Posts tagged ‘Food and Wine’

April 19, 2019

Some news from France, CCXXVIII

Ok so back to my channel lol! thank you for reading me, its always a pleasure. If you like the world, travel, good food, sports , the good life than you are in the right spot Paris1972-Versailles2003.com  Going strong thanks to you all since November 2010! and already 2025 posts!

Now, let me tell you a bit on what is going on that I like in my belle France!

Ok so the bus routes in Paris change from this April 20th so be aware, love the bus, is above ground and see more of beautiful Paris! Some examples of my old routes are Gare St Lazare to Gare Montparnasse on bus 94 30 minutes; Gare St Lazare to Opera Garnier bus 27 7 minutes; Gare St Lazare to place de l’Etoile (Arc de Triomphe) bus 22 15 minutes. Gare Montparnasse to Rue de la Féderation on bus 82 30 min still intact my current line. However, an example of the changes are on the rue d’Estrées,loses its bus stop of line 28 . The rue d’Estrées , behind the école militaire, is preparing to lose its line 28. From tomorrow Saturday in fact, in favor of the new bus network in Paris, the line slightly modifies its route. It will always leaves Saint-Lazare but will stop now in Montparnasse, and no longer Porte D’Orléans. The bus 28 will no longer make the little hook by Avenue de Lowendal, place de Fontenoy and Rue d’Estrées, but will draw straight on Avenue de Duquesne. A stop actually lost: Fontenoy-UNESCO.! More info at RATP here: Official RATP bus transports Paris

Something I have told you before is now finally here! Eataly the immense Italian food court opens its doors this past April 12 at noon in the Marais, in Paris. It is organized around a central square, the “Piazza”, closed by a glass roof. The grocery part responds to the Platonic idea of a good transalpine supermarket: foison pasta, olive oil galore, dried mushrooms, Genoese pestos and Trapanese..etc.. Nearby, there are counters where you can buy takeout cheese, cold cuts, fresh pasta, and a bakery open from 7h (7 am).

Of course, most of the food comes from Italian producers. But  the mozzarella is made with milk from Auvergne!  And 50% of the meat comes from Burgundy or Normandy. The meat counter is also held by a Parisian butcher. To tackle the hexagonal market, the restaurant chain founded in Turin in 2007 saw the big things: 2 500 square meters, seven restaurants, 3 000 products referenced in the grocery department. With BHV and Galeries Lafayette, with whom the chain of restoration has signed the exclusivity of its franchises in France. Eataly Marais Paris more info here: https://www.eataly.net/fr_fr/magasins/paris-marais/

It’s already been three years since the transalpine restoration explodes in Paris, and eleven months that big Mamma inaugurated its Felicita, (also mention in my previous news posts) a huge restaurant area 100% Italian in the 13éme arrondissement.  More on Felicita here:  https://www.lafelicita.fr/#1

One of the classic recipes of my belle France. I share with you the ones from my family and many others here!  Paris-Brest, you know it! Ok your difficult part will be to convert the metric system into the Anglo types sorry, you can do it!!

Preparation time: 40 min; Cooking time: 50 min; a bit difficult but with these recipe you can do it too!  Ingredients for 6 to 8 cakes: for cabbage dough, 100 grams of mild butter, 10 g of sugar, 200 g of flour, 5 or 6 eggs, 20 g of crushed almonds, for custard: 1/2 liter of milk, 4 egg yolks, 50 g of sugar; 50 g of flour. For Italian meringue: 3 egg whites, 120 g of semolina sugar, water. For Praline cream: 3 egg yolks, 50 g sugar, 150 g pomade butter, 60 g Praline paste (or powdered Praline).:

Step 1: cabbage paste: place 3 decaliters of water (ok American friends this is about 0,2 quarts or less than a quarter of it) , butter, sugar and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, pour the flour at once, and mix with the wooden spoon. Stir the eggs one by one, stirring vigorously. With a socket pocket, the bed in the shape of crowns (10-12 cm in diameter) on a baking sheet. Brown egg and sprinkle with slivered almonds. Bake at 180 °C (ok ok ,350 degrees F) for 30 to 40 min, then let cool on fire, open door. Leave the oven and let cool. Slice the crowns in half.

Step 2: custard: whiten the eggs vigorously with the sugar. Add the sifted flour and a pinch of salt. Boil the milk and stir-fry the boiling milk on the pan. Pour into the Pan without stirring until the cream thickens.

Step 3: the Italian meringue: pour the whites into the robot’s tank. Heat 3 tbsp. of water with 100 g of sugar on low heat. When the temperature reaches 110 °C (230F), beat the whites with 20 g of sugar, at maximum speed. When the syrup is at 118 °C (244F), pour it into a net on the tank wall, and let it rotate with the whites at medium speed for about 10 minutes. Keep it in reserve.

Step 4: Praline cream: heat 1 tbsp. of water and the sugar in the Pan up to 115 °C (. Whisk the yolks to the drummer. Pour the sirloin syrup over the robot tank wall and beat at high speed until the mixture blends. Add the butter in pieces, and then stir in the Praline. Assemble the three devices to the spatula. With a fluted sleeve, garnish the lower parts of the crowns. Add the covers. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Ok easy piece of cake we did with the boys so you can do it too. Let me know ok lol!

Who will save the Beaujolais? In the absence of investments, the vineyard lost 40% of its surface area and 50% of its turnover in 15 years. Moreover, if consumers often place them first in Burgundy, is wrongly associated with the Rhone Valley. Most folks dislikes Beaujolais but loves Morgon. Except that Morgon is a Beaujolais!.  One of the ten vintages that counts the vineyard, and probably the best known with the Saint-Amour.

The problems are two: First, the vineyard is in poor condition. In the absence of investments and means, the vine is wasting. Second, it is the oldest in France, which is not a blessing, since replacing it is expensive. The cellars and the winery are no better. It will take a good decade to make the Beaujolais pimping. But to do so, the difficulty should be  to seduce consumers again.  Let’s see the good side; the Beaujolais is the second most famous wine appellation after  Champagne. The bad? Its fame does not come from its quality but from the operation “Beaujolais Nouveau”, to the global success. Yet there is no shortage of assets, between vintages with excellent value for money, delightful landscapes, iconic winegrowers.

