s Day wine. The proof: almost a quarter of the production is tasted on February 14. Yes traditions forever…..Saint Amour appellation webpage:

The Bordeaux vineyard loves rumors ! Indeed, The Château Haut-Bailly is up for sale, But when there is a rumors something is in talks for real ,,, Will the property slip through the fingers of its president, Véronique Sanders? Robert “Bob” G. Wilmers, who died in 2017, passed the baton to his son Chris Wilmers. The father was a finance whiz, his offspring is an environmental expert. The estate is experiencing a form of golden age. They are able to offer a vertical of twenty-five successive vintages of which they are proud, including of course the 2007 or the 2013, which few winegrowers can claim in Bordeaux”. Haut-Bailly’s secret? Soft power, only apparent lightness. Stay tune for more…..Webpage:

The Château Chasse-Spleen expands with the acquisition of the 35 hectares of its neighbor Château Brillette of 35 hectares of vines right next door, thus providing the estate with a fourth hilltop of gravel, one of those heaps of pebbles that are so successful with Vitis vinifera and whose grapes will go to the vats of Château Chasse-Spleen (104 ha). This pretty piece of Médoc, one of the flagship properties of the Moulis-en-Médoc appellation, is not listed in the 1855 classification, simply because Chasse-Spleen was created in 1863, but some people refer to it as a honorary Saint-Julien, yes. The grape variety is classic, dominated by Cabernet-Sauvignon. Two hectares of Sémillon and Cabernet Blanc are reserved for white wine. Vinification is carried out in an underground vat room, a concrete structure erected in 1964 which continues to fulfill its function. On average, the estate produces 25,000 cases (300,000 bottles) of its premier wine, 85,000 bottles of Oratoire de Chasse-Spleen and the equivalent of its Heritage. A production that will be boosted with the acquisition of Château Brillette. More concentration in Bordeaux and it will continue for economics of course, Webpage:!/home

Transforming wine into pure alcohol to make perfume or hydroalcoholic gel has not happened in France since the pandemic. The State will spend up to 160 million euros to destroy wine surpluses and stem the drop in prices. So much so that winegrowers are wondering how to store the next harvest, because the French are drinking less and less wine: From 130 liters per year per inhabitant, 70 years ago and now 40 liters according to FNSEA , Also, the Association Générale de la Production Viticole (AGPV), which brings together all the wine-growing areas and the vine sector in France. Red wines are particularly affected, with -15% sales in French supermarkets in 2022. Whites and rosés are doing better, with a much more moderate decline (around -3 or -4%). The last distillation campaign dates back to 2020, to eliminate surpluses due to the drop in consumption caused by Covid-19. Trends of now and the future, better choose right, See my posts….

After the Quai d’Orsay for the kick-off, the Hôtel de Ville for the flight. It is in this beautiful setting in the heart of Paris that the list of the 17 semi-finalists of the Best Sommelier of the World competition was announced this past evening. They will therefore be 17, out of the 68 candidates who were on the starting line, at play the semi-finals tomorrow February 12 2023, There are 14 men and 3 women, including the French candidate Pascaline Lepeltier, The other candidates are the Argentinian Valeria Gamper, Best Sommelier of the Americas, and the Danish Nina Jensen, finalist of the last edition in Antwerp. The other unfortunate finalist of 2019 and Best Sommelier of Europe 2017, Raimonds Tomsons, is still in the running. Note the presence of another French candidate competing under the Swiss banner, Reza Nahaboo, and two Italian candidates, Francesco Marzola (under the Norwegian banner) and Andrea Martinisi (for New Zealand). Finally, Asia is strongly represented in the next round, with China, Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan. there are only three places for the final, which will be held in public on Sunday at La Défense Aréna. The tests are not known in advance. But usually, the semi-finals are structured around practice, with “tastings, proposals for food & wine pairings, commercial situations. These tests will reveal the most successful preparations. Webpage:

The Beaujolais Great Wines Competition ,has as the winner for non-crucial appellations, the Domaine François Martenot estate won gold in Beaujolais, the Creuze Noire estate in white Beaujolais, the Vignerons des Pierres Dorées in Beaujolais Rosé, the Mommessin house in Beaujolais Villages and the Oedoria cellar for Beaujolais Pierres Dorées. The trophy of localities, were won by in Brouilly, the Vinescence cellar is essential and in Côte de Brouilly the domain Chevalier Métrat. On the Chénas and Chiroubles side, these are respectively the Château de Chénas cellar and Georges Duboeuf wines, while in Fleurie it is the Lionel Despres estate and in Juliénas, the Gry Sablon estate. Finally, at Moulin-à-Vent, the Domaine des Rosiers climbed to the top of the podium, and at Morgon, Agamy. The southernmost and youngest of the crus, Régnié, was won by GVS Group and the northernmost, Saint-Amour, by the Domaine Porte du Paradis estate. webpage:

Next Monday, February 13, 2023 (18h – 21h), the Grande Dégustation Pomerol returns to the Intercontinental Paris-Le Grand , 9éme. On the border with Saint-Émilion to the east, and Libourne to the south and west, the Pomerol vineyard enjoys conditions that are ideally suited to viticulture. The vines are planted on a plateau descending in successive terraces towards the Isle valley, at the confluence of the Dordogne. They are rooted in a soil composed of more or less compact gravel, clayey or sandy on the surface, placed on a subsoil with iron oxides or iron filth, vector of Pomerol identity. With some 800 hectares, Pomerol is one of the smallest production areas in Bordeaux , The emblem of Pomerol, Merlot represents 80% of the grape varieties, alongside Cabernet Franc (15%) and Cab Sauvignon (5%). With around thirty properties in tasting this Monday, February 13, presenting different vintages at their convenience, amateurs will be able to discover different profiles of wines from the appellation. Great event another I missed. Webpage:

