Posts tagged ‘Food and Wine’

June 8, 2023

Curiosities of Auray !!! Part IV

Again, in my road warrior trips around my beautiful Morbihan, I had to visit one of my former admin homes that is now very close to my current home. I have many posts on Auray in my blog, and this one was just visiting again today, and new pictures that should be in my blog. Therefore, here is my take on the curiosities of Auray !!! Part IV Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Halles, a covered market selling all the goodies of the land and sea, It is located at the Place de la République, right next to the Hôtel de Ville where they are home to about twenty traders who offer fresh produce all year long. Open every day from 8h to 13h. This is really our favorite here.

Auray Halles covered market front jun23

Auray Halles covered market back NF jun23

The Photo studio Ronan Le Guernevel, 21 Pl de la République is still there !! My first photos taken locally back in 2011 was here as was recommended by our photo studio in Versailles who is a cousin !! small world indeed !!

Auray Ronan photo studio pl de la republique photo phox jun23

The Place de la République, formerly called “grand placître”, sometimes “place du Martray”, has been the economic and political center of Auray since the Middle Ages, This is the City hall spot and several restos we patronize over the years as well as the covered market and bakeries and well everything until we moved to Pluvigner !

Auray PL de la Republique jun23

The rue du Belzic is an old street that goes from the place de la République to the Place Aux Roues , The street is completely full of shops, restos, bars and trafic controlled with days only pedestrian, A wonderful little street to walk and see fantastic stuff. at no,1 rue du Belzic corner with place de la République see a house facade and roof from the 16C.

Auray rue du Belzic jun23

The rue du Lait is located in the city center of the pretty town of Auray, a busy shopping street, leads to the Saint-Gildas Church  This is an old favorite walking street in Auray and shopping in quant shops, we love it.

Auray rue du lait to cv jun23

The Athéna Cultural Center is a performance hall with theatre, music, dance, circus, young audiences etc. The Méliscènes Festival, organized every year in March, is dedicated to puppetry and object theatre. Cultural mediation actions, the edges of the stage, are organized throughout the season. I have used the convenient above ground parking here walks all over town.

Auray mediatheque athena front jun23

The rue du château was before proceeding with the sale of the ruins of the château, a rue Neuve created on September 6, 1560 on the northern moat. This road connects the main entrance of the castle (destroyed in 1558 by order of Henri II, and stones taken to the Belle Ïle sur Mer to build the Citadel) and the bridge of Saint-Goustan, In addition to a few half-timbered houses, the street is lined with beautiful residences using limestone, a noble material in vogue in the 17C and 18C, The houses built for the most part during the 17C. A half-timbered house bears the date 1608. Stone houses of 1640, 1643, and 1817 survived. Also, several artists shops are here and a very hilly street be prepare but worth the adventure !!!

Auray rue du Chateau to st goustan jun23

I always felled in love with this tower living quarter in a vast park by Venelle du Foresto street in the upper town overlooking Saint Goustan It belongs to a private house,and I see each time very picturesque me think.

Auray upper town tower house overlooking St Goustan jun23

The Rue Philippe-Vannier, known in the history of Auray as rue du Pavé, has long been a privileged axis to connect Saint-Goustan. Today, having become calmer, it was by mistake that rue du Pavé took the name of Philippe Vannier in 1924. The city council at the time thought he was born in Auray !! Volunteered in the Royal Navy at 16, he left for Cochinchina (southern Vietnam) and spent 36 years there, alongside King Gia Long, founder of the imperial Nguyen dynasty which reigned until 1945 , It was Gia Long who appointed him captain, then first class mandarin in reward for his services which helped to establish his power. Louis XVIII awarded him the title of Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1819. François Vannier returned to France in 1825 and died on June 6, 1842 in Lorient, at the age of 80. He is buried in the Carmel cemetery.

Auray Rue Philippe Vannier lavoir jun23

The Place Joffre is one of our favorite parking spots. There is still one grocery store there founded in 1949, its current owners, behind their counter for 35 years, witness the changes in Place Joffre, which has become peaceful A quant spot in Auray, and still the closest office for the social security administration or CPAM du Morbihan which we used for our personal needs as well as the nice grocery store for fruits and veggies !

Auray Pl Joffre parking jun23

At the Place Notre-Dame, nice small parking spot we like and the spot of the markets day and night time. It is right in front of the Church Saint Gildas and easy walking all over town, we have used the parking many times and shop in its markets.

Auray pl Notre Dame parking jun23

And last but not least as the saying goes, the La Poste or post office of Auray main building is at 31 Avenue Président Wilson, The Wilson Avenue post office belonged to someone who was a city councillor. It was only in the 1930s that this building had the vocation that we know today, It is my alternative post office if in my town is closed for been a smaller town.

Auray post office main jun23

The city of Auray on its heritage:

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on Auray:

There you go folks, a dandy spot often overlook in the off the beaten paths of my beautiful Morbihan and historical AurayAgain , hope you enjoy this post on the curiosities of Auray as I

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

June 5, 2023

My curiosities of old Vannes !!!

I spent as much or maybe more time than in my domicile town. Not only worked in its outskirts and go in for quick trips and meals, but the family comes here on every break and weekends. Vannes or Gwened (Breton) is in my beautiful Morbihan (Breton for Petite Mer or small sea) dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne or Breizh (Breton) and in my belle France or Bro-C’hall (Breton) . I was by there again today ,and got me new pictures maybe some repeated but worth it me think, Le me tell you about my curiosities of old Vannes !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Many half-timbered houses still bear witness to this medieval past. These period houses are just as pretty as each other and have always colored the city of Vannes. You may have already noticed it, but most half-timbered houses have a first floor further forward than the ground floor. In the Middle Ages, it was a usual architectural feature because it allowed a sufficiently wide passage on the public road and to gain surface area on the upper floors. In addition, in the past, the inhabitants only paid taxes according to the floor area. For the little anecdote, if the houses have for the most part facades of different colors, it is because at the time, few inhabitants knew how to read. Like the signs, the colors then allowed them to better locate themselves in the district.

The Rue de la Fontaine is in the St Patern district. It starts at the Bd de la Paix and ends at the Rue Saint Patern / Rue Saint Nicolas. Saint-Patern is the Montmartre of Vannes! a very active district. Tanners, craftsmen, traders live in the half-timbered houses that can still be admired today on rue de La Fontaine . One example I always look up is at 1 rue de la Fontaine. The house dating back to the 1st half of the 16C according to the type of molding applied and the trace of the primitive windows. The shape of its fireplace, the spiral staircase and the roof frame confirm this dating. The house is mentioned in 1677 in the archives of the Reformation.

Vannes maison colombard rue de la Fontaine jun23

Many memories of Le Gavroche restaurant ! at 17 Rue de la Fontaine, Vannes, don’t leave the city without eating here ok. My dear late wife Martine and the owner of Le Gavroche came to know them well and even provided us with some contact to paint our house the same way as the restaurant sort of…. Using the same local painter!! Needless to tell you we have come here several times even for anniversaries of our family. We love it ,and hope you do too! The very warm welcome, which is becoming rare nowadays , the attention of the waitresses and the owner throughout the meal. The other nice thing is that is on an old street with beautiful wooden houses going back to the 14C to 17C!  Love to walk on it ! Webpage:

Vannes maison colombard le gavroche resto rue de la fontaine jun23

Another nice spot came first on a lunch out with collegues of work was the Balade en Crêpanie at 21 Rue de la Fontaine. The crêperie with exposed stones and beams is installed in a 16C half-timbered house. On sunny days, you will be happy to show you around the terrace which is located in a flowered and shaded backyard. The walls of the creperie are graciously made available to artists (painters, photographers, etc.). Come and discover their works, and enjoy these wonderful houses that color our streets forever! Webpage:

Vannes maison colombard rue de la fontaine balade en crepanie resto jun23

There is a quant library here, La Yamouna 6 rue de la Fontaine. Passing the door, you enter a world where time seems to have stood still. A scent of old paper floats in the air and wherever you look, it meets a forest of books. Here you can find all kinds of art, classical, travel, history, geography, police, etc. Books sold between 2 Euros and 500 Euros! Facebook page:

Vannes maison colombard librarie indienne rue de la fontaine jun23

The Rue Saint-Patern is the main artery of the district. It bears the name of the first bishop of Vannes, Saint Patern who lived in the 5C. Located on the hill of Boismoreau, the Saint-Patern district is the oldest and most important in the city. Archaeological excavations have revealed many vestiges of the ancient agglomeration, when the city was the capital of the Gallo-Roman city of the Vénètes, You see several half timbered houses here with one special at 16 rue Saint-Patern;it dates back to the 16C with a more recent elevation.

Vannes maison colombard rue saint patern jun23

Here there is plenty of restos and bars and even terraces into the street all bordering the grand Church of Saint Patern (see posts).