In the beginning, the Beaujolais was great. In 1936, when the first AOC wines were born in the country, the Beaujolais Crus were like Chénas or Moulin-à-Vent made prized custody wines, which are sold at the same price as those of Pommard, Corton or Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Then, in the 1980’s, operation “Beaujolais Nouveau” spreads like wildfire: to market a wine produced in September from the third Thursday of November, so very young and without waiting for the following spring. And everything changes.  The event was built up by Parisian bistros, the English, party enthusiasts and the media. It has become a global event that has not been mastered. We were not able to keep the counterweight of the terroirs. There was a tsunami of unique thought, everyone rushed into it.  To be follow its course because it does not look good….Official site on Beaujolais more info on them here: https://www.beaujolais.com/en

In the never ending saga of the yellow vest or gilets jaunes will be difficult to know  where these yellow vests will manifest in Paris. Some events evoke the Champs-Élysées, others the area of Notre-Dame. But the big Avenue will be forbidden to access for the fifth consecutive Saturday, while the ïle de la Cité, and the outskirts of the capital will this time also be  inaccessible to the demonstrators, as has already indicated the Prefecture of police. Even if the yellow vests call to converge on Paris this Saturday , rallies are also advertised in other cities, as in Lille, Lyon, or even Bordeaux. The fear of new actions of the black blocks that is a mysterious group The Black blocks Paris called on Facebook to make it a black Saturday on the Champs-Élysées…Stay out.

On a better note, they fought the flames all night. They saved works of art. This past Thursday, a huge tribute, full of emotion, was rendered to them. This past Thursday afternoon, the firefighters of Paris were celebrated and honored by the Parisians and tourists present on the parvis of the City/Town Hall during a ceremony organized for “those who saved Our Lady”. “I want to tell you our infinite gratitude, our eternal recognition and I will propose to the next Council of Paris (next June) that you be granted the honorary citizenship of the city of Paris, to honor this Act of bravery and your commitment on a daily basis” announced Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris addressing the fire brigade. A distinction that will undoubtedly be unanimous with politicians and Parisians alike.Amén!! More on the City of Paris webpage: https://www.paris.fr/actualites/notre-dame-ceremonie-d-hommage-jeudi-devant-l-hotel-de-ville-6713

And of course, my Versailles could not be left behind and on one of its action very unique was this  The Château de Versailles  proceeds of an auction of 25 cabinets of Château Mouton Rothschild which was to be devoted to the restoration of the Château de Versailles will eventually be assigned to the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris. Go Versailles! More info here in French at the Le Parisien newspaper: http://www.leparisien.fr/yvelines-78/versailles-se-sacrifie-pour-notre-dame-17-04-2019-8055375.php

And to close out on my beloved Versailles. A campus “as in Harvard” for the trades of the Chateau of Versailles, the Minister of National Education announced this past Thursday the creation of a place of life and training dedicated to professional sectors in the heart of the Royal Stables (ecuries). The project to create a campus of excellence in the Royal Stables, dedicated to the trades of the castle: gastronomy, green spaces, crafts and building trade on heritage properties.Go Versailles! These are the Royal Stables: http://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/estate/royal-stables

And to close out the latest news post on something near me ; Ïle de Groix,by the coast of  Lorient in my lovely Morbihan, go fishing for  the day and a maze of streets in Locmaria on the wild coast, facing the ocean, this small port and its maze of alleys form an ideal setting for a stroll. The dundees, these old tuna boats (Groix having once been the first port of tuna in France), have disappeared. But at low tide, the bay remains a good spot for fishing on foot (shrimp, abalone and crab for the lucky). Around the lighthouse, the beach and its rocks belong to the geological nature reserve François Le Bail, due in particular to the presence of blue cellophane, a rare rock. Nearby, the trail leads to the plage des Sables rouges (red sands beach) , whose minerals have earned Groix its nickname of île aux grenats (garnets island). It is one of the only convex beaches in Europe, that of the great sands advances in the sea. Another peculiarity: it moved several hundred meters in the second half of the 20C. Still as immense, it offers, with its white sand, its water in fifty shades of blues and its wooded cliffs, a breathtaking spectacle, worthy of an exotic island.Indeed crowded in Summer but worth the visit. More info here: http://www.groix.fr/

And there you something for everyone lol! Well I take them all! I am working on Good Friday in France but will have Monday off as Easter Monday and so a 3 days weekend. Do not know where as with us its always last minute. Happy Easter, Joyeuses Pâques, Feliz Pascua!!!

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

 

 

April 12, 2019

Wines of the world!

So in continuing with the good news on the wine world, my world maybe your world too, let me tell you some numbers. Even with the pressure to reduce comsumption the trend is up because wine is an integral part of our cultures and cannot be eliminated. It is like taken down Notre Dame Cathedral ,etc etc. En vino veritas!

According to the International Vine and Wine Organization (OIV). Italy confirms its rank as the first producer in front of France. World production reached a record level of 292.3 million hectoliters, up 14.5% !!, according to the OIV . It needs to  go back fifteen years to regain a comparable volume. This situation is all the more remarkable as the vineyard has not ceased to decline since 2004. It stabilized last year.

Some numbers: A world vineyard area of 7.4 million hectares in 2018. A strong increase in production, with 292.3 million hectoliters, representing a growth of 42.5 Million hectoliters compared to 2017. A quasi-stabilized consumption of 246 million hectoliters.  World trade in wine rising with 108 million hectoliters and an increase in value of 1.2% to reach the 31.3 billion Euros!!! Thank you world!!!