The tailor-made barrels, special work on the grain, specific toasting and drying…,the best of French know-how, The small Surtep tonnellerie or cooperage (anagram of Petrus) is one of the few in the sector to have obtained certification from Bureau Veritas. Its high-end barrels seduced the Independent Stave Company, (USA) a world heavyweight in cooperage, which became the majority shareholder to create a new entity, Maison Moussié. The original workshop, located in Beychac & Caillau,(Gironde 33) is preserved, Webpage:

What is the ideal wine for petit salé aux lentilles or lentil sausage? One of our favorite dish at home and away, You could go in two directions. A set that calls for full-bodied, structured wines, with well-present tannins and good alcohol strength like the Irouléguy appellation, Just above Toulouse, the Fronton vineyard, and North of the Rhone Valley, the Saint-Joseph appellation, Good wines tried them all ! How to make it will give the recipe we use at home, Ingredients: 2 carrots, 2 onions, cloves, pepper ,salt to taste; 1 kg of salt pork (loin, ribs, possibly blade) 600 g of green lentils 4 Montbéliard sausages (or equivalent if not in your area) ;and 1 bouquet garni , preparation : 20 minutes cooking :2 hours, Steps to follow : If necessary (some butchers supply the meat already desalted), desalinate the meat (soak it for 2 hours in cold water, changing the water from time to time). Drain it. Put it in a casserole, cover with water, pepper. Simmer on low for two hours. Peel the carrots and onions. Stick the cloves into the onions Put the carrots, onions, bouquet garni and lentils in a pressure cooker, cover well with water, lightly salt and pepper. Cook under pressure for between a quarter of an hour and around twenty minutes. When the meat is cooked, remove it from the pot, drain it and cut it into large pieces. Put these pieces, as well as the sausages previously pierced with a fork, in the pressure cooker already containing the lentils. Add 2 glasses of broth from the oven (to give the taste of the meat). Cook (without pressure, with the casserole open) for 20 to 30 minutes over low heat, taking care that the lentils do not stick. Bon appétit

What are the must-see wine bars? in Bordeaux me think some new ones and some very familiar with,

The Soif, the bistro of reconciliation at 35, rue du Cancera webpage :

Le Sobre,the largest selection of wines by the glass, great !! at 24 Quai des Chartrons Webpage :

L’avant-comptoir du Palais,between nature and classicism of renown chef Yves Camdeborde at 2, place du Palais Webpage :

Au Bon Jaja, the lair of natural wines at 4, cour d’Alsace-et-Lorraine Webpage :

VAT is a tax that is added to the price of all products, including Champagne. Value added Tax or VAT (Fr taxe sur la valeur ajoutée ) is divided into four types: super reduced VAT, reduced VAT, intermediate VAT, and normal VAT. The tax rate is between 2.1% and 20%. Like many alcoholic products, Champagne is legally subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) at the normal rate of 20%. Excise or consumption duty is an indirect tax levied on the consumption of certain products such as Champagne. The State determines a tax each year per hectolitre of pure alcohol (hlap). In 2022, this tax amounts to 1,806.28€ /hlap. The bottle of Champagne is subject to a third tax. The Social Security Code provides for a contribution on alcoholic beverages. In 2022, this tax amounts to 579.96€ /hlap. (hlap=hectoliter of pure alcohol), Now you know what is the cost so high, taxes !!!

Something extra but good, I told you so !! The consumption of beer dates back to 7000 years before our era. Currency, salary and medicine of the Egyptians in antiquity, this fermented drink ,in particular based on barley malts and hops is one of the most consumed alcohols in the world. But in the 1980s, the theory of the French paradox reared its head, when three French scientists found that despite a diet rich in animal proteins and fats and a regular consumption of wine, the French died less of heart attack than in other Western countries ! Yes ! Now ,according to a newer study by Harvard University, a reasoned consumption of beer can have positive effects on the heart and blood circulation ,Also according to the American university, drinking beer would reduce resistance to insulin and would limit the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30%. In addition to whetting your appetite, a drink before a meal can aid digestion. In dark beers in particular, there are soluble fibers, up to one gram per 33 cl, good allies of the intestinal system. Does beer contain antioxidants? The answer is yes, specifically dark beer. The polyphenols present in beer, but also fruits, tea and wine, fight against heterocyclic aromatic amines, which are found on overcooked meats, barbecue style. In 50 cl of beer, there may be up to 8 mg of silicon, i.e. one third of the recommended daily consumption. Silicon fixes calcium, helps in the development and renewal of bones, it is also a pillar of the immune system. Water remains the best drink for the kidneys, however, according to a Finnish study, beer would help eliminate calcium deposits in the kidneys and thus reduce the risk of kidney stones. Promoting diuresis, beer, consumed in moderation, participates in the elimination of toxins. Thanks to beta-glucan, present in malt, drinking a beer without alcohol, and therefore without risk ,would however stimulate milk production. Beer contains group B vitamins, minerals, potassium, magnesium and maltose, which regenerates glycogen stores after exercise, In addition, the diuretic effects of beer accelerate the elimination of water and urination dehydrated. Prefer organic, unfiltered and unpasteurized beers to enjoy the virtues of beer, in moderation. Finally, be aware that dark beers are more nutritious and lagers contain the least sugar. There you go ,now drink in moderation but drink !! Salut !!

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. Stay warm and see you in the vineyards of France

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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