Vannes ch Saint Patern far down rue st patern jun23

The city of Vannes on the half timbered houses:

There you go folks, part of the heritage, historical and architecture fabric of our capital city Vannes. I ought it to have in my blog and feel better now, and to come back and provide newer pictures to this wonderful building. Again, hope you have enjoy the post as I.

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

June 4, 2023

The Gare Maritime of Vannes !!!

I spent as much or maybe more time than in my domicile town. Not only worked in its outskirts and go in for quick trips and meals, but the family comes here on every break and weekends. Vannes or Gwened (Breton) is in my beautiful Morbihan (Breton for Petite Mer or small sea) dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne or Breizh (Breton) and in my belle France or Bro-C’hall (Breton)  . I was by there again today ,and got me new pictures maybe some repeated but worth it me think, Le me tell you about the Gare Maritime or ferry terminal of Vannes !!! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Vannes gare maritime front jun23

We love my beautiful Morbihan and it shows…! One of the highlights is the many islands (about 50 with 24 inhabited) in the Gulf of Morbihan and into the Atlantic Ocean on wonderful cruise ferry boats. I told you once, let me tell you again one in the Gare Maritime of Vannes !!! This time even better as with more time we stopped for an apéro , apéritif sort of happy hour before heading back home, and a new spot we passed by and finally stop in. 

Vannes gare maritime side back jun23

The Awen Brew Pub at 1 Rue Gilles Gahinet. They offer 21 pressure spouts and a fine selection of alcoholic drinks . You will see concerts, events, live sport games. A super friendly domestic animals enthusiasts which gave us a wonderful time and our boy Rex could mingle with other dogs very nicely !!! It has a wonderful terrace with plain view of the Gare Maritime or ferry terminal literally across the street. We had several drinks including the locally brewed Awen blonde beer !! We will be back !! webpage:

Vannes BrewPub front jun23

Vannes BrewPub counter from table jun23

Vannes BrewPub looking gare maritime boats jun23

The Gare Maritime or Ferry terminal of Vannes !! From the terminal you can cruise to the islands of Arz, Houat, Hoëdic, and the biggest Belle-Île en Mer ,Here you will land at Le Palais, the small capital of Belle Île which is serve year around. The Parc du Golfe (Gulf Park) is the starting point for passenger boat cruises of the outlying islands, and the Gare Maritime is located at 7 allée Loïc Caradec, parc du Golfe.

Vannes gare maritime navix ferry tkt ofc jun23

This is a very useful ferry terminal here as not just for tourist but folks live on those islands and they come and go as taking a bus in the city.  You ought to check out these islands, they are a paradise !!

The city of Vannes on cruising boats from the gare maritime:

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on where to board for the islands :

There you go folks, part of the heritage, historical and architecture fabric of our capital city Vannes. I ought it to have in my blog and feel better now, and to come back and provide newer pictures to this wonderful area. Nice rides and great walks around the Gare Maritime of ferry terminal of Vannes ! Again, hope you have enjoy the post as I.

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

May 28, 2023

My favorite places to eat in the Le Port marina of Vannes !!!

We come by here always, we eat here , enjoy it here ,ride boats here, and do shopping galore on many items yet I need to tell you more, I have come back in my road warrior mode and new picture taking and always a good idea to tell you about my capital City of Vannes or Gwened (Breton) in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56, in my lovely Bretagne,and my belle France. I like to tell you more of my favorite places to eat in the Le Port Marina of Vannes , awesome, a must to visit , wonderful indeed, Hope you enjoy this post as I

The place Gambetta, of hemispherical plan, marks the end of the port of Vannes and puts it in contact with the historic center by the Porte Saint-Vincent. The place was created in 1835 in order to clean up a low zone corresponding to the old ditches of the city, in which the sewage accumulated. The Marle river then threw itself into the channel leading to the Gulf of Morbihan, between two mudflats. The construction of the houses of the place du Morbihan(current Pl Gambetta) was completed in 1843.  The square was restored in 1976, which gave rise to the destruction of the surviving arches of the old St. Vincent bridge. New road works, in 2005, brought to light a last ark still in condition. The free space is almost entirely used by the terraces of cafes and restaurants. Very nice indeed !!!

Vannes la gambetta resto pl gambetta marina may23

Right here you have the nice Le Gambetta resto on pl Gambetta with great views over the marina and great cold beers, We have come here several times mostly on a quick eating and drinking mode so continue our journey, For a basking in the sun ambiance and good cheers do stop at the Le Gambetta. Ideally located opposite the port of Vannes, next to Porte Saint-Vincent, the Gambetta is very popular. First merit to note: the service all day long:

Vannes la gambetta resto pl gambetta may23

The A l’Aise Breizh Café, right on top of the capitainerie or harbormaster in the Le Port marina area of Vannes. This is the pleasure marina with berths for 3000 boats!!! You eat on top of the capitainerie and see the canal with all those boats. It is a very prize location so reservations are a must here, the views worth the coming. Food is good and seafoof is delicious! 

Vannes le port capitanerie et l'aise de breizh resto on top right cafe expo may23

Vannes le port capitanerie et l'aise de breizh resto on top right cafe expo side may23

Le Tarmac in rue Ferdinand le Dressay on the other side of the pleasure boats marina canal that takes out to the Gulf of Morbihan and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean! We have come back several times more.  They have a terrace right on the sidewalk facing the canals, and then a street level room and a very cozy first level or 2nd floor US. The service is friendly and prompt, the prices very reasonable and the food is good. Many times here with the family and the place to be to hangout with collegues from work.

Vannes le Tarmac resto across marina may23

The city of Vannes on the place Gambetta and Le Port

The local Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on the port marina of Vannes

The Brittany region tourist office on Vannes:

There you go folks, something nice around boats, history, architecture, the sea what else do you want ! I am always around here just sublime ! Again, hope you enjoy this post on my favorite places to eat in the Le Port Marina of Vannes as I.

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

May 28, 2023

One good chain, La Boucherie restaurants !!!

I have written on several restaurants in my blog, many times in individual posts in my road warrior trips in my belle France and elsewhere, Sometimes, I indulge myself in telling you about a particular restaurant on a post of its own, This took my latest visit to one of them while with my sons and our dog Rex, to do this post about La Boucherie. Hope you enjoy the post as I

Vannes La Boucherie resto front may23

La Boucherie restaurant steakhouse that we have visited are in Auray and Vannes, all in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of my lovely Bretagne in my belle France, Let me tell you a bit on this wonderful restaurant ,and hope you enjoy me telling you about it as I.

Vannes La Boucherie resto dining room may23

La Boucherie, that we have patronized are at Rue du Gay Lussac, Zone du Parc lann, Vannes ,we had lunch and dinner here , lunch today, and ,also at their location in the zone Océane 3 rue de Danemark, Auray.

The Groupe la Boucherie is a chain of more than 150 grill restaurants, under the La Boucherie, Bistrot du Bouchet and Assiette au Bœuf brands in metropolitan France, in the DOM-TOMs (Martinique, Réunion) but also internationally (Luxembourg , Switzerland, Thailand, Russia, Colombia, Morocco, Ivory Coast, United States). La Boucherie restaurants offer butcher’s pieces, refined and cut in its own workshop, which has been part of the group since 1999 located in Brive-la-Gaillarde in the dept 19 of Corrèze and the old area of  Limousin today part of Nouvelle Aquitaine region.

The story goes that in 1974, Jacques Salmon, a butcher by trade, transformed his restaurant Le Refuge in Megève into a meat restaurant. Bertrand Baudaire joined forces with him in 1983 to develop the La Boucherie concept. In 1996, La Boucherie restaurants were developed as franchises. In July 2019, the La Boucherie group announces the acquisition of Poivre Rouge (another resto we had visited and had one in Vannes today call Le Rest’o ,and not visited yet) ,and its 78 points of sale across France.

In May 10, 2023, information from Le Figaro newspaper mentions La Boucherie’s interest in taking over nine Courtepaille restaurants (another chain we have visited) and maintaining the brand and contracts of the 72 franchisees in the network, while Courtepaille is in receivership, This is expected to happened for the Boucherie , and as well some Courtepaille had change name to Choppe & Compagnie ! (not try the new name yet)  In addition, another branch Buffalo Grills (which we have visited and had one in Versailles now closed) are also under debt restructuring with the new owner Napaqaro , this group holder of the brand Popeyes (tried them once in Fla) in France is hoping to open 20 restaurants in 2023.

