Archive for March 7th, 2023

March 7, 2023

The wonderful Pont de Normandie !!!

The drive over the Pont de Normandie from Honfleur towards Le Havre is sublime, I have other posts on it by boat ,however, I have crossed it by car ,and found me couple pictures to do this nostalgic post, I have one more duty to do on April 12,  2023 when will be there to deposit my father’s ashes into the ocean to join my dear late mom and wife, Always done with care by the SNSM volunteer lifeguard org that I am a proud donor, Now, let me tell you a bit more on the beautiful pont de Normandie or Normandy bridge. Hope you enjoy the post as I

Of course, this starts in Honfleur and ends up at Le Havre, that was the idea. The pont de Normandie was opened on January 20 1995 , and put in service January 26th. Needless to say is a real engineering marvel and just gorgeous to look at while going underneath it or over it.

Honfleur pont de normandie arriving

The pont de Normandie is 2141,25 meters long, 23,60 meters wide, 7 years of construction and  10 millions work hours! You pay 5,60 euros to go over it and back, The bridge rests on pylons 214 meters high and resting 50 meters deep under the bed of the Seine. 184 cables equipped with anti-vibration needles support the loads of the deck: 856 meterslong in a vacuum, it points 52 meters above the highest waters so as not to hinder the navigation of large boats. Access is via pre-stressed concrete viaducts cast on site. The cable-stayed structure and the central metal deck, designed like an inverted airplane wing, allow the Normandy bridge to withstand winds of 440 km/h (about 273 mph) !

Honfleur pont de normandie on top

You can park near the building, in the right bank car park, on the Le Havre side. Admission is free for pedestrians: yes, you can climb the Normandy Bridge on foot! It is possible to pass by boat under the bridge thanks to two Honfleur companies Jolie France and Évasion III (see posts) . Each of them offers a one-hour tour of the estuary. The objective: to pass under the Pont de Normandie in order to be able to admire the architecture and the gigantism of the bridge, Indeed !

We do come every year on our pilgrimage around May govt restrictions permitting, We talk it up with the station of the SNSM or Sauveteurs en mer or lifesavers at sea a volunteer group of marines and fisherman there, and take again another picture of the wonderful vedette boat the Notre Dame du Port or Our Lady of the Harbor.

The official pont de Normandie

The Le Havre-Etretat tourist office on the pont de Normandie

There you go folks,I hope you can take a lighter trip one day to the Pont de Normandie by boat or car ,is sublime!, and it is recommended by yours truly. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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March 7, 2023

Wines news of Spain VIIII

We are coming alone in Winter 2023, its time to tell you once again on the wines of my dear Spain, As said, this goes back from my beginnings ,and I still go for them everywhere, Therefore, will try the monumental task of telling you about my favorites anecdotes and news of Spanish wines and hope to continue this series as my others with your blessing and likes. Here it is ,again coming back at you my wines news of Spain VIIII !! Of course post No 9 for the non Romans, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

2022 closes with an increase in Spanish imports of wine in value (12.7%) to reach 282 million euros, the highest figure in the historical series. In volume, a drop of 3.4% has been registered, up to 64.6 million liters. In absolute terms, 2.3 million fewer liters were imported, spending 31.8 million euros more. The drop in volume is explained by the drop in bulk wine (17%) and sparkling wine (17%). France in value and Italy in volume are the main suppliers of wine to Spain. 44% of the value of Spanish wine imports come from France, which in 2022 increased its share by 11% to 159.8 million euros. In volume, 30% of imports correspond to Italian wine, which stood at 39 million liters with a decrease of 2.5%, according to the Spanish Wine Market Observatory.