In Europe, the area would grow most in Italy between 2017 and 2018, of about 5000 hectares to reach 706 millions ha, unlike other European countries that show a stabilization of the vineyard areas. Nevertheless, Spain remains in the lead in the world ranking with 969 million ha. In Asia, after more than 10 years of strong progression, the growth of the Chinese vineyard  with 875 million ha slows, while that of Turkey 448 mil ha  sees its size stabilize in 2018 after a steady decline since 2003. In the American continent, the vineyard is increasing in Mexico, which is 34 mil ha. The vineyard of South Africa continues to shrink slowly since 2012, to reach 125 mil ha in 2018. In Oceania, the Australian vineyard of 145 mil ha) would see its recent decline slow, while the New Zealand vineyard remains almost stable, with an area around 39 mil ha.

Italy confirm its place of the premier global producer with 54.8 Mil hl, followed by France with 49.1 Mil hl and Spain which registers 44.4 Mil hl. On the other hand, weather conditions have been less favorable for some European countries. In Portugal  6.1 Mil hl, attacks of mildew and powdery mildew have had an impact on the production in 2017, which remains even all with a higher production than the average of the last years.

The United States would record in 2018, with 23.9 Mil hl, a production of wines excluding juice and musts greater than + 0.5 Mil hl compared to 2017. Argentina, with 14.5 Mil hl, grew by + 2.7 Mil hl. Chile recorded a strong progression: + 3.4 Mil hl, with 12.9 Mil hl, opposite Brazil, whose production declined with 3.1 Mil hl in 2018. South Africa sees a drop of-1.4 Mil hl per compared to 2017, explained the impact of drought and reached 9.5 Mil hl. In Oceania,  Australian production with 12, 9 Mil hl  in 2018 remains stable. The New Zealand production is 3.0 Mil hl, registering + 0.2 Mil hl increase compared to 2017

In 2018, World wine consumption, estimated at 246 million hectoliters, would seem to pause in its progression, mainly influenced by a decline in consumption in China and the United Kingdom.  The United States is still the world’s largest consumer since 2011 and reached  33. Mil hl, a slight increase from the previous year  + 1.1%. In South America, there is a slight setback, except in Brazil where consumption 2018 remained almost unchanged from 2017 and amounted to 3.6 Mil hl. In Europe , wine consumption stabilizes in the majority of countries, with the exception of Spain,  increase for the third consecutive year with 10.7 Mil hl in 2018, Portugal , 5.5 Mil hl in 2018, Romania 4, 5 Mil hl, and Hungary  2.4 Mil hl.  In China, the consumption by  in 2018 would drop by 6.6% compared to 2017, and would reached  18 Mil hl.  South Africa also registers a slight setback to reach 4.3 Mil hl. In Oceania, however, Australia increased by 6.1% compared to 2017 and reached 6.3 Mil hl. New Zealand remains almost stable at 0.9 Mil hl.

Spain continues to be the largest exporter in volume with 20.9 Mil hl, representing 19.4% of the the world market. France is still the world’s largest exporter in value with 9.3 billion Euros exported in 2018. Exports of  wines are still largely dominated by Spain, Italy and France, which account the three, more than 50% of the world market volume in 2018, or 54.8 Mil hl the first five importing countries are Germany, United Kingdom, USA, France and China-represent more than half of total imports.

First 2019 harvest estimates in the southern hemisphere  the harvest show a decline in most of the southern hemisphere countries (notably Argentina, Brazil and Chile).  In light of  high temperatures recorded were reportedly impacted by the harvest and South Africa would still be severely affected by drought. The only country that will harvest upwards from the previous year is New Zealand.

OIV entire article on World Wine Production here in English

The next OIV Congress will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, July 15-19 2019. This will be the  42nd World Congress of Vine and Wine. Who is the OIV well a brief description follows.

The International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) is an intergovernmental organization established in 1924. It works in the scientific and technical fields of the whole wine sector. The organization is comprised of 46 States that account for 85% of world wine production and almost 80% of world consumption.  In addition, ten international non-governmental organizations also participate as observers.  The International Organization of Vine and Wine was created on April 3, 2001. It replaces the international vine and wine office of 1958, replacing it with the international wine board of 29 November 1924.

There you go , wine is nice, good health, and helps provide millions of jobs for families of traditional values all over the World. Enjoy it wisely, consume smart, and share it. And remember, happy travels, (to vineyards is awesome) ,good health, (wine is an anti oxydant good for you), and many cheers to all (with wine the cheering will be better) !!!

 

April 5, 2019

And wines of my Spain, it is!!!

Ok as I was cerfified on both commercial offices of France and Spain, on wine knowledge and expertise, and citizen of both countries … I did a previous one on the latest news on France,and why not on Spain! An always exciting country for wine, for many years left in decay and from the last 20 or so slowly coming back out with its great potential. I love the Riberas, Rias, Riojas, Toro, Jumillas, sherries, and especially all of the Castillas with especial emphasis on Castilla La Mancha. Ok so that’s me bragging, now for the news!

Uclés (also famous for a great monastery see my previous post) is a small denomination of Castellano-Manchega origin that seeks to be noted in a sea of bulk and table wines of low profitability. Conditions are not lacking, from its more than 800 meters of height to the continental climate with strong thermal differential, passing through the soils that both give quantity and, suitably cultivated, quality. Finca La Estacada, of the family Cantarero Rodríguez, started in 2001. A large family rooted in the Cuenca área of which some created Bodegas Fontana, a landmark renovator in its time; Others follow the trail with Finca La Estacada, which has its greatest achievement in this selection of varietals. They are part of a successful combination of grapes that bring their seal to the aromatic range laden with ripe fruit, which is adorned with spices and roasted oak, perhaps too present. Powerful, juicy, fresh and long wine, not surprising but convincing. Finca La Estacada. Tarancón (Cuenca) DO: Uclés Red Reserva, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo,Merlot and Syrah. One of my best finds lately staying in this área of Castilla La Mancha. More Info click here: https://www.fincalaestacada.com/los-vinos.html