Back to the La Boucherie, you can have here all kinds of meat such as beef: rib, rib steak, tenderloin, steak, roast beef, minced meat… veal: roast, chop, escalope, blanquette, sautéed, minced… pork: tenderloin, rib, roast, homemade sausages, half-salt… poultry: chicken breast, leg, wing, whole free-range chicken, turkey, duck (fillet or leg), quail, pigeon, etc. lamb: leg, crown, shoulder, rib, fillet, lamb shank… and offal: beef heart, beef or veal liver, kidney, tongue, tripe…As well as a wide choice of charcuterie such as pies, rillettes, individual or sliced sausage, white and dry ham, andouille sausage, smoked sausages, from Strasbourg, from Frankfurt, from Morteau, etc.

For the record, I had the new Stefano burger with goat cheese, fries, pays d’Oc red wine in garafe, the instant gourmand with coffee plate and a bottle of water. all for 25 euros. Just about average price for us on a meal in France.

The official La Boucherie restaurant on locations

The RestaurantGuru reviews on the Vannes resto

The RestaurantGuru reviews on the Auray resto

There you go folks, yes we have been out a lot ,and of course now with more vivid memories than ever as my dear late wife Martine was the motor that got me going to these places. I think you would love this chain of La Boucherie always with a smile friendly service good quality/price ratio and domestic animals are welcome ! Again, hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

May 27, 2023

The La Barcarella of my Pluvigner !!

My town ,my loving Pluvigner, time flies when having fun already 10 years here !!I have decided this year to patronize the local businesses first and then head out in my road warrior mode, It has been a nice experience indeed.  Most write about far away lands we visit but seldom about the one we live in, Needless, to say the meaning of Pluvigner is big on my family. I had written several post on our lives here but left inside general posts our experiences of the local businesses such as the wonderful La Bacarella pizzeria resto brasserie , and its time given credit where credit is due. This is my take on the La Barcarella of my Pluvigner !! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Pluvigner La Barcarella resto arriv ch St Guigner back may23

Pluvigner La Barcarella resto out to back of ch St Guigner may23

The Barcarella restaurant is located at 4 place du marché , even if the real market is held at pl St Michel nowdays, The resto is very friendly with local folks always attentive and talkative which I like ,and good price/quality ratio, It is open every day from Monday to Sunday at noon for lunch, and from Friday to Sunday at night for dinner.

PLuvigner place du marché parking may23

La Barcarella, brasserie, pizzeria and créperie all into one behind the Church St Guigner (see posts) . All decorated with pirates and corsairs portraits trinkets and memorabilia that the owner has collected over time and purchase in flea markets! You have a dining room with the bar area and kitchen and then to the right as you entered another dining room. Our dog Rex once again fantastic even with other dogs in the dining room! 

Pluvigner La Barcarella resto back inside pistolets may23

Pluvigner La Barcarella resto dining room pirates may23

Pluvigner La Barcarella resto and Rex may23

The anecdote here is that while eating we heard English on a near table, we asked and the lady was from Los Angeles Calif and living in Pluvigner ! Unfortunately, she is selling her home to go back to LA, she is missing something. However, proof we do have many here and we need to be in town more lol!!!

The local Bay of Quiberon tourist office on the La Barcarella :

The RestaurantGuru reviews on the Barcarella :

There you go folks, my town of Pluvigner, Another memorable town for us , of the many in my life, and now more empty than ever missing our love ones, Life goes on and the town has been good, hard to tell the future but I believe this will be my last town, from here to the sea at Honfleur Normandie as our family has. Again, hope you enjoy this kind of post, and do get to know me more. Do read my many posts on Pluvigner in my blog !

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

May 27, 2023

Wines news of Spain XIII

We are now in nice Spring 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 XIII!! Of course post No 13 or the non Romans, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The estimate of national wine consumption as of March 2023 falls by 9% compared to the same month of 2022, standing at 9.58 million hectoliters. according to the Spanish Wine Interprofessional Organization. Wine production slightly increased 1.5% to 35.9 million hectoliters, With data from the State Tax Administration Agency as of February 2023, Spanish wine exports set a new record with 2,990.5 million euros in the interannual period. The drop in volume (9.4%) was maintained during those twelve months to 20.7 million hectoliters. The trend here as in France drink less but better quality,

The new mandatory labels for wines will show a list of ingredients and nutrients from December 8, 2023. These regulations, designed to provide a higher level of information to consumers, will require that all wine labels include nutritional information and a complete list of ingredients. This an European Union directive which of course will create higher costs on the bottle for the consumer, but what do they know !!

The Volcanic wines are erupting. They live one of their best moments since the 15C !!!, when, for the first time, they became fashionable and from the Canary Islands they spread throughout the rest of the world. In Spain, this archipelago is the only volcanic terroir in which old soil layers alternate with much younger ones, subjected to strong erosion, with plantations from sea level to almost 1,700 meters above sea level, and diverse climates. The most cultivated grapes in the archipelago are black and white listán, black and white vijariego, volcanic white malvasia, and negra moll (red). However, there are several dozen more. There are studies that put them at more than 80: Some 40 do not exist anywhere else on Earth; They only survive here. The vines arrived in the Canary Islands about 500 years ago by the hand of European settlers. French, Majorcan, Castilian, Portuguese… They all brought different branches. A couple of centuries later, around 1870, a phylloxera plague devastated the vineyards of Europe. The insect never reached the Canary Islands, There are 11 designations of origin on the islands: Tenerife has five (Ycoden Daute Isora, La Orotava, Tacoronte-Acentejo, Valle de Güímar and Abona), while Lanzarote, La Palma, Gran Canaria, La Gomera and El Hierro each hold their own. The most recent is the D.O. Islas Canarias, launched in 2011 by AVIBO. The Bodega El Grifo, in Lanzarote, is the oldest winery in the archipelago. It has been making wine uninterruptedly since 1775, and since its foundation, three families have held its property; the current branch, since the end of the 19C, with global fame ,gold medals in Brussels included, they produce 350,000 bottles a year in their 60 hectares of vineyards, in addition to the grapes of 150 viticulturists who produce for them. The Associacion de Viticultores y Bodegueros de Canarias (AVIBO) webpage:

The Ruta del Vino de Ribera del Duero Wine Route breaks Record with a 43% Increase in Visits, Wineries remain the main focus of attraction for visitors, with 74% of visits. Of the total number of visitors, 92% were national, and 8% foreigners, Typical of this still uncover area, In economic terms, the average cost of wine tourism visits to the Ruta del Vino is less than 15 euros, while the average cost in the winery stores reaches 74 euros. On the other hand, the wine museums also registered an increase in visits, exceeding the figures of the previous year by more than 7%. Currently, the Ribera del Duero Wine Route has 227 associates, making it the route with the greatest offer of services of the Wine Routes of Spain Product Club. This Route crosses the four provinces of Castilla y León that make up the Denomination of Origin of the same name : Burgos, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid. Webpage :

The Chivite Las Fincas Rosado 2022 wine, a commitment to regularity, the presence of red berries and other fruit aromas is clearly appreciated. They are accompanied by delicate floral notes and hints of the skin of some citrus fruits. Its flavor reveals the presence that light contact with the skin of red grapes leaves and its structure, stylized, elegant and with nerve, places it in a world apart. Just by looking at his cape, which is close to but not quite pale pink, one discovers the identity of this almost blanc de noirs (white from red varieties). It is a Provençal-style rosé made with some of the best Spanish viineyards. A friendly, striking, suggestive and very gastronomic wine that, vintage after vintage, exceeds its commitment to regularity. Bodega/Winery: J. Chivite Family Estates Garnacha (80%) and Tempranillo (20%) webpage info :

In the heart of La Mancha, the 1,000 hectares of this corner emerge splendidly, where a mountain brimming with life and a vineyard coexist in perfect balance. A beautiful example of cooperation between nature and human beings that encourages us to be optimistic. Finca Antigua, located in the town of Los Hinojosos (Cuenca province), Sautéed between the imposing mountain at more than 900 meters of altitude, the 420 hectares of vineyards spread over 40 plots are integrated. Following this idea that the viticultural activity should be integrated into the environment, the Martínez Bujanda Family has worked with conviction so that from the 2022 vintage all the wines produced bear the organic seal on the label. It is worth highlighting the Finca Antigua Viura on Lías for its expression, volume and finesse, capable of evolving over time with surprising results, achieving different profiles and very respectful of the grape: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot are the six bottled wines under this category, in addition to the Crianza Único, which is made with a mixture of varieties just like the Reserva. But the true jewel in the crown is found in Clavis, a truly unique wine made from a single plot that is home to a fascinating variety of grapes, whose blend crystallizes in the vineyard itself. The obligatory panoramic view of the estate from the viewpoint will give us an idea of the immensity of the environment and how the correct judgment of the human being has shown that nature and wine not only complement each other, but that there is a mutual enrichment , This year marks the 20th years of the inauguration of the winery, located in one of the highest points of the farm, from where its unique environment can be observed and from where the qualities of each variety are interpreted with the best possible criteria. Finca Antigua Ctra. Quintanar- Los Hinojosos km 11.5. 16417 Los Hinojosos (Cuenca) webpage:

They say that when Teobaldo I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne, arrived in Olite, he did so with roses, fruit trees and vineyards. Surely, that vineyard was small grain muscatel, a variety that the troubadour king, famous for his music and poetry, had brought back from his first crusade from the Mediterranean. Teobaldo’s intention at that time seems to be that it was not so much to distribute coins but food that was the true wealth. The rose, a very particular variety from Provins (yes wonderful Rose of Provins Seine et Marne 77 France), was edible and, together with the fruit trees and the vine, began to be known as the “king’s gift”. Muscatel, a grape that is not very productive and sensitive to diseases such as mildew or the cluster moth, was not exactly very popular with winegrowers , At the Navarra viticulture and oenology station, for which Javier Ochoa was responsible for a decade since its founding in 1981. The story goes that years later, Robert de Niro would enter the Zalacaín restaurant in Madrid and try Ochoa Moscatel for the first time. The prestigious American actor left there with some box and the distributor’s contact for his restaurant in New York !! The winery located in Traibuenas at thegates of the Bardenas, the family owns 25 hectares of this variety, approximately 20% of the total of the entire DO Navarra. In the midst of a dry climate, with increasingly extreme summers but in a well-ventilated area, the clusters of this vine overripe really well. Ecological care has also promoted in-depth knowledge about the behavior of the variety and soil management, in addition to promoting a landscape in which vines, flowers and native fauna such as kestrels, partridges, hoopoes or hares are mixed. You can love a wine, a vineyard and a variety, that is what happens to them with their muscatel. The MdO was an idea that blossomed in the mind of Adriana Ochoa, the young winemaker on a trip to Italy. She returned home and thought that it was possible to make a selection of grapes for that style of wine. The muscatel, in addition to having different phases in its maturation, does not behave in the same way throughout the vineyard. In cooler areas the profile of the grape is more delicate, it has higher acidity and more citric fruit, perfect for a moscato. Webpage Bodega Ochoa :

The new Domecq’s ! Santiago and Tomás León Domecq sign with their family name a project that is not exactly new, but which is now bringing its very old wines to the public for the first time. In very limited editions, yes, because the total production of Bodegas León Domecq does not exceed 30,000 bottles. Its soleras are supplied from 14 hectares in the “La Compañía” vineyard, attached to the Finca El Majuelo in Pago Macharnudo, a true historic Grand Cru of Jerez, wineries that produce and breed wines but do not put them directly on the market but supply the big brands in the area. The soleras of Bodegas Vides enjoyed great prestige, although they did not have visibility until Lustau, a pioneer in so many things, included his palo cortado in his “Almacenista Collection” of wine artisans. Bodegas Miguel Domecq, such as Entrechuelos, and the generous ones from the Cooperativa Vinícola de Trebujena, in addition to the personal project with which he signs wines such as Meridiano Perdido from old vines on albariza soils. The starting point is a very biological fino en rama that would fully fit into that style called “fine amontillado”, with an average aging of 11 years, followed by an amontillado with eight years of aging under flor veil and 12 oxidative. and a stick cut with two years of biological and 18 more without a veil on the boots. Oloroso is the jewel in the crown since it is over 40 years old and serves as the basis for the range of “cabeceos” -medium, cream- with a PX with two decades of history behind it and more than 400 grams of sugar per liter. The range is rounded off with a vermouth that is drier and more balsamic than others from the Jerez school, very spicy, and for what they describe as “the best Gran Reserva Sherry Vinegar in the world” and which has more than 75 years of solera. The winery building on Calle Justicia, in the Barrio de San Mateo, was completely renovated in 2021, respecting its historical value and its foundational elements. It is one of the last intramural Jerez wineries and where grandfather Tomás, Pedro Domecq’s brother, settled to start the family business in 1850. Webpage :

The Guia de Vinos Gourmets or Gourmet Wine Guide 2023 at the Madrid Gourmet Fair was the venue chosen by the Gourmet Wine Guide to present its latest guide, which is the 38th in its history of dissemination and cataloging of the best wines in Spain , Its my bible, still have the year 2000 edition !!! ,webpage:

Some interesting history with great care of the impact of the railroad in the wine world of Spain, Interesting me think,

The historical relationship between the train and wine has a lot of romanticism, but also change, progress, revolution. In Spain, since the mid-19C, the railway not only drew the physiognomy of cities such as Haro, Jerez de la Frontera or the towns of Cariñena, leaving endless black and white film images, but also brought large wagons technological advances such as electric lighting to Jerez with a long relationship with the railway. The railway line that linked the city with the shipping ports of El Puerto and Trocadero was the first to be created in Andalusia, in 1854. Later, in 1872, the so-called wine train was put into operation, an urban line that ran through all the main wineries of Jerez to load the merchandise in their own facilities and then connect with the Jerez-Trocadero line, The urban layout of that wine train and the machine itself, which was how the railway that ran through the city was affectionately known, worked like the arteries of Jerez for almost a century, from 1872 to 1962, being a fundamental piece of the export machinery of the Jerez wineries. There is a beautiful tribute to this past in the González Byass winery, whose facilities are a small city within the city ,The house of the famous Tío Pepe is made up of an urban network of buildings, wineries and interior streets, which visitors can partly tour on board a little train that recalls and pays homage to the old Jerez machine. González Byass was precisely the winery that promoted the railway project in Jerez, participating in its financing through the purchase of shares, Webpage on the train :

To talk about the importance that the steam railway had in La Rioja, specifically in Haro, until it gave its name and fame to the popular Barrio de la Estación, we have to go to France, a little before the phylloxera attack that would devastate European vineyards. Mid-19C. The owners of the Savignon Frères wine company, originally from Bordeaux, decided to settle on the other side of the border in search of better conditions to continue their activity as a result of the great powdery mildew crisis that their vineyards were suffering. We are referring to the fungus that affected the French vineyard before the arrival of the phylloxera plague. Thus, in 1859, they settled on the land known as Cantarranas, a neighbor of the Rioja town of Haro, laying the foundations for wine production in what would later be known as the Barrio de la Estación. However, this area ceased to be a strategic investment for Bordeaux entrepreneurs when, at the dawn of the 20C, the phylloxera crisis came to an end and the French vineyard began to recover. With one foot in the new century, the French company put its facilities up for sale, And they have been in the hands of Bodegas Bilbaínas since 1901. In fact, in addition to locating its wineries in Haro, Valdepeñas and Alcázar de San Juan next to the railways, Bodegas Bilbaínas commissioned the design of specific machinery to facilitate the transfer of wine by this means. All told in the book La estación de los sueños, edited by Bodegas Bilbaínas on the occasion of the commemoration of the 120th anniversary of its foundation, Webpage info on book :

In Aragon, wine was traditionally transported by cart; With them, the muleteers distributed the product both inside the region and in other Spanish provinces, even reaching Madrid. The containers used at that time were leather boots. When phylloxera devastated the French vineyards, wine exports from the area to France experienced a spectacular increase, and if at first the transport continued to be done by cart, soon the great demand it required new means of transport , From the region the wine began to be taken in carts to Ricla or Zaragoza, and there it was embarked on the railway. The wine container had become the wooden pipe, more in line with the needs of the new times. In 1887 the narrow-gauge Cariñena-Zaragoza railway came into operation. The opportunities for export offered by the railway were countless. It allowed the wine to reach the French market more easily, after linking up with the Zaragoza-Alsasua-Irún network. The Zaragoza-Valencia railway, which crossed the regional vineyard, allowed shipments to the French or Basque market directly from Cariñena, The book El tren del vino’, written by Marco Antonio Campos and Mariano Rodríguez tells the story, with the publishing help of the La Asociación de Amigos del Ferrocarril de Cariñena or association of friends of the railroad of Cari±era the book can obtained by contacting the Librería La Arboleda of Cariñera Facebook page

Currently, the wine is transported fully palletized and in truck containers, ensuring rapid and correct distribution to the destination markets.