Since 1990, a DO has covered most of the vineyards in the Community of Madrid, uniting geologically and climatically different areas that have their own grape varieties and agricultural traditions, At the beginning of the 20C, the muscatel vineyards gave fame to the then town and now neighborhood of Fuencarral, or to the fields that would later be Moratalaz. And hawthorns still resist near Getafe, Pinto, Fuenlabrada or Parla populous cities in the capital’s “belt” , which can be reached by metro or the Cercanías trains. Decline came by train in the mid-19C with competition from Valdepeñas or Noblejas, not to mention the glamorous Rioja. The decline has not stopped since then and barely 9,000 hectares of vineyards remain out of the 60,000 that existed at the beginning of the 20C. The Sierra de Gredos, with its 2400 meters of altitude, is the rocky wall that separates Madrid from the northern Meseta. The vineyard is divided between three towns. Cebreros in Castilla y León and Méntrida in Castilla-La Mancha are full denominations, while San Martín de Valdeiglesias is a subzone of the DO Vinos de Madrid. At the end of the 90s, those were times when the cooperatives marketed almost all the wine in the area. The Arganda sub-zone houses more than half of the producers and the total vineyard of the DO. The gentle slopes and plains irrigated by the Tajuña, the Jarama and the Henares rivers seem to be the antithesis of the wild character of Gredos. The smallest area of the D.O. is in danger. The hawthorns in fertile plain areas close to the Guadarrama river are valued more as buildable land, because they are at the gates of the cities of the southern belt: Móstoles, Fuenlabrada, Arroyomolinos… The two most powerful wineries closed a few years ago, including Ricardo Benito, producers of wines with the most ambitions. Today there are only five left, but reinforcements are arriving ,The mountain climate, the altitude and the slate, limestone and granite soils differentiate the still scarce wines from a sub-zone that was incorporated into the Denomination in 2019. It is another mountain range very different from Gredos: the Norte or north, the “poor” one, that of the almost abandoned black towns that are experiencing a certain resurgence thanks to the urbanites who escaped from the big City of Madrid. Other wineries in the area are preparing to join the Denomination. It is time to rebuild and reinterpret. Like so many other things in the vineyards of Madrid. Coming alone fine its a process like the rest of Spain did, Webpage :

The book “Tempos Vega Sicilia 40 years. The mystery of Vega Sicilia” was presented in Madrid, a monograph dedicated to this mythical Ribera del Duero winery that focuses on the four decades of the house in the hands of the Álvarez family The mystery of Vega Sicilia can already be found in the La Fábrica and Lavinia bookstores, the deluxe edition, and in regular bookstores the pocket edition webpage :

Pandemonium, the penultimate son of the restless Vintae group, is a luminous sparkling wine from La Rioja that connects and refers to the eternal fight of good against evil, to the origin of Spanish, to fallen angels and will-o’-the-wisps, which tastes and smells of secret libraries, devils , sins, forbidden codes and, above all, it gives off the perfume of audacity: producing exceeding the limits of still wines and entering other fields: that of sparkling wines that are compared to the best champagne, but made in La Rioja, in Alto Najerilla Pandemonium comes from mountain vineyards, between 700 and 800 meters above sea level, in a cool and ventilated area called Las Viñas. At the moment, only two hectares outside the limits of the DOCa, regardless of any seal In the glass, a Pandemonium 2015 white wine, single varietal Viura, straw yellow and greenish tones that had its throat disgorged in 2021 and has followed the traditional method; on the palate, a very marked natural acidity, with creaminess and length. Be careful, only 600 bottles, which will go on sale in a couple of months at a price of around 40 euros. The red Grenache comes into play for the red white, with a less shy nose and elegant and smooth bubbles, with harmony and structure on the palate, even marked minerality. Grupo Vintae and Pandemonium :

Tamerán volcanic malvasía 2021: the union of two Canarian ‘magicians’Tameran means ‘land of the brave’ in local guanche, The project unites the talents of two Canarian ‘magicians’, David Silva and Jonatan García. Silva, known worldwide for his professional career as a footballer, is also passionate and highly connoisseur of the world of wine. Jonatan García combines his work as owner of the Tenerife winery Suertes del Marqués Designation of Origin Valle de La Orotava. with the new project, of which he is technical director. The Tameràn winery, located in San Bartolomé de Tirajana, has been built integrated into the vineyard. At the moment they sell five white wines from four native varieties. The one selected in this case is a volcanic Malvasia varietal, a cross between Marmajuelo and aromatic Malvasia. It ferments in 2,500-liter foudres and is aged on lees for 10 months in 500-liter barrels. Tamerán malvasía volcánica 2021 with fruit as the backbone, mainly citrus and stone fruits, its vibrant acidity and restrained alcoholic strength round off the set. Other wines are Marmajuelo, Malvasia Volcanica, Vijariego Blanco, Verdello and Baboso Blanco ,New bodega eventually will be here :