Rigorous, restless, imaginative, convincing, Victoria Pariente and daughter Martina offer masterful elaborations with the Verdejo variety. And they do it in all forms: young crianzas, aged on lees, fermented in ovoid deposits of clay cement, fermented and bred in oak. And now they surprise with this farm wine that represents the culmination of a pioneer saga in the difficult task of dignifying the whites of Rueda when few believed it possible. For this they have chosen the grapes of a small vineyard in the plot Las Comas, where vegetative strains planted in 1910, have waited to have an exceptional vintage, and finally, fermented and bred with its lees in a barrel of 2,250 liters for 12 months. On a reverberating surface of gravel, ripe fleshy fruit covered by the fresh balsamic touch of the herbal fields, and enriched with subtle floral notes, in discreet wooden background suggesting toasted spices. Slender, soft, full, long. Jose Pariente La Seca (Valladolid) DO: White Rueda crianza, 13.5% Verdejo.More Info click here: https://josepariente.com/#vinos

It began by opening the way of the Albariño, soon surpassed by the Verdejo, which now feels the breath of Godello. It is not surprising that the most dynamic wineries in Rioja, Ribera del Duero or Penedès have expanded their offer with wines from Rías Baixas, Rueda, Valdeorras and Bierzo. The last one to bet on Godello is Emilio Moro. They began buying vineyards and land in the highest area of Bierzo, then building the winery. They begin by enticing the terrain, with small productions, and two marks, The El Zarzal and the La Revelia. It is a white fermented in French oak barrels of 500 liters, aged on eight-month lees. Precise elaboration that achieves a cleanly varietal aroma, with the bone fruit wrapped in leaves and dry flower notes, and a citrus freshness in the shaded atmosphere of the smoked oak. Tasty, enveloping, leaves an elegant fruity memory. Emilio Moro. Pesquera de Duero (Valladolid) OD: Bierzo Blanco crianza, Godello 13.5%  More Info click here: https://www.emiliomoro.com/

Point apart. As above El Zarzal, Bodegas Emilio Moro, Castilla y León (Bierzo), 2017, White Godello, 13.50 º . Aromatically fine, with laurel, dried flowers and a stony background. Very greedy, powerful and with good persistence and texture. Notes of green figs. It will improve in bottle even more. Lovely tasted good. More Info click here: https://www.emiliomoro.com/en/producto/el-zarzal/

The Ribera del Duero denomination of origin, which houses vineyards located in Castilla y León, has become one of the most vibrant Spanish wine regions. Each of these bottles can be purchased on the Internet for less than 10 euros, but it depends on your geographical region.

Viña Sastre Roble 2017 14%. This emblematic winery of La Horra, founded by the Sastre family in 1992, is characterized by its traditional style, faithful to its terroir and vineyards. 45 hectares of property located at a certain altitude. Viña Sastre Roble is characterized by being 100% of the Tinta del Pais, the local name of the Tempranillo variety, and for its long ageing, of nine months in American and French oak casks, which gives the whole complexity. It is a wine of deep cherry color, of elegant nose of black wild forest with a touch roasted and of licorice; Deep and sensual in the mouth, of great fruitiness, fresh for its good acidity and balanced bitterness. More Info click here: http://www.vinasastre.com/roble

Melior de Matarromera Roble 2016  14%. Carlos Moro founded its Matarromera Winery in 1988, in the heart of La Ribera, in Valbuena de Duero. At present, there are 90 hectares of vineyards mainly of the Tempranillo variety, whose ripe bunches are harvested by hand to prevent their breakage and to express their best quality. The 2016 Melior Roble performs a six month ageing in oak casks, and its color is a deep dark cherry red color, fruit of its youth. On the nose displays seductive notes of red and black wild, blackberries and blueberries, and interacting touches with notes of quality. It is tasty, juicy and very fruity, with a medium, fresh-pitched body, very aromatic and fine; fluid, with volume and full of sensations, of elegant bitterness, very balanced, with a pleasant mineral finish. It is a very elegant, harmonious, round and balanced wine. More Info click here: http://bodegamatarromera.es/en/wines/

Celeste 2017 14%. Celeste is the definitive bet of the Torres family, of the well-known bodega of Penedés, on the Ribera del Duero. Its winery, baptized as Pagos del Cielo  with vineyards located at high altitude, is located in Campos de Peñafiel (Valladolid). Celeste 2017 is made of fine red and a three month ageing in French and American oak casks. It has a deep dark cherry color of youth, and displays a fine aroma of blackberries with a floral touch of violets, and a pleasant end of cocoa and bitter chocolate. Greedy, with an attractive rusticity, half-bodied, with fine bitterness, fruity finish and pleasurable persistence. These characteristics make it a very balanced wine, and with a delicious final minerality.  More Info click here: https://www.torres.es/en/wines/celeste-crianza

La Planta 2017, 14.5%. The La Planta is the oak wine of the famous Bodega Arzuaga Navarro, well known for its spectacular winery in the Golden Mile, between Peñafiel and Valladolid. The Arzuaga Family founded it in the early nineties, surrounded by a spectacular spot with vibrant native fauna and flora. Its vineyards, of which 150 hectares are owned, are located in the prestigious Valladolid region where the Tempranillo grape variety continues to dominate. The 2017 La Planta is made from vineyards located at an altitude of 900 meters and the grapes are macerated in cold, which then ferment at a controlled temperature of 25 º C (77F). Finally, the wine performs a 6 month ageing in American oak casks. To the eye it possesses the typical color of its youth, an intense cherry color and bruised. In the nose it displays pleasing notes of black wilds of forest, blackberries, currants, blueberries, with a pleasant toasted oak bottom. Meaty, of ample craving, with notes of vanilla of cast wood , being tasty, of ample fruitiness and with body. In short, a satisfying wine, with the final memory of the sweetness of vanilla. More Info click here: https://arzuaganavarro.com/index.php/en/

Valtravieso Finca Santa María 2017 ,14%. Very close to Peñafiel, in one of the most stony and high moors of the Ribera del Duero at 915 meters, stands the Bodega Valtravieso. Founded in 1985, it has some 60 hectares of vineyards, where it not only cultivates the emblematic fine tinta del pais variety, but a small extension of the grapes of French Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The peculiarity of its oak-type wine Valtravieso Finca Santa Maria is that the grapes come exclusively from this farm, where it intervenes in 95% of Tempranillo with a touch of 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and the final blend of wine makes a six month ageing in oak barrels. Its cherry color, very concentrated, makes you think of a wine with a body. Its aroma is of fresh fruit, with strawberries of forest and currants, and a touch of black plum, as well as balsamic country herbs. The entrance of the mouth is different from the other Riberas, by the French varieties, very potent, tannic and virile, with body and a vivid bitterness in equilibrium with its vibrant acidity, which brings freshness, and very marked end of currants. It is a very tasty wine, corporeal, powerful and balanced, long remembered. More Info click here: https://valtravieso.com/?v=11aedd0e4327

The climate, the grape variety and the elaboration process are essential for the wine, yes. But so is the land where the vine is cultivated. As a general rule, the most suitable terrain should have a proportion of limestone, clay and silicon components so that the wine has finesse, potency, intensity, character and freshness. Having this in mind these wines selection below will tantalize your taste bugs!