There you go folks, another wonderful post on my dear Spanish wines, Hoping for a long lasting memories of my dear Spain anits 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 XIII as I

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

May 27, 2023

Some news from Spain, CXLVIII 

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 we are in Spring !! 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 CXLVIII is old Roman for 148, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

And this bit of news just in , My Madrid leads the reception of foreign tourists in April 2023 with 22.3% of the total, As for the rest of the Communities, the following positions are occupied by Catalonia (20.1%) and the Balearic Islands (15.7%). All this with Catalonia registered the highest year-on-year growth (21.9%), followed by Valencia (21.4%) and Madrid (20.4%), My dear Spain received 8.1 million international air passengers in April 2023, 16.9% more than in the same month of 2022. In the first four months of 2023, more than 25.2 million people arrived, 34.9% more than in the same period last year, according to data released this Friday by Turespaña. In the month of April, passengers to Spain from all the main countries increased with 57.6% of all passengers were from the European Union, experiencing a rise of 15.2%, while the flow from the rest of the world, which accounted for the remaining 42.4%, grew by 19.2%., In terms of countries, and comparing with the figures for April 2022, the markets that registered the highest growth are Portugal, with 31.9% more, followed by Italy and the United States, with 28.8% and 22, 9% respectively. In volume, the United Kingdom was the leading issuer of passengers in April 2023, with 1,794,841, and growth of 12.1% per year. The United Kingdom represents 21.1% of the total share of arrivals. The arrival of British passengers affected all the autonomous communities, but especially the Canary Islands, which was the destination of 25.7% of its passengers, its the new British invasion lol !!. After the United Kingdom, Germany remains the second country of origin for international passengers. Passenger arrivals from Germany (14.5% of the total) increased by 4.8% in April, especially benefiting the Balearic Islands (37.3% of passengers). Also, 9.4% of the flow of passengers received in April arrived from Italy, registering an interannual growth of 28.8%, which particularly benefited Catalonia (30.3% of passengers) and Madrid (25.9%), For its part, France issued 8.6% of all passengers in April, showing growth of 16.8%, which mainly favored Madrid and Catalonia. In the case of the Netherlands, international passengers experienced an increase of 5.2% in April, with the Valencian Community, Catalonia and Andalusia as the main destinations. In total volume, Madrid Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport added 1,811,380 international passengers in April 2023, compared to 1,549,890 from Barcelona airport. In third place was that of Palma de Mallorca, with 1,034,958 international passengers in April. There you go folks, Spain is everything under the Sun !!! The official TurEspaña Spain national tourist office:

Theodor Kallifatides, the Greek writer living in Sweden, visits Andalusia with the Fundación Tres Culturas and the Centro Andaluz de las Letras. He tells the story « I was at the doors of a theater waiting for the girl I liked to arrive, who never did. Then the theater doorman, seeing my waiting and my loneliness, said to me: “Why don’t you come in? They are representing a play by a Spanish poet named Federico García Lorca.” I thanked him for the invitation, but I told him: “I’m waiting for a girl.” And he replied: “You don’t know if she’s going to arrive, but the best thing you can do is wait for her inside ” I listened to him. They were representing Boda de Sangre or Blood Wedding and from the first moment I was spellbound by the text. Federico was not a poet. He was a supernatural force that trapped me forever ». Theodor Kallifatides remembers that afternoon sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Seville while answering questions from Publishers Weekly in Spanish « . His visit to Spain coincides with the tribute that the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid paid him by awarding him the Gold Medal.

The book Los mundos infinitos de Lorca, written by Luis Antonio de Villena and illustrated by the artist Juan Vida, participates in something new and original, in a different look at the life and work of a major poet, whose legacy lives up to Lope de Vega, Quevedo or Juan Ramón. The infinite worlds of Lorca, edited by the exquisite Tintablanca, was presented at La Mistral, in one of the most beautiful bookstores in Spain, a short walk from Puerta del Sol in Madrid. Sitting in Lorca’s little theater that the bookstore has in its basement, recalled that in the past century there was not a poet more tied to love and desire, to that norm that agitates flesh and star alike, hunger, carnality, omen and pain. Federico Garcia Lorca was born into a wealthy rural family. He knew social inequalities since he was a child and without losing the innocence with which he did theater and puppets at his house, he went to Madrid, to the Student Residence. There he met Dalí and Buñuel, Madrid was the center of a world that Federico extended to New York first, where the genesis of some of his best works is found, Cuba later and Buenos Aires last, where he triumphed, made money and, of course, he felled in love again. A first-rate poet, someone who, when assassinated in a terrible and fratricidal war, becomes the violated and pure image of a historical drama. The injustice of crushed innocence. The green destruction of the generous olive tree Federico, instead of for that bullfighter, wrote for himself the verses in Alma Ausente (absence soul) that said: “It will take a long time to be born, if he is born, / an Andalusian so clear, so rich in adventure.” Indeed ! Webpage:

Do get a hold for those book lovers the .Una muchacha en el Alcázar or a girl in the Alcazar of Ana Cardenas, The scene Segovia 1808. A love story during the war of Independance or Peninsular war In the Segovia of 1822. The same day that Pedro turns fourteen, he is rejected as a cadet at the Segovia Artillery Academy. Marita, the woman who raised him, then confesses some of the secrets she kept, knowing that by revealing them their lives will change irremediably. They need to find the boy’s parents and this search, which will be as risky as it is bitter, will lead them both on a single path towards the truth, from the towers of the Alcázar to the home of Don Alfonso, a potentate, who is surrounded by mystery. and that he lives obsessed with the disappearance of his only daughter. Buy it on Amazon, El Corté Inglés, FNAC and Casa del Libro, Very good book me think, webpage:

Magical Segovia !! Take a look at the Royal College of Artillery possibly the oldest active officer training center in the world. It was founded in the Alcázar in 1764 where it remained until the fire of 1862. The curriculum was already very ambitious when in 1792 it was inaugurated a large chemistry laboratory that would go down in history as the place where the famous Louis Proust enunciated the Law of Definite Proportions , The fortress was a royal palace, institutional and military building, archive headquarters, artillery school, and prison status and also had his golden minute on the screen. In 1965 Orson Welles filmed scenes from Chimes at midnight here and more contemporary is the cameo of the Alcazar in a chapter of The Simpsons. Walt Disney was inspired by its peaked towers to recreate Cinderella’s castle and if you are looking for that, see the Alcazar like a fairytale castle and you will be breathless, you have to distance yourself from it and admire it from the Pradera de San Marcos or the lookout of the valleys. Inside, the fortress is like an open jewelery box: baseboards, stained glass windows, coffered ceilings, armor, and up to six rooms full of treasures, such as Los Reyes, with its sculptures of Spanish monarchs from Don Pelayo to Juana la Loca and of course, paintings of great value such as the work The Holy Family of the Master of Santa Anna Hofje, from the 16C. In the rooms dedicated to the College, you can also see the famous El Galopo canyon, Sublime a must to visit in my dear Spain !

Whoever goes to Sevilla for the first time (not just for a barber) has to make a stop at the Cathedral, the Torre del Oro, the Giralda, the Reales Alcázares, the Casa de Pilatos, the Maestranza, the María Luisa Park, the Plaza de España, the palaces of San Telmo or Dueñas, the Archivo de Indias, the Basilica de la Macarena and the museums of Fine Arts and Contemporary Art. Just to mention some of the must-see monuments and spaces. It would be necessary to take a walk through neighborhoods as emblematic as Santa Cruz or Triana. At Calle Sierpes , from Plaza de la Campana to Plaza de San Francisco, one of the most commercial streets in the city and where most of the well-known brands (and others not so much) are found,so shopping come here ! Those with a more alternative profile have the surroundings of the Plaza de la Encarnación , where shops selling artisanal products (such as Buffana Hats) or organic (Verde Moscú or Zapata) are concentrated. The area has been called Soho Benita ( Calle Benito Pérez Galdós is one of the epicenters; hence the name) and also brings together cafes, art galleries, taverns, restaurants and cultural centers. If the idea is to enjoy a flamenco tablao, there are many interesting options. Like Los Gallos, El Palacio Andaluz or El Arenal, to name just a few.

Well you and I know about ranking , everybody has one but anyway here is another from the booking platform Musement, based on 200 cathedrals and churches in Spain, La Sagrada Familia The spectacular basilica, which has been under construction for more than 140 years, has become one of the symbols of Barcelona, and once when finished it will be the tallest church in the world, The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela Presiding over the Plaza del Obradoiro, it is the most outstanding work of Romanesque art in Spain, and the final goal of the Camino de Santiago, one of the main pilgrimage routes in Europe , The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia of Barcelona is located in the Gothic Quarter . The construction of this temple ended in the 15C and it is an excellent example of Catalan Gothic architecture. The Cathedral of Sevilla with its five naves, it is the largest Gothic-style cathedral in the world. Its bell tower, the famous Giralda, has the classic structure of the Almohad minarets and with its 104 meters high it is one of the most emblematic monuments of the urban profile of the city, The Cathedral of Mallorca , located in the old town of Palma de Mallorca , this Mediterranean Gothic jewel is one of the tallest cathedrals in Europe, since its central nave is approximately 44 meters high. The Monastery and the Basilica of Montserrat are located in the spectacular enclave of the Montserrat Natural Park, famous for its abrupt rock formations. Every year, thousands of people come to this sanctuary to venerate the Virgin of Montserrat, the current patron saint of Catalonia, better known as the ‘Moreneta’ for the dark color of her face and her hands. The Cathedral-Basilica of Nuestra Señora del Pilar, is one of the two cathedrals present in Zaragoza. It is said that this jewel of Baroque art was built around the column (the pillar) on which the Virgin leaned when she appeared to the Apostle Santiago on the banks of the Ebro River. The Basilica of Santa María del Mar,14C, it was the temple of the shipowners and merchants of Barcelona. Currently, it is considered one of the best examples of Catalan Gothic architecture. Its three naves and 33 chapels are located at almost the same level, thus accentuating the impression of space and spaciousness. The Cathedral of Santa María de Regla of León, also known as the ‘Pulchra leonina’, is in the French Gothic style. One of the highlights is the huge collection of stained glass windows built mainly between the 13C and 16C, which occupy an area of 1765 square meters. Having reduced the walls to their minimum expression to replace them with stained glass windows is precisely one of its most valuable characteristics. The Cathedral of Burgos began to be built in the 13C following the French Gothic style, although it underwent numerous modifications in subsequent centuries. On both sides of the main façade, inspired by the cathedrals of Paris and Reims, rise two towers crowned with openwork spires, which are already part of the urban skyline of the city. Wonderful monuments indeed.