The other Suertes del Marqués:

There you go folks, another wonderful post on my dear Spanish wines, Hoping for a long lasting memories of my dear Spain and its wine news, An area already shining for several years, and getting better me think, Hope you enjoy the new series of wines news of Spain VIIII as I

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

March 7, 2023

Some news from Spain, CXLIV

This is yours truly with another episode of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and already on the end tail of a mild Winter ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back to Spain too !! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, By the way CXLIV is old Roman for 144, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

“I couldn’t afford to have so much money hanging from a nail,” admitted the Madrid painter and politician Aureliano de Beruete in 1908. So he sold for $120,000 to American billionaire Henry Clay Frick El Greco’s Expulsion of the Merchants from the Temple (1600). But he was not the only one who exchanged art for money ,the first patrimony law would not arrive until 1916, because many other private collectors did the same with eight more paintings by Goya, Murillo and Velázquez, which allowed the coal steel and railways magnate to have nine masterpieces of Spanish painting to complete the so-called Frick Collection, museum pride of the city of New York , Now, the nine paintings return to Spain for the first time in more than a century and are exhibited until July 2, at the Museo del Prado. The Spanish national museum recalls that these are “exceptional works” that “make the Madrid exhibition a unique and unrepeatable occasion”, since the paintings are exhibited, in some cases, together with others from the Prado with which they are closely related. The Prado exhibition is made up of the portrait of Vincenzo Anastagi (1575), The Expulsion of the Merchants from the Temple (1600), Saint Jerome (1590) all three by El Greco, Philip IV in Fraga (1644), by Velázquez, Self-portrait (1650), by Murillo, portrait of Pedro de Alcántara y Téllez-Girón, ninth Duke of Osuna (1790), Portrait of an officer (1804), La forge (1815) and Portrait of a woman (1824), the last four from Goya. Webpage :

The Prado Museum extends its hours on the first Saturday of each month with ‘El Prado at night’, which will open the art gallery from 20h30 to 23h30, through the Jerónimos entrance with the aim of encouraging visits and approach the citizenry. You can visit the Central Gallery and the last access will be at 23h, Admission will be free until full capacity is reached The museum will keep the cafeteria service open during the initiative.

Next to the bay, by the car park, at the back of a building with balconies overlooking the port, a rusty steel door, without any sign or advertisement, welcomes a journey through the five continents thanks to a collection of tribal art that includes some 400 pieces of a set of 800. The Indo-Forcada Other Cultures Collection, located in an old fisherman’s house in Pasaia (Gipuzkoa) More info here :

It is believed that there are about 20,000 castles in Spain, although the Spanish Association of Friends of Castles has counted more than 10,000. Jaén is the province that hosts the largest number (237), but it is in Córdoba where the fortress with the highest tower is located. It is located in the Los Pedroches region, in Belalcázar, in a strategic position on a high-altitude hill that completely controls the town and its surroundings and is located in the middle of a communication hub between Toledo, Seville and Córdoba. Also known as the Sotomayor y Zúñiga or Gafiq or Gahete castle, this military-Gothic style fortress features excellent granite stonework and its unique quadrangular keep, which at 45 meters is the tallest in Spain. This monument dates from the 15C and was built on the remains of a Roman fortress, continued in Arab times, of which an important testimony still remains in the outer fence, which was maintained as the first line of the wall with watchtowers over the Caganchas stream. In the 16C, the Renaissance palace of the Zúñiga-Sotomayor family was added on its eastern side. The 2.5-hectare complex is surrounded by a wall. the corners and the other four, hollow, located on the flanks. Between the first and second tower is the only access, the Puerta de Hierro or Iron Gate, which has a semicircular arch and on it is a blue jasper tombstone. The keep, with six floors and walls 4.4 meters thick, is square up to two thirds of its height and from there to the top with rounded edges. In the upper part there are eight ornate sentry boxes with the coat of arms of the Sotomayor family name. The fourth and fifth floors still retain their vaulted ceiling and remains of coats of arms. Webpage :