Navaherreros 2016 . San Martín de Valdeiglesias (Madrid). DO: Vinos de Madrid. Red Crianza, Garnacha 14.5%. Into from old Garnachas bred in French oak. Intense aroma, with candied notes of red wild, flower and spices. Tasty, fruity finish. More Info click here: http://bernabeleva.com/

Teneguía Caletas 2015 . Fuencaliente (La Palma). DO: La Palma. Canary Islands. White Crianza, 13%.With local grapes Vijariego, Malvasia, Albillo, Sabro, Gual and Listán. Go back to my roots!. Achieved a combination of white varieties of free standing for an aromatic landscape of elegant fruity complexity, with floral notes and pastries souvenirs on a smoked background. Soft and greedy. More Info click here: https://www.bodegasteneguia.com/

From the Rioja wines to the Parmesan or Manchego cheese and the Spanish turrón from Jijona (nougat), the European products with denomination of origin must be protected before the Brexit or risk that third parties will appropriate their brand and reputation. This was raised in statements to EFE agency by Massimo Vittori, director of OriGIn, a non-profit organization that from 2003 represents more than 500 associations of producers of goods with Denomination of Origin(DO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), in they are of forty countries. However, note the pact has not been approved by the British Parliament. And, if by April 12 there is no agreement, the United kingdom could leave the block with nothing, which means that legal protection over the PGI’s would disappear in a coup. He said “All appellations of origin must register as soon as possible as a mark in the UK ” More info about OriGIn Click here: https://www.origin-gi.com/

Already past but interesting. In the Circle of Fine Arts (Circulo de Bellas Artes)  in Madrid the First International Congress on Traditional Wines of Andalusia (CIVTA), was held. The objectives of this Congress are basically three: to claim the common historical origin of the traditional wines made in Andalusia and transmitting it’s personality; to defend the singularity, exclusivity and quality; and define and discuss the current situation of wines, as an important factor in the economic and social development of the production area. The four regulatory councils that have promoted this Congress are Denomination of Protected Origin (DOP) Montilla-Moriles, DOP Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, DOP Malaga and DOP Condado de Huelva. They are highly recognized at the professional level, but very little understood by the final consumer.Indeed as to most wines of Andalucia.  And that is the great handicap that they have, because they are wines that have always been associated also to a moment of consumption that is not the table. However, this is changing now to joined them now to the gastronomy, to the great chefs, that in Andalusia are right now a reference, is the fundamental aspect that they want to emphasize . Thus, there has been an interesting pairing by four chefs with Michelin stars: Xanty Elías (from the restaurant  Acánthum, Huelva), Kisco García (from Choco,Cordoba), José Carlos García (from the Malaga restaurant of the same name) and Juanlu Fernandez (who after spending ten years with Ángel León decided just over a year to open Lú, Cocina y Alma (Lú, Kitchen and Soul) and in a few months got his star. The four have presented a gastronomic fusion, elaborating dishes that have paired with the wines of their provinces. They have probably the best driest wines in the world and also probably the best sweetest in the world. More Information click here: http://www.congresovinosandalucia.org/

There you go, come to the sunny Spain and indulge in its superb gastronomy and each time better and better wines. Spain everything under the sun! Drink in moderation but keep the traditions alive, wine is part of our every day lives, en vino veritas!!!

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

 

 

 

 

 

April 4, 2019

And wines of France is it!!!

So this is time in my blog to talk to you about some wine news from my belle France. Where else? Often trying to imitate it but never surpassed, the wines of France are the flagbearers of the world, and we talk about grapes well there is nothing out there without French grapes to success. My opinion of course.

If you have read my blog or at least my wine entries you will know my background in the business and well not really collector because I buy to drink them lol! These are the latest news from the wine front and the vintage of 2018 in Bordeaux.

It is the start of the wine tasting week of Bordeaux in Primeur. wine professionals from all over the world who come to discover the 2018 vintage; More than 200 properties are represented today. They have the common point of being advised by the consultant Michel Rolland, the oenologist of world wide fame who have done the same for wineries all over the world. French craft at its best!

Mr Rolland said , “the 2018 vintage is characterised by a late winter and a humid spring. This moisture caused a susceptibility to mildew, and some properties suffered. There were also two hail storms, which ravaged 10% of the Bordeaux vineyard. This is not an exceptional year in volume, as it has been relatively hot and dry. But that only made the quality stronger. We do not have the regularity that we had in 2016, but we have wines of very good quality with fine concentrations and maturities. The wines did not cook. I think among all the properties are hiding exceptional wines in 2018.”

Today , Mr Rolland is on latest adventures in Argentina helping that country forthcoming wine industry take off at last. He is currently as well, the owner of properties in Bordeaux: at Pomerol with Le Bon Pasteur , Bertineau St-Vincent at Lalande de Pomerol, Rolland -Maillet at St Emilion, Fontenil at Fronsac , and  La Grande Clotte at Lussac. A Oenology laboratory at Pomerol and consultant in Argentine (Trapiche, Norton, Domaine Vistalba), at Chile (Casa Lapostolle), in the USA at California (Newton, St Supery, Harlan Estates, Araujo, Staglin, Franciscan-Magnificat, Quintessa, Mont Veeder, and Simi), as well as in Spain, Hungary, Italy, and South Africa, even India!