From May 19 i2023 n the Patio de La Casa Encendida (Ronda de Valencia, 2) it will be possible to visit Picasso: Sin Título or Untitled. The exhibition covers a total of 50 works from the painter’s last period (1963-1973), through the eyes of 50 international artists. A total of four rooms will be used for this contemporary exhibition that commemorates, for the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death, 50 years of his renowned professional career. Webpage :

The Teatro Barceló theater has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) by the Governing Council of the Community of Madrid. In 1930, this building was designed to be used as a cinema, but currently, it acts as a nightclub on Calle Barceló , close to the Malasaña neighborhood. The building constitutes a relevant example of Spanish rationalist architecture from the first half of the 20C, it functioned as a cinema until 1974, (I did saw movies there ! ) ; the year in which the last film was shown. Between 1975 and 1979 it was used as a theater, while in 1980 it opened as a discotheque, under the Pachá brand, becoming one of the most famous nightlife venues in Madrid. In addition, it originally had a party room in the basement, a use that is maintained today. The architect of the Teatro Barceló, Luis Gutiérrez Soto, is also responsible for projects built in Madrid such as the Zurich Building (1925), the Callao Cinemas (1926), the Europa Cinema (1928), the Renoir Retiro Cinemas (1939) or the La Unión y El Fénix (now Mutua Madrileña) in the Paseo de la Castellana (1965). Webpage:

The next season of the Teatro Real delves into the myths of Medea and Orlando, season 2023-2024, which will start on September 19 2023 with the premiere of a new production of Medea de Cherubini by Paco Azorín and with Ivor Bolton in the pit , The infanticidal myth of Medea will serve, on the one hand, as a tribute to Maria Callas on the centenary of her birth and, on the other, as a thematic thread around violence and revenge together with the homonymous score that Charpentier composed at the end of the 17C. In the case of Cherubini’s Medea, it is an absolutely novel recovery, since Heiko Cullmann’s critical edition prepared from the original French edition will be used, which is the one that everyone knows and that gave Callas fame The concert version of Haydn’s Orlando paladino in the hands of the specialist Giovanni Antonini and the musicians of Il Giardino Armonico and, finally, La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola d’Alcina by the baroque composer Francesca Caccini, who will raise the curtain in a concept stage by Blanca Li co-produced by the Teatros del Canal and Tenorio with music and text by Tomás Marco, who has brought together various texts around Zorrilla’s Don Juan. The work, which begins with verses that Lorenzo da Ponte wrote for Don Giovanni, will have four performances (May) in a stage proposal, this time in the main room, by the Agrupación Señor Serrano Teatro Real has taken stock of the numbers of the institution, which will offer 119 opera performances and a total of 455 shows throughout the next season, Webpage:

This have a post on my dear Madrid but recently celebrated its most important date and have this from one of my blooks on it so here it goes again,worth to be there on its time and see the real Madrid and Spain, The Madrid of San Isidro: a route between miracles, chulapos and dumb and smart donuts, some chickens and a concert in the Pradera cannot be missed. Nor a session of chotis and pasadobles in the gardens of Las Vistillas, with two contests included. And all, of course, dressed up with the chulapo (-a) suit, the parpusa and the carnation all typical folklore Madrileño ! They are some of the classics of the San Isidro festivities that are repeated May after May. This year marked by the fourth centenary of the canonization of the patron Saint of Madrid, whose Holy Year concludes next Monday May 15 2023 with countless special acts related to the figure of the man from Madrid. Thus, in addition to the traditional procession on the 15th, you can enjoy exhibitions, conference cycles, dramatized performances about his life on the Puente de Toledo and the Pradera, instrumental and lyrical concerts, zarzuela shows or cultural visits to places that marked their trajectory. Also joining the anniversary are mythical pastry shops such as La Duquesita or Viena Capellanes, which cannot cope with the preparation of the classic donuts, divided into silly (without sugar icing), ready (with it), French (well covered with almonds) and from Santa Clara (with meringue on top). In the case of La Duquesita, it is part of the new Madridulce project, which brings together several hundred-year-old pastry shops such as El Pozo or Casa Mira to value the city’s confectionery, focused these days on donuts. Of course, on the occasion of the Jubilee Year, most have prepared new recipes inspired by the saint. Viena Capellanes, for example, with 150 years behind it, adds meringue flavored with violet and small pieces of violet candies, so traditional in Madrid. The Holy Year will close at the Colegiata de San Isidro (Calle Toledo, 37), in the heart of the La Latina neighborhood, on Monday with a closing mass at 11h. The incorrupt body of this saint with a dark complexion and a 1.80-meter statue (an outrageous height for the time!), which was previously in the Church of San Andrés, located in the homonymous square, is kept on its main altar. And before, in the Bishop’s chapel, in Plaza de la Paja, 5. It was ordered to be built by the Vargas family, one of the most powerful of the time, for which San Isidro worked in order to house his mortal remains. The wonderful San Isidro Museum. The Origins of Madrid (Plaza de San Andrés, 2). This is one of the key corners on the route of the farmer’s patron through the city. In it, not only is the history of the city rescued over 500,000 years through archaeological objects from the Paleolithic to the 16C, but it is also believed that the saint died in this building, since it was the house of the lords to whom that served, the aforementioned Vargas. The document was discovered in the Church of San Andrés in the year 1504, when an inventory of ecclesiastical assets was being carried out. For example, it is believed that he could have been born on April 4, 1082, shortly before Alfonso VI of Castile reconquered the city after more than 200 years in Muslim hands. He came into the world at number 4 Calle del Águila, where the Chapel of San Isidro is now located. As a tribute, it opens on the 4th of each month. It is also known that the saint used to stop at the Atocha basilica on the way to his farm work. Returning to the museum, here is the famous 27-meter-deep well in which he saved his son Illán from drowning, one of the nearly 438 miracles attributed to him. The chronicles say that he prayed so much to the Virgin of Almudena that, suddenly, the water level rose and the child came out of the well as if nothing had happened. In the current Paseo de la Ermita del Santo, on his side, he managed to make water sprout from the ground after sticking his hoe into it to quench the thirst of his patron, Don Iván de Vargas. In his honor today stands the San Isidro Fountain, next to the Ermita del Santo, the cemetery with his name and the Pradera. Some of the miracles he performed are detailed in scenes painted on leather in the Ark of San Isidro in the Almudena Cathedral. The route would continue in the Capilla de la Cuadra (Pretil de Santiesteban, 3), where the man from Madrid kept his oxen, the same ones that plowed alone when he dedicated himself to prayer. The Puente de Toledo bridge is not far away, decorated with two Churrigueresque niches of both the farmer and his wife, Santa María de la Cabeza, whom he met in the town of Torrelaguna, when his family had to take refuge there after an Arab offensive. The relics of his wife were kept for a time in the Casa de la Villa, the former seat of the City/Town Hall. Now, they rest next to those of her husband in the Collegiate Church of San Andrés ro St Andrews in Madrid. A wonderful story indeed, must see me think !

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! We are in Spring !!; just enjoying our veranda again, now sunny day. 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 !!!

May 26, 2023

Some news from France , CCCLXXXVII

This is my latest from my belle France ; as we are into Spring, and today sunny 23C about 73F. However, is that time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12+ years , And for those non Roman CCCLXXXVII is 387 ! ,with another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We have done quite a bit of house work and waiting for less rain to continue, Spring is in the air ! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Cannes Film Festival had already announced an “exceptional tribute” for Harrison Ford. The Hollywood legend, who came to present the world premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” on the Croisette, received an honorary Palme d’Or on Thursday evening May 18 2023 before the screening of the film. This year, another big name in American cinema, Michael Douglas, received the same distinction on Tuesday, May 16 2023 during the opening ceremony of the Festival.