The province of Ávila, beyond its imposing capital, keeps numerous secrets perhaps not sufficiently known by travelers, and I agree ! . To the south of the province, on the northern slope of the Sierra de Villafranca and flanked to the west by the Sierra de Peñanegra, is the town of Piedrahita. In addition to walking through its streets and discovering its porticoed Plaza Mayor or sitting on one of its terraces to taste the typical dishes of the area, you must admire the Palace of the Dukes of Alba, French Baroque in style, this U-shaped building was built where the old castle of the Álvarez de Toledo family stood between 1755 and 1766. Attached to this is the Torreón, known as the clock tower to which Gabriel y Galán dedicated his well-known poetry ‘Los dos nidos’. Other essential points are: the Church of Santa María la Mayor, built in the 13C, the house of Gabriel y Galán, residence of the poet during his teaching in the town; the convent of the Discalced Carmelites, which, founded by María de Vargas y Acebedo around 1460, preserves the Gothic-style church; the hermitage of the Virgen de la Vega, scene of traditional festivals of the Valley; the theater, which preserves its historic façade in perfect condition; the ruins of the Santo Domingo convent, of which there are some remains that give an idea of its former splendor, such as the main chapel of its 14C church, the ribbed vaults in the side naves, the façade and the main door, and the Plaza de Toros, Also, Madrigal de las Altas Torres represents a unique case of a fortified medieval town located on a plain, in an area without any natural defense. Its walled enclosure, declared a historical-artistic monument, is an exceptional example of medieval military architecture and a relevant testimony of the Mudejar construction system. Located in La Moraña, 74 km from Ávila, this town is linked to great personalities, such as Isabel la Católica or Bishop Don Vasco de Quiroga, both born here, and Fray Luis de León, who died in these lands. The Church of San Nicolás de Bari, a fantastic representation of Romanesque-Mudejar art ;built in the 13C and renovated in the 15C of which its enormous 65-meter-high bell tower and the baptismal font in which it was baptized stand out Isabel la Católica is one of its most representative buildings, but not the only one. The palace of Juan II, the royal residence that housed the itinerant Court of Castile from 1424 to 1497 and which currently houses the convent of Nuestra Señora de Gracia; the Church of Santa María del Castillo, a temple built under the architectural influences of the Mudejar style that also combines Romanesque and neoclassical styles incorporated in later reforms ; and which has a precious Baroque altarpiece; the Real Hospital de la Purísima Concepción, which currently houses the Quiroga Basque Museum, the nature interpretation center and the tourist office and in whose chapel is the most revered image of Madrigal; the Santísimo Cristo de las Injurias, and the remains of the Agustino de Madrigal convent, which rise outside the walls among the cereal fields, are other points of interest in the town. The Avila province tourism webpage :

We head to railways and markets in search of more fascinating examples of Spain’s industrial heritage. Two worth mentioning here are :

The Camino de Hierro is a colossal work of engineering. A succession of 20 tunnels and ten bridges, some from the Eiffel school, which runs alongside the impressive perforated cliffs of Salamanca’s Arribes. It was two years ago when these last 17 km were recovered. of the mythical Duero Line created at the end of the 19C and abandoned since 1985. Since then it has been open to the public who dare to walk the tracks and enjoy this wonderful border landscape. The starting point is the old La Fregeneda station within the Las Arribes Natural Park.Webpage :

One of my favorite markets is the Mercado Central of Valencia, Inaugurated in 1928, this stunning food market is one of the masterpieces of modernism in the city of Turia. It combines stone, glass, ceramic and iron in its façade. The light that sneaks inside is magical. The meeting and exchange environment is also. With nearly 1,200 stalls with the best of the Mediterranean Diet, it is known, declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the Mercado Central of Valencia is the largest active market in Europe. Webpage :

A couple of towns with less than 100 inhabitants, which despite the fact that the diagnoses lead them to disappear, resist against all odds, welcoming visitors with open arms.Quant nice of my dear Spain !