Another guru of the Wine scene in general and Bordeaux in particular has some words to say about the 2018 vintage too.

Christophe Coupez, Director of the Oenological Center of Pauillac, creation of the Chamber of Agriculture of the Gironde, which advises mainly castles on the eight medocaines appellations. At the base level, the vintage is fairly homogeneous. The possible differences will rather come from the farming modalities chosen by each producer. He said “we had an almost perfect maturation, without brake or limiting or stressful factor for the vine, with the key of the aromatic profiles quite unpublished, with beautiful aromatic complexities, especially on the Cabernet Sauvignon. There is also a large sugar richness, with alcohol levels a little higher than on average, but a nice acidity that counterbalances and makes you not feel the dominant alcoholic. In our sector this year there are also in the assemblages a little more important proportions of Petit Verdot than usual, surely due to the small size of the Cabernet berries”   This 2018 is a bit of a compromise between the aromatic opening and the immediate enjoyment of 2009, and the beautiful balance of 2010. On the aromatic expression, it has very successful things, ripe, solar, wines that indulge quite easily, as in 2009. He adds “But this vintage also reminds of 2010, 2016, or 2005, very rich at all points of view, including large acidities. In summary, in 2018, the wines are very rich, with a large color is a large tannic structure, but very fluffy tannins, with very little aggressiveness”. Overall it’s still very close to perfection! For info the Oenological Center of  Pauillac webpage in French is here: Oenological center of Pauillac

Margaux’s 3rd classified Grand Cru Château Palmer managed to produce, according to its Director Thomas Duroux, a 2018 of great stuff, but in lesser quantities. He said probably made one of the greatest Palmer in history. It was also necessary to manage the extractions in an ultra-sharp way to respect the style of the vintage, which is powerful, and at the same time to keep what makes the DNA of Chateau Palmer (one of my favorite stocks) , that is, a great sophistication of tannins, which can be described as velvety. This Palmer 2018 is the most powerful of our history, with at the same time an openness, an aromatic complexity and a sophistication of the structure that completely anchor it in our identity, he continues. It is undeniably a vintage that will mark the history of the property. Final point! And I am looking forward to that!! More info here: Chateau Palmer

Another of my all time favorite properties there and visited has another great year at excellent value prices. Compared to these world-renowned appellations, Listrac and its 600 hectares have the advantage of confidentiality and relaxation. Here, they do not get dazzle by the light of the estuary even before the sunrise. Listrac, on the edge of the forest, one of the most continental vineyards of the Médoc, is a discreet wine. The visitor discovers Château Fourcas Hostens, next to the Church of the village of Listrac, with a form of lightness, of   cool altitude . The coat of arms of the estate puts forward a comtal crown, with two greyhounds, and a tower.

Mr Momméja explains,   “The 45 hectares of vineyards of the estate are in listrac appellation, but Fourcas Hosten is composed of two well distinct terroirs of equivalent area. The Fourcas is dominated by the graves and lends itself well to the cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon. The more clayed Listrac part is planted with Merlot and Cabernet Franc” Beyond this distribution, Fourcas Hosten is on a route   on the production of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, and in July 2018 the production was switch to Bio. The latest commercialized, Fourcas Hosten 2016 is a very successful vintage in Bordeaux and is remarkable of softness. It combines a spicy nose, tannins present, a subtle fruit, a beautiful freshness and length. The guard seems assured. Note at the passage of low prices , less than 20 euros.

At the property , in lieu of the current park on about three hectares in front of the Chartreuse with blue shutters, it’s an 18C spirit without heaviness that blows over all the pieces. All made from a wide range of bronzes, engravings, fabrics, carpets, etc. Nothing extravagant for Mr and Mrs. Renaud and Laurent Momméja build their brand, harvest after harvest. Heirs of the founders of the Hermes Group, the Momméja mastered the codes of good taste, you are reassured. I second that always a great bottle indeed tracking it since 1990! Read more here: https://www.fourcas-hosten.com/en/

If you have read my wine posts in the past then you know about me and also I am not a big fan of Saint Emilion (too much merlot) but not withstanding they do produce some excellent properties and their second wine labels are more affordable for all, including me lol!

ARÔMES DE PAVIE 2015 : From the vineyard of 37 hectares of Château Pavia 1st Grand Cru classified “A “, property of the Persé family since 1998, aromas of Pavia lived the day in 2005. This label replaces the old one, Château Tour Simard, for more visibility. The attack of the 2015, dark coloured with violet reflections, is creamy, the mouth generous and fruity, worn by soft tannins that will soften again with the age. More info here: http://www.vignoblesperse.com/en/chateau-pavie/home

CARILLON D’ANGÉLUS 2015 : Designed in 1987 by Hubert de Bouärd, co-owner of Château Angelus, 1st Grand Cru classified “A “, this wine enjoys a vinification separate from that of its eldest, inspired by the Burgundian experiences of its creator. Moreover, from the vintage 2016, it becomes a wine in its own right, emanating from the superb terroirs acquired between Figeac and Cheval Blanc. Airy, elegant and caking, on the fruit, the 2015 is savor with great pleasure.   More info here : www.angelus.com

PETIT-FIGEAC 2015 : Born in 1945, the little brother of Château Figeac 1st Grand Cru classified “B “, owned by the Manoncourt family, took the name of a historical parcel of the estate from the vintage 2012. Elegant and salivating, intense, this 2015 of pleasure, without asperity, with vanilla aromas, forms a whole of the most harmonious in the mouth, on notes of ripe black fruit, spicy, fine tannins More info here: www.chateau-figeac.com

PRÉLUDE DE FOMBRAUGE 2016 : Owned by Bernard Magrez since 1999, Château Fombrauge has known only six families to its head since the fifteenth century. Prelude stems from the 58 hectares of Château Fombrauge, a Grand Cru classified. Dominated by Merlot (90%), the wine with a Ruby robe, with an expressive nose, manifests itself in the mouth with notes of black fruit, liquorice, a velvety texture. A victim of its success, the vintage 2015 is already out of stock More info here : www.bernard-magrez.com/fr/vins/chateau-fombrauge