Renovation of Place de la Concorde, The central fountains and allegorical statues of Strasbourg and Lille are being restored. A meticulous job carried out more than 5 meters high, from the second floor of one of the scaffoldings installed on Place de la Concorde, 8éme de Paris.

Part of the Champs-Elysées garden will bear the name of Line Renaud, a French actresse, The inauguration will take place this summer , the name of Line Renaud in the garden of the ambassadors, around the Gabriel pavilion and the Pierre-Cardin space, not far from place de la Concorde, will be voted on by the borough council on Monday, May 22. Before being in June at the Council of Paris. Another modernity of the mayor of Paris taking away from the eternal City.

The rise in air traffic in Île-de-France region now officials looking at a cap on flights for airports soon to be studied to examine a cap on flights at Roissy, Orly and Le Bourget. Very heavey in my in laws community the airplanes from Roissy are constant imagine at night folks can’t sleep !! Of course this is deep countryside but anyway always the problems with airports, Stay tune on this issue!

According to a study conducted by Lynk & Co and Ipsos. In Paris, for example, 51% of respondents believe that green spaces should replace parking spaces. Well get out the helicopters lol!! Wider sidewalks or cycle paths are also mentioned. This is the case in Paris, with the “Re-enchanting the Champs Élysées” project, which aims in particular to convert the Place de la Concorde into a walkway !!! According to the 2022 study by ADEME, a shared car can replace between five and eight personal cars. In addition, car sharing makes it possible to no longer depend on the often substantial purchase of a vehicle in order to get around. This transition from the economy of ownership to that of use is increasingly popular with young people: according to the Lynk & Co study, 34% of Parisians aged 18 to 34 have a very positive image of it. Lynk & Co has made it the heart of its offer. The brand, founded in 2016 by Alain Visser and resulting from the joint venture between the Chinese group Geely and the Swedish car manufacturer Volvo, aims to revolutionize the model of private car ownership. How ? Thanks to an ultra-flexible subscription system in which the user only pays for the use he makes of it. Present in seven European countries, the first 100% digital automotive company already has a community of 170,000 members. It should accelerate its development in France, with the upcoming opening of the first Lynk & Co club. Another gadget to offer and the trafic jams continue and the braking of public transport delays continues ,, Paris is not the same, I was just by it around it and the trafic is horrendous already ,Webpage:

On the A13, carpooling, coaches and taxis will soon have priority at rush hour, although this last section is still under consideration. The Société des Autoroutes Paris-Normandie (SAPN, a subsidiary of Sanef) is working on the creation of a lane specially dedicated to carpoolers and public transport on the A13. The autoroute de Normandie concessionaire recently obtained the green light from the State services to build this 14-km route in the Yvelines (78) between Épône, very close to Mantes-la-Jolie, and Orgeval in the direction of Paris. Very heavy trafic area now just went by it but of course less lanes will do lol !! It should see the light of day by 2026-2027, according to the SAPN.

Have a nice ride starting at 9h38 from the Gare du Nord train station. The line of Impressionists sets sail for one of the cutest villages in France, home of Van Gogh, Auvers-sur-Oise. In 40 minutes and until September 3, 2023 the special line set up by Transilien offers to reach the village thanks to one trip per day, every weekend and public holidays, with a return at 18h15, to escape the one day time. Ten minutes from the train station and 30 km from Paris, the castle of Auvers-sur-Oise, but also the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Church, visible in the works of Van Gogh, the Maison-Atelier de Charles-François Daubigny or the Castel Val, house of Doctor Gachet, Webpage info :

Come and rediscover the English garden of the Château de Fontainebleau thanks to contemporary art, The castle in the Seine-et-Marne dept 77 goes green with “Grandeur nature” the English garden is transformed into the setting for a contemporary art exhibition. About forty works, which evoke nature and the threat of climate change, are on display until September 17, 2023, some forty works of contemporary art disseminated by 18 artists.webpage:

The Sequana association, specializing in the restoration of boats with heritage value, will soon have a pier in the immediate vicinity of its workshops located on the island of the Impressionists Chatou.(Yvelines 78) Within two weeks, a pier will be erected in front of their premises located in the Hameau Fournaise, on the island of the Impressionists . Inevitably, the subject is on everyone’s lips, Yes nice folks worth to keep traditions. Webpage city of Chatou:

At the Ecouen Renaissance Museum, Antoine Caron depicts the court and history. In the 16C, the Mannerist painter put his fertile imagination at the service of five kings of France, showing their power or mythological scenes. Antoine Caron is not the most famous of 16C artists. Yet during his long life he worked for five kings of France and a regent, Catherine de Medici. The exhibition, the first to be dedicated to him, at the National Museum of the Renaissance in Ecouen. Rich in more than 90 works – paintings, tapestries, drawings or engravings , it is subtitled “The theater of history”, and to visit the five rooms one understands why. His most famous painting and the only one he signed, The Massacres of the Triumvirate, he was able to perfectly restore the image that the authorities wanted to leave. Thus, the tapestry entitled The Court of France leaving the castle of Anet (Le Voyage), if it symbolizes more the whole of the peregrinations of the kings than this grand tour in particular, testifies to the magnitude of the thing. webpage:

Famous for its cathedral, Amiens is often called “the little Venice of the North”, a nickname that the Picardy city owes to its hortillonnages, an interlacing of islets of 300 hectares founded by man eight centuries ago. Ancient marshes, peat land conquered from the marshes of the Somme, cleaned up in Roman times, and became the largest place of market gardening in northern France in the Middle Ages. Festival des hortillonnages exhibits each summer since its foundation in 2010 about fifteen works, some of which have become permanent, of landscape design, architecture and art Festival, which is held this year from May 27 to October 15 2023. The Amiens tourist office for info:

In Lille, cobblestones in memory of the deportees, a memorial approach refused by other cities, the “Stolpersteine”, stones sealed in the ground in front of the last home of the deportees, are multiplying in Europe and in France. A form of commemoration to which not all the town halls subscribe, in particular that of Paris ! These small cobblestones of cement and brass. Ten centimeters by ten, and a few words. A name, a date of birth, that of their arrest and the supposed date of their assassination in Auschwitz. They are called Stolpersteine: literally “stones on which one stumbles”, imagined by the German artist Gunter Demnig to whom we owe the idea of this open-air memorial.webpage info:

The CAPC − Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux and the Carré d’art de Nîmes in search of greater local roots , meaning more support, In Bordeaux in 1973, in Nîmes in 1993, two atypical mayors, from the right, wanted their museum to contemporary art. One opened before the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the other follows on from the decentralization of the 1980s. In this spring of celebrations, the CAPC − Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux and the Carré d’art de Nîmes blow out their fifty and thirty candles respectively with the pride of having gone through the ordeals of political alternations, not without now questioning their local roots. webpage Bordeaux: webpage Nîmes:

How about having a session at the Plaza Athénée? For five evenings, the giant canvas of the Plaza Cinéma Club will see quality films screened under the stars, but not only. Like the previous year, the chef will offer a dinner in keeping with the day’s work, such as ratatouille in front of Ratatouille, the carnivorous menu during Jurassic Park or seafood in front of Jaws. A magical and masterful evening that will has a price: 250€ . Plaza Cinéma Club, Plaza Athénée, 26, avenue Montaigne 8éme , From June 26 to 30, 2023, webpage info :

Fancy a getaway in the heart of Latin America? Mexico ? Recommended by local friends looking forward to visit eventually, Go to the 2éme arrondissement and the La Esquinita, Created almost 6 years ago by Nicolas and Fernando, the small grocery store promises to take you on a journey with its muy picante products. In Spanish, “esquinita” means “little corner”. If the two owners chose this name, it is because before living in the rue de la Lune, the small shop was a few meters further, rue Notre-Dame-de-Recouvrance, at the corner of a building . A true concentrate of Mexico in the heart of Paris, the grocery store imports most of its products directly from Latin America. A real Ali Baba’s cave, but Mexican version. Fernando is a former restaurant chef. The forty-something from Puebla came to France a little over 20 years ago to attend a gastronomy school. Nicolas, meanwhile, is a former journalist from Morelos, landed in Paris 35 years ago after meeting a Frenchwoman, to whom he has since married. La Esquinita 36, rue de la Lune 2éme Open Monday to Saturday, 11h to 19h, Webpage :

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior travel guy . Hope you enjoy this post and do take care ,enjoy we are now in Spring, great, even if a bit rainy, And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

May 26, 2023

Wines news of France XLVIII !!

Well, we are in Spring, sunny 23C or about 73F 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 XLVIII is no 48, 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.