Barcena Mayor (Santander province)- 84 inhabitants, Located 495 meters above sea level, in the Argoza river valley, It is the only population center included in the Saja Besaya Natural Park and stands out for its traditional architecture and the clarity of its limits, marked by the rear facades of the rows and the density of the built plot, its Church of Santa María, dating from the 17C, its large houses and its open arcades, which reflect life in the mountains of Cantabria. It is also part of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Webpage :

The Cantabria region tourist office on Barcena Mayor :

San Andrés de Teixido (province A Coruña) – 49 inhabitants. Over the centuries, peasants and sailors from all over Galicia have gone on a pilgrimage to the hermitage dedicated to the Apostle San Andrés, located in this village in the parish of Régoa, in the east of the town of Cedeira, in the Sierra de Capeladas. A popular belief weighs on it: the souls of those who did not go to the pilgrimage of the living are reincarnated in the body of a lizard, toad or snake. In addition to the sanctuary of San Andrés, a Gothic temple of a marine type, the Fonte do Santo and the natural viewpoint of Vixía de Herbeira, above the cliffs, are also interesting. Galicia tourism on San Andrés de Teixido :

The great tragedy of Manolete and why even Churchill sent his condolences to his mother Manolete’s death was a shock. He was only 30 years old the afternoon the miura Islero picked him up in Linares (Jaén). He was his second bull. When entering to kill, the right python of the morlaco -black, bragado and with arrests- enters the right thigh of the bullfighter, There went what many me included considered the greatest bullfighter of all times, More about him in the Cordoba tourist office :

The European Commission announced last January 31 2023 an initiative to support pilot projects for new cross-border rail services in Europe. As for the Barcelona project, two things are known so far: the approximate launch date (spring 2025) and its stops. In the afternoon, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brussels and Lille (connection from London); in the morning, Avignon, Montpellier, Perpignan, Figueras and Gerona. However, this certain current euphoria does not reflect -according to experts- the railway situation in Europe. In an Investigate Europe report, data such as these are handled: in the last 20 years, 6,000 km of railways have been dismantled; there is still no uniform signaling and control system in Europe; national companies order trains that can only be used on national networks; To date, there is no way to check travel times and buy tickets for a trip across Europe on a single website. And more a bit of trivia me like: By 1848, Brassey and his partners had built three-quarters of all the mileage of French railways yet constructed. These were built in accordance with best British practice, with the trains running on the left. And that is why French railways run on the left to this day. Investigate Europe webpage :

And the EC on train pilot projects webpage :

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We are getting out from harsh Winter and nice weather is still around; just enough to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my some news from Spain  once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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March 7, 2023

Wines news of France XLIV !!

Well, we are fully in Winter, we are now 7C or about 45F 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 XLIV is no 44, 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.

The wines in Bandol, in Provence like all the reds of the Bandol appellation, it comes from the mourvèdre, a sacred grape variety of Spanish origin which has found its chosen land here and whose grains ripen looking out to sea. From the Domaine de Terrebrune, structured without excess, presents a nice acidity. Depending on the vintage, everyone appreciates its aromas of garrigue, black fruits, spices and truffles. Terrebrune red cuvées are meant to be kept for a long time. The estate also produces a white with herbaceous and honeyed notes as well as an energetic rosé, both very respectable. From the 35 hectares of vines grown organically, between 120,000 and 140,000 bottles come out each year. The Terrebrune is 50% export-oriented. American merchants seem to appreciate it. Webpage:

The Maison Champagne Ruinart is launching the construction of a pavilion designed by the architect Sou Fujimoto, With this building, the champagne brand is transforming its Reims site into a wine tourism and artistic center,The building measures 12 meters at the highest point for a total area of 1,200 m², including 700 m² divided into different spaces, which will be accessible to the public. The reception will include three lounges, a boutique area and a bar with a bay window to feel both inside and outside. You will find Ruinart champagne and “finger food” there. For connoisseurs, there will be a secret cellar with a collection of all their Dom Ruinart and all our old vintages. They will also exhibit some exceptional bottles, including the famous 1926. With the green roof, they will recover all the water, which will be used to water the gardens and run the toilets. In the park, beyond the artists who are already present, they will install more than ten new works, all made for them, as usual. They never buy works that exist on the market. And the city of Reims is competing to be chosen as the European cultural capital 2028. They not only want to be part of this project, but obviously to be a leader. They are aiming opening for September 1, 2024, which is the anniversary date of the creation of the society. They have great respect for Pommery, who also organizes exhibitions , and the number of projects in the region is considerable, at Taittinger, who erects his vat room, at Charles Heidsieck, who built his hotel, at Bollinger too. Many new places will be operational before the 2028 meeting. webpage:

The second grand cru classé of Château Léoville Poyferré, in Saint-Julien. In order to celebrate the centenary of the acquisition of Château Léoville Poyferré by her family in 1920, Sara Lecompte Cuvelier , who has managed the estate since 2018 , notably offered the 2020 vintage a magnificent bottle. On a black background stand out in gold letters the castle erected in 1840, the name of the wine and that of the most beautiful plots that make up the 80 ha vineyard. Planted mainly in Cabernet-Sauvignon and Merlot, these vines illustrate the great diversity of the gravel terroir that unfolds on the Léoville plateau. Available for sale since the beginning of 2023 in its collector’s bottle, the historic 2020 is to be cellared. From today, it is proving more than promising with its dark color with magenta red reflections, its blackcurrant nose and its incredibly delicate texture. Breadth, intensity, acidity, ripe and racy tannins, fire, purity of fruit, freshness, temperament… This wine has everything it needs where it needs to flourish after letting the next decade pass. It will then go perfectly with grand cru chocolates rich in cocoa and a thousand other dishes. Webpage:

Rumors have been rife in the Médoc in recent years. But at the beginning of March, the winemaker Bernard Audoy, co-owner with his brothers of the chateaux Cos Labory and Andron Blaquet, confirms the information: “We are selling everything in one block”. In total, 34 hectares of vines in the Saint-Estèphe appellation are on the table: the 18 hectares of Château Cos Labory, Grand cru classified in 1855, and the sixteen hectares of Château Andron Blaquet, one of the oldest properties in Saint -Estèphe acquired by the Audoy family in 1971. In 1922, George Weber bought it from an English banker, then bequeathed it in 1959 to his daughter and son-in-law François Audoy. The couple have children, and the eldest Bernard Audoy then takes care of family affairs. The man is now 69 years old and the call to retire is being felt according to our information, it is the immediate vicinity of the property, the Château Cos d’Estournel, which would have been selected. The winemaker does not confirm the information but specifies that Michel Reybier, owner of Cos d’Estournel since the year 2000, “would like to have it, he has more interest than the others”. It must be said that by buying Cos Labory, Michel Reybier would reconstitute the great historic vineyard of Cos d’Estournel, at the time of the classification of 1855 Cos Labory produces classic style wines with a lot of charm and balance. Source :La Revue du vin de France , webpage :,4812095.asp

The oldest known vintage of Champagne Ruinart 18 bottles of Ruinart 1926 champagne were miraculously found in the cellars of Villa Bocuse, temple of Lyon gastronomy , It was through an innocent inventory that in the fall of 2021, Maxime Valéry, head sommelier of the Paul Bocuse restaurant , an institution in Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or, in the Rhône , discovers 18 bottles of Ruinart 1926 champagne, the year of birth of the famous chef, which he liked to collect . At the end of the tasting, which took place in complete confidentiality on the restaurant floor, a few drops of the precious liquid were analyzed in the laboratory. They revealed a fairly high degree of alcohol, implying that before drawing, the blend should be around 11.5%. The total acidity also posted a relatively high rate, as did the sugars, at 17g/l, which confirms both the “Extra Dry” label and the tasting sensation, where one could perceive the presence of these sugars, but perfectly balanced by a remarkable tonicity for a champagne of this age. Indeed Ruinart is tops. Webpage:

For its 123rd edition, the now controversial Michelin guide had decided to announce its winners from Strasbourg. And for the occasion, all the starred chefs in France as well as all the 3-star chefs in Europe were in the room. Starting with the new chef rewarded with the grail of 3 stars, Alexandre Couillon at the restaurant La Marine on the Île de Noirmoutier. The emotion of the chefs who have reached the 2nd star, they are 4 this year in the 4 corners of France to be recognized for the excellence of their cuisine. They are Cyril Attrazic from the eponymous restaurant in Aumont-Aubrac in Lozère (48), Christophe Duffosé in Busnes (62) whose Château de Beaulieu is a global project with farm, vegetable garden, bakery. Also among those promoted are Cédric Burtin from Amaryllis in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (13) who obtained his 1st star in 2008, as well as Florian Favario in Talloires-Montmin (74) who paid a very fine tribute to His wife. Without forgetting the 39 new tables which have reached the 1st star, Webpage :

King Charles III of England visiting Château Smith Haut Lafitte in Bordeaux, owned by the Cathiards, in Pessac-Léognan ,It is King Charles III himself who will visit them on March 28, 2023, a few weeks before his coronation , Saturday May 6, 2023. After an obligatory stop in Paris, Charles III of England and his wife Queen Consort Camilla will make a stopover in Gironde. Its last visit to the city dates back to 1977. Greeted by Florence and Daniel Cathiard, former professional skiers and owners of this Grand Cru Classé de Graves, located in the town of Martillac, the royals will be able to enjoy the view, the wine, but also the vinotherapy Grape seed spa treatments. If Charles III is known to be a great gin lover, his wife Camilla is particularly fond of wine, her father having worked in the wine trade. A fervent defender of the environment, Charles III is also planning a visit to Landiras, in the South of Gironde, where the fires of the summer of 2022 devastated the forests bearing the vines of the Graves appellation.Oh those Brits keeps coming back ,,,,You heard it ok webpage:

From Elizabeth II to Meghan Markle via King Charles III, English crowned heads have always shown an inclination for French wines, and in particular Bordeaux. The story begins in France, in Bordeaux. And for good reason, Aquitaine was English for three centuries. When Aliénor, Duchess of Aquitaine, married Henri Plantagenêt, future King of England, in 1152, solid commercial relations were established, including textiles, metals, food and wine, in particular. The ports of Bordeaux and Libourne facilitating maritime connections to the British Isles. The Hundred Years War, then the conquest of Bordeaux by the French in 1453 disrupted commercial links with England, which turned to wines from the Iberian Peninsula. But among the English, the aura and reputation of Bordeaux wine are made and will persist, even if it means becoming more specific in the category of “fine wines”, to respond to the distinguished thirst of English high society in the 18C. The link between England, wine and Bordeaux is deep and lasting, the proof with the privileged beverages of crowned heads. In Bordeaux, Elizabeth II had good taste, it was a Petrus who watered the cups during her royal wedding to Prince Philip in 1947 which contributed, after the war, to the international reputation of the estate. She liked Sauternes too. Her husband, Prince Philip, had been made Commander of Bontemps du Médoc and Graves by Henri Martin at Château Latour, one of the oldest wine brotherhoods in France. In 1977, Charles of England also treated himself to a visit to Château Latour, in Pauillac, for an exclusive tasting. In 2004, he was asked by Philippine de Rothschild to illustrate the label of the Château Mouton-Rothschild vintage. A painter in his spare time, the prince had accepted the opportunity to commemorate the “Entente Cordiale”, an agreement concluded between Great Britain and France during the Great War (WWI) . The Pol Roger Champagne house was the official supplier for the weddings of William and Kate of Cambridge, but also of Harry and Meghan Mountbatten-Windsor. And it was not Winston Churchill who would have disapproved of the choice, the house was his favorite, and to pay homage to it, it created the Sir Winston Churchill cuvée. And the Champagne is name after his favorite horse Pol Roger.