RELAIS LA DOMINIQUE 2015 : Since 2014, this wine represents 45% of the production of the estate of 29 hectares which forges Château La Dominique, Grand Cru classified, flagship of the Fayat vineyards, acquired in 1969 by Clément Fayat. This 100% Merlot, intense and powerful on the nose, is a seductive wine, rich, with aromas of red and black fruit, liquorice, with tannins still present. More info here: www.chateauladominique.com

And now why not out of Paris for enjoying great company food and wines. We go out to Bordeaux ,the simply the best always imitated and challenge to excellence each year. How about a place to have a glass in grand Bordeaux style. Well here are hangouts over the years.Enjoy it

Le Metropolitain at 49 Cours d’Alsace-et-Lorraine. Here the winegrowers are well known to the institution. 50% of them make organic and 60% are winegrowers. the House has its proposal of local craft beers: Azimut Brasserie, Brasserie mad Occ. More info here : https://www.lemetropolitainbordeaux.com/

Le Bar à Vin du CIVB , 3 Cours du XXX juillet . On the ground floor of the Maison du Vin de Bordeaux. From professional selections to the blind, the references you find on the map change every month. From 2 to 8€, by the glass, the more: they are sommeliers or expert cavists who advise you. More info here: https://baravin.bordeaux.com/en/

La cave et bar à vins de la Cité du Vin : Scrolls 70 countries to its tasting card. At the moment in the Cite du Vin, the exhibition Renversant ! (Outstanding)   presents-until June 30th-a hundred objects in diverse glass (bottle, carafe or glass) and follows the work of the producer and consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt over one year More info here: https://www.laciteduvin.com/en

There you go something to think about as Easter is approaching and wines are on the table here always. I have my stock loaded and ready to drink Bordeaux, southwest, or Loire my favorite regions, not that I do not drink the others, but….

Enjoy it and the saying is drink in moderation no, drink culturally inclined as it was meant to be with a meal around a glass with friends or family and continue the tradition. En vino veritas!

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

 

March 30, 2019

Hostal Restaurant Palacios ,Toledo!

Ok so today will go into again uncharted territory for me. I do travel whether business or pleasure always try to sneek in and see things in our beautiful world. Spain is like my home, I am Spanish citizen since birth from my grandparents of Tenerife.  I have lived in Madrid and still cousins there and near north of Toledo. I do visit Spain at least once every year since upteem times. All said and done.

However, when I write I tell you about experiences and things to see eat do, but I like to bring one dear place to give it the credit it deserves in my arsenal of memories ,hoping they become yours too. My family was taken to Spain by my insistance for several years now and they became to love it too; no question every year vacation time Spain came out on top and get away from our beloved France where we have lived for the last 16 years.

The visit to Toledo is a must for all, and no different for us Spaniards to see the history of our country ,the tolerance of Toledo is awesome(search my many posts on it). While walking its narrow cobblestone streets in the center and beyond and got to the point of been hungry we stop at a restaurant that is also a hostal (inexpensive hotel) right in the tourist central! We thought would be crazy to eat there but the price was right, amazing even 7,95€ complete meal with wine/beer so we took the opportunity.

It has been our must stop each time in the city for lunch for the last several years except 2018 when my dear late wife Martine passed away from pancreatic cancer. She loved this place so much. I would tell you briefly on Hostal Restaurant Palacios in Toledo!

Toledo

The magic lunch menu price has been kept from 7,50€ to 7,95€ over the years and always fully loaded with entrée, main dish, dessert, drink of juice sodas/wines/beers and coffee! It changes every time often. The food is terrific and the place very quant with very nice people we have come to know, they even remember us!!

Toledo

This Small and modern Hostel-Restaurant is located in the heart of the old town of Toledo next to the Cathedral and 200 meters from the Plaza de Zocodover and the Alcázar de Toledo.

Toledo

Restaurant Palacios is part of the facilities of the Hostal Palacios, located in Calle Alfonso X the Wise. In this restaurant they have been satisfying the tastes of the most exquisite palates with their wide variety of dishes and portions and the excellent quality of their products. Enjoy homemade food and typical Toledo dishes.

Toledo

In General, Toledo eats well. It Is true that not always cheap, as many stand out, but if you look a bit, you will find gems like Palacios.

Hostal Palacios (this not tried yet) offers comfortable accommodation in this impressive city. The air-conditioned rooms are decorated in a warm and rustic style and feature a plasma-screen satellite TV and views of the old town of Toledo. The hotel offers an Internet point from where you can organise your excursion to the beautiful Alcázar and other sights.

I like to give you handy some webpages to help you plan your trip to this wonderful property worthy of my recommendation.

Official Hostal Palacios

Tourist office of Toledo on the Hostal Palacios

And two of my favorites sites already mentioned in my blogroll end of my front blog page are The Fork or Tenedor or Fourchette ,and Yelp

The Tenedor or fork reviews on Restaurant Palacios

Yelp reviews on Hostal Restaurant Palacios

There you go, I feel better now, it is worth mention good memorable places when we travel even if humble places, they are part of the thrill of traveling and family stories to last a lifetime. I know Martine would be happy to tell you about it too!

Toledo

One for the memories forever my dear late wife Martine!

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

 

March 24, 2019

Distillerie du Gorvello at Sulniac!

So let me tell you for a change of a local producer, we buy from direct. Of course, they are very near us in the lovely Morbihan dept 56 of Brittany. This post I like to introduce to another gem of my belle France know as the culinary birthplace of the world and already recognized by Unesco, first!

We like some spirits with our meals like good Europeans and better Frenchmen, so this ,also includes Cider. I have been drinking cider since a child from the region of Asturias in my beloved Spain. As time went on and my travel horizons expanded I came to know Norman cider, and then once moved to my beautiful Brittany, also Breton cider. Which is better is up to you, me I like the Breton cider ::) Why the apples the varieties are awesome with tastes going to all the palates.