What champagne was drank at the latest 76th Cannes Film Festival? Well, for the third year in a row, the Telmont champagne house will be the official supplier of the 76th Cannes Film Festival, which opened last Tuesday 16 May, 2023. (Oui France 2 TV saw it ) ,Telmont holds as a venerable project “In the Name of the Earth”: namely, to be the first Champagne house Climate positive from 2030, and Net positive in 2050. The Champagne house today has four investors including Bertrand LHôpital, great-grandson of the founder and representative of the family. The latter has chosen to sell the majority of the shares of the house to the Rémy Cointreau group, as well as to Ludovic du Plessis. But that’s not all: a year ago, it was Leonardo DiCaprio who made the choice to join Telmont as an investor. Since 1993, and for 28 years, it was Champagne Piper-Heidsieck, which distinguished itself as the official supplier of the Cannes Film Festival. But it’s been 3 editions that the Film Festival has set its sights on Telmont.

Georgia, Armenia, China, in which country was the first wine really born? The first traces of winemaking were found in China, in Jiahu, in Henan. A 9,000-year-old fermented wine dating back to around 7,000 BC contained, in addition to grapes, honey, hawthorn fruits and rice. With regard to grape wine, it is important to distinguish two phenomena: the domestication of the vitis vinifera vine, sometimes crossed with vitis sylvestris (the wild or lambruscan vine), and the invention of wine itself. The first dates back 11,500 years to Central and Eastern Asia, the Caucasus and the Near East. It seems to have been limited to the production of table grapes and raisins until the invention of wine, 3,000 years later. This occurred in a vast area including the Caucasus and its surroundings (Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Dagestan, Armenia and Turkey) and must be attributed to the so-called Shulaveri-Shomutepe culture, which occupied this territory for part of from the Neolithic era (from 6000 to 4500 BC). For viticulture to exist, pottery first had to be invented. The oldest pottery has been found in present-day Georgia, in a group of archaeological sites located about 50 km southeast of Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. It is therefore indisputable: the oldest remains of grape wine were found in Georgia ! And in this, no other country than Georgia can boast of having vinified more than 8,000 vintages or of counting nearly four million potential winemakers with more than 500 indigenous grape varieties and a traditional kvevri winemaking method recognized as a UNESCO intangible heritage, and increasingly copied around the world. What matters, on the other hand, is the longevity and vitality of the wine traditions in a specific place, the love that an entire people shows for its wines through its festivals, its gastronomy and its traditions , and there, Georgia wins the medal hands down.

The Cité des Climats et vins de Bourgogne or City of climates and wines of Burgundy, intended to make known the Burgundy wine region, was launched last Tuesday May 16 2023 in Chablis (Yonne). one of the three spaces which will constitute, with Beaune (Côte d’Or) opening on June 17, and Mâcon (Saône-et-Loire), opened at the beginning of May the network of the Cité des climats. It designates a plot of vines very precisely delimited, often for centuries (the oldest was in 630), with all its characteristics: soil, altitude, sunshine, grape variety… More than 1,200 climats make up Burgundy, where the vineyard is extremely fragmented, the average size of a Burgundian estate being 6.51 hectares, compared to 17 in Bordeaux. The flagship, located in Beaune, the capital of Burgundy wines, introduces the region’s global identity while two other sites focus on their terroir: Mâcon for wines from the south of Burgundy (Mâconnais, Côte Chalonnaise and Côtes du Couchois), and Chablis for the north (Chablisien, Auxerrois, Châtillonnais). At the same time, Dijon opened its Cité internationale de la gastronomie et du vin or International City of Gastronomy and Wine last year, a completely independent project worth taking a look me think. The official Cité des Climats and wines of Burgundy:

The official International City of Gastronomy and Wine:

Let me share some guidelines on smart tips for buying your wine at the supermarket (bear in mind directed at those in France)

1- Neither too cheap (less than 5 euros), nor too expensive (more than 20 euros)
2- Avoid too old vintages
3- Learn the indicators of the French departments
4- Think outside the box: At the same price, in the same region (in the broad sense), take the lesser known appellation (Bergerac instead of Bordeaux, Saint Pourçain instead of Bourgogne, etc…)
5- Look for the mention “aged in barrels”
6- Look at the medals of known competitions
7- Look for the Demeter label: If you like originality, take the Demeter label, it indicates that the wine was produced according to the principles of biodynamics, it will not harm the environment.
8- Look for the label “Vignerons Indépendants” If so, it’s a vigneron who does everything or almost everything himself (family farm most often). The wine will not necessarily be better, but will at least have a more personal touch.
9- Look at the alcohol level: This is not the most important information, but a hint of the style. If the wine is less than 12% alcohol, it will generally be lighter, livelier, with fresh, tangy aromas. If the wine exceeds 14% it will have more structure, richness, opulence on the palate and often riper aromas.
10- If you liked it, take a picture of the bottle: This will allow you to remember the bottle and make it easier to choose for your next purchases.

How about those primeurs prices starting to appear in my belle France, Well some more and just my favorites over the years that have come out with prices, These are the Château Beychevelle, 4th Grand Cru Classé of Saint-Julien and “star” of the Médoc, has just unveiled the price of its 2022 vintage in primeurs or Futures, released at the price of 95.40 €including tax in France, Then, Château Prieuré-Lichine (4th Grand Cru Classé – Margaux): €42 including tax, Château La Tour Carnet (4th Grand Cru Classé – Haut-Médoc): €31.10 including tax , Château du Glana (Saint-Julien): €25.20 including tax, Château Chasse-Spleen (Moulis): €33.60 including tax, and Château Fonréaud (Listrac-Médoc): €17.30 including tax.

What are the most expensive wines in the world in history? While the French spend on average between 11 and 20 euros for a bottle of wine, a few bottles have exploded the counters in terms of price, even approaching half -million euros !!! The heavy hitters are

Château Cheval Blanc 1947, In 2010, a Methuselah (6 liters) of Château Cheval Blanc 1947 broke records. This Saint-Émilion grand cru fetched $304,375, or €223,967, at an auction in Geneva, organized by Christie’s auction house. Cheval blanc is one of the most prestigious chateaux in Bordeaux. It was one of the first to become Premier Grand Cru Classé A. In addition to this, 1947 is considered one of the best vintages of the castle. The Champagne Heidsieck & Monopole C° 1907 ,This historic Champagne house saw one of its oldest bottles snapped up at auction and fell into the hands of a lucky buyer for the modest sum of €224,000. During WWI, the Swedish ship Jönköping carried 3,000 bottles of this champagne to Tsar Nicolas II in Saint Petersburg. On November 3, 1916, a German submarine torpedoed the ship and sank it. The story does not end there. In 1998, the wreck of the Jönköping was found by a Swedish submarine. On board, around 2,400 bottles of champagne were found intact. They have spent 80 years under the ocean in wooden boxes. Conditions that have proven to be optimal for their conservation. The bottles were then scattered across the globe. One of them thus becoming the most expensive after being put up for auction. The Screaming Eagle 1992 ,The second most expensive wine in the world comes from an auction, but charity this time! It was outside European borders, in the United States, that the deal was concluded in 2000, a Methuselah of Screaming Eagle 1992, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the prestigious Napa Valley soared for €424,000. The Screaming Eagle winery has established its signature in the region and is now one of the most iconic wineries in the world. Spread over approximately 20 ha, The 1992 thus became the most expensive wine in the world for 18 years, managing to dethrone the greatest French vintages, The Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1945 ,It was in 2018 that the 1945 vintage from the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti broke records, becoming the most expensive bottle on the planet to date. The elixir reached the stratospheric price of $558,000, or €482,000. A sale organized by the New York house Sotheby’s, one of the most famous and oldest luxury auction houses. Grand cru of the Côte de Nuit, the La Romanée-Conti estate is located in Vosne-Romanée in Burgundy. It was Prince Louis-François de Bourbon-Conti who gave up his surname to the property after having owned it for some time at the end of the 18C. Today, the estate is one of the most coveted in the world even though it only works two hectares, What will be the next record sale? It would seem that the Petrus 2000 sent into space for 14 months is already in the race. Estimated at €830,000 by Christie’s auction house, the Pomerol of the Cosmos awaits its future buyer.

What to eat with rosé wine? Now that Summer is coming up, especially. Color pairing usually works well. Try prawns with coriander with a rosé from Provence For a twist, pair prawns or lobster with a more full-bodied rosé, such as Tavel or Bandol, for an alliance of flesh and texture with finesse Clairet is a rosé from bleeding from Aquitaine. Rosé and pizza are the two pillars of summer in minimalist mode. Whether garnished with arugula, fresh mozzarella, Parma ham, chorizo or peppers, the most consumed dish in the world will naturally find a path of healthy freshness with a light Loire rosé. Seafood? Crab in jelly, spider crab, whelks, crab mayonnaise: the pleasures of a return from fishing are to be associated with a lively and salty rosé, whether from Provence, Corsica or the Loire. We drink it a lot as apéritif or in coming Summer if too hot ,refreshing indeed ! Most we have is from the Loire, then Provence and even Bordeaux.

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 in Spring, see you in the vineyards of France

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

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