On the occasion of the world day against obesity, which would affect an increasingly high proportion of the world’s population, focus on a drink whose calorie content often makes it the enemy of weight loss diets. According to one report, more than half of the world’s population will be considered obese by 2035. Pastis has one of the highest sugar levels, with an average of 270 calories per 100ml. We also find in the front runners most of the most consumed spirits, especially in cocktails, including gin, vodka, whiskey and rum. Against all odds, Champagne would be the wine with the fewest calories on the counter, at least for the driest and undosed that is, without the addition of liqueur. A crude will therefore be around 70 calories per 100 ml., while a sweet will increase the note up to 120 calories. Most red wines contain “only” 85 calories per 100 ml., when many rosés and white wines are slightly higher. Not to mention that red wine’s resveratrol content , a plant compound believed to have the potential to boost health and prevent a certain enzyme from converting glucose into sorbitol, a sugary alcohol , makes it a drink of choice in the diet. if consumed sensibly. A glass of wine will also have an immediate appetite suppressant effect , especially if it is an opulent red, or a sweet white. But if we go back to the Latin origins of the word “aperitif”, we see that it derives from the verb apere, namely “to open”, and that the alcohols tasted before the meal were therefore intended to provoke in a second time a fall in the glycemic index, and therefore conducive to whet the appetite. Unsurprisingly, to the question “does wine make you lose weight?”, the answer is no, except if it is consumed as a replacement for high-calorie spirits and cocktails. Get it!

What is raclette? The tradition of this very old recipe from Valais (Switzerland) has now spread to all mountain resorts, to the point of becoming symbolic of snow holidays. Originally, half a wheel of fatty, fragrant cheese (bagnes, anniviers, abondance, etc.) was placed near the hearth, the edge of which was patiently scraped off as it melted. Over the past forty years, new electrical appliances have brought the operation to the center of the table, greatly increasing the convenience of the moment. And so the success of the recipe: today, if “the” Valais raclette, specially dedicated, is protected by an AOC, similar cheeses are produced – with the same melting capacity in Savoie (mainly in the Massif de la Chambotte), in Quebec (Fritz, Oka, raclette des Appalaches…), and even in Australia (Maleny, Heidi Farm)! A pairing of simplicity with raclette: to avoid engaging in a “duel” with the fat of the melted cheese, you can bet on single varietals. The Savoyard region is full of them, like the Mondeuse, which gives reds a bit tannic, or the Altesse, for fruity and refreshing white wines. One could imagine other powerful pairings, with a Chardonnay from the Jura or my favorite Domaine André and Mireille Tissot – Sursis Blanc 2020 now ready, And for those who cannot appreciate raclette without a red wine, this one should be light, not very tannic and generous in fruit to honor the charcuterie without overpowering the cheese, Feature wine Webpage ;

A wonderful book ,recommended, and you know do not do this often,,, The remarkable Once Upon a Time Lamartine by Sylvie Yvert – released by Pocket , At his funeral in early March 1869 there are more winegrowers behind the hearse than VIPs. Alongside Dumas Fils or Émile Ollivier many people from the land that Alphonse de Lamartine had sincerely loved were gathered. It was his first story, his territory at the bottom for the child born in Mâcon in 1790 and who grew up in the family property of Milly surrounded by about fifty hectares of vines. A house more than a castle and a particle of modest fortune… Lamartine became a believer, a poet with a certain taste for politics. Ironically, the royalist will be remembered as the man of 48, the revolutionary who gave birth to a Republic, the Second. Alphonse de Lamartine made himself known through literature. The Poetic Meditations gave him success and recognition. The poet takes advantage and, together, begins a political career with diplomatic tendencies. Naples, Rome, Florence, Lamartine chained embassies and returned from time to time to France, to Milly of course and to another recently inherited Burgundian property, the Château de Saint-Point , After the wisdom of the countryside, Lamartine was overtaken by the political, going to Paris to fight the death penalty, hereditary aristocracy, slavery and promoting freedom of the press, free education or the separation of Church and State. In Burgundy, he inherited a new castle, that of Monceau in the town of Prissé. There he cut down trees that shaded the vines too much… But his homelands were Milly and Saint-Point where he received Hugo, Sand and Chopin, Balzac and Dumas. When the dew in the sun evaporates, « All these closed shutters opened to its warmth, To let in, with the warm dawn, The nocturnal perfumes of our flowering vines » Buy it, Sylvie Yvert,  Il était une fois Lamartine or once upon a time Lamartine, Pocket, 2023, 378 pgs.,8.60€ in France. Webpage:

I have their latest edition book cost many years back in FL USA 150 USDollars ,but online if want to know about a Bordeaux wine house check it out in Editions Féret in its simplistic search:

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines news from France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. We are on our way out of winter , spring is coming soon, see you in the vineyards of France

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

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