And to think we found it by just road warrior trips in  my area! We were on the road looking for goodies found a new one and we have been back! this is the nearby Distillerie du Gorvello just before reaching the castle of Plessis Josso (see post apart)  off the road to your left and then left again.  From the expressway N165 take exit 22 Le Gorvello/Surzur at traffic circle follow direction Le Gorvello and follow the arrows to the Distillery. A wonderful place making cider, apple juice, liquors from apples such as pommeau de Bretagne, Fine de Bretagne, vinager of cider, etc as well as cold cuts canned goods. It has won many medals in the region and a family business. It is better to call ahead for tours as they change all the time; we did not go on it as we already visited the making of cider here, but did tasted the apple juice Gullivec and Tradition and Gullivec ciders as well as pig canned good terrines, all purchased as well for home and the road trip!!!  Prices are great from 3 euros the bottles and up.

Sulniac

It is in the immediate vicinity of Vannes and the Gulf of Morbihan, at the village of Sulniac , the Gorvello distillery is a small family farm specializing in the cultivation of Apple Cider.  Drive up rue Thiers from Le Port marina and get on the expressway N165 direction Nantes  at exit sortie 22 take direction first La Trinité Surzur and quick right into the road D183 direction Sulniac, you past the signs for the Castle of Plessis Josso and on the next road with a small sign (need to be alert not to missed it) turn right and see signs for the distillery. Worth the detour

Sulniac

The production activity is right on site with a workshop located within one of their orchards, here  carefully and according to artisanal methods its develop quality products including aperitifs and distilled spirits with their own alembic and aged in oak barrels in the cellar.

Sulniac

The flagship products are  Fine Bretagne AOC , Pommeau de Bretagne AOC, Little Prince Guillevic ,Cider from Brittany IGP and AB, AB Apple juice, Cider vinegar et Other local products. We have tried most already. Delicious, old fashion way the one we like and glad to be in France and the prices are family soft.

Sulniac

Sulniac

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Distillerie du Gorvello in French

Regional Gulf of Morbihan tourism site on the Distillerie du Gorvello in French

Tourist office of dept 56 Morbihan on the Distillerie du Gorvello in English

There you go a bit of tourism with good home made products of the champion France , will not go wrong here. Remember the name Distillerie du Gorvello at Sulniac dept 56.

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

 

 

March 11, 2019

Savigny-les-Beaune ,old Burgundy!

I do not know what to say some already told me, I do travel a lot and love it; thankful to be able to do it. Lucky to be in the world’s No 1 most visited country by international official counts ,France, and it shows so much to see. As said will need a lifetime and then may not be able to see everything. But I am trying hard!

Burgundy-Franche-Comté is a region of France with a lot of wealth when it comes to monuments and vineyards, however, I like to combine my love for aviation with wines and one of the best if not the best place to do this is at Savigny-les-Beaune a town close to another famous ,Beaune. Let me tell you a bit about it ok.

When my travels takes me away with the family I try to combine all that is of interest to all of us. Its the best way to enjoy your vacation,especially if you have kids. Since I have 3 boys, our interests are pretty much the same, we all like women, wines, autos ,and airplanes. Therefore what better way to enjoy our vacation then to go to Savigny-les-Beaune in Burgundy; a town near Beaune.

Its one of my secret get away, the family rents a gite or a house rental in the area, this time was in near Buxy in the Côte Chalonnaise of southern Burgundy. From here with a car we expand to all horizons but deep submerge in the wine country. In fact the house was surrounded by vineyards, and we purchase the wine right from the owner at 5€ the bottle of red. Yummy.

One of the highlights of the long summer vacation trip was to see the vineyard of Chateau Savigny les Beaune  with 20 hectares (49,4 acres) which includes the appellations of Auxey-Duresses, Beaune, Monthelie, Pommard, Volnay and Savigny-lès-Beaune.

savigny les beaune

Where Michel Pont has not only added a magnificent bottle but also a diehard fanatics of cars and planes, he has established a museum indoors and outdoors of these marvels. He is especially in love with FIAT 500 Abarth ,and all the previous models going back to 1956. He keeps 149 cars in his car museum plus 36 he has competed. Inside there is a minituare displays of cars from all over the world. There are,also, 250 motocycles from 1903 to 1960.

savigny les beaune

In the park of the castle spread around like ants he has kept 80 fighter airplanes of French, American, and Russian manufactured.  You are ,also, to see engines, and airplanes parts from many models . Inside, you will see 2400 small sides models of airplanes of the world. The view of these aerodrome of vintage war planes is awesome, and should not be missed when in the area, especially with kids.

Sauvigny les Beaune

Some practical info, contact Tel  +33 (0) 3 80 21 55 03 / Fax. 3 80 21 54 84

The Château is open every day from 9h – 12h ,and  14h – 17h30, last entry at 16h. During low season April 14 to October 16 opens at  9h-12h , and  14h -17h30. High season from April 15 to October 14 opens continuosly from  9h to 18h30  .Annual closing is the first 3 weeks in January and Dec 25th.  is 9€ per adult and 4€ for kids from 4-16. Check webpage for updates.

I like to give some history of the castle as I like it,

The Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune is a 14C castle on a wine estate of 20 hectares of the Côte de Beaune vineyard, in Savigny-lès-Beaune in the Côte-d’Or dept 21 of the region of Burgundy-Franche-Comté. This castle was built around 1340 by Jean de Frolois, Marshal of the Duchy of Burgundy, for Duke Eudes IV of Burgundy. It was destroyed in 1478 by order of king Louis XI, in retaliation for what his owner had taken the part of the Duchess Marie of Burgundy and her husband the future Emperor Maximilian I against him during the War of the succession of Burgundy (1477 – 1482). Only the crows of the machicolations still visible on two towers are preserved. At the beginning of the 17C the castle was restored by the family of Lords Bouhier with the addition of the little Castle  after 1671.

In 1689, the Castle became the property of the family de Migieu, then by alliance, to General Comte de la Loyère and his heirs. During 1719, the president De Migeu had to abandon his castle for a few months when it served as a residence imposed on the granddaughter of Duke Louis II of Bourbon-Condé, the Duchess of Maine Louise-Benedicta de Bourbon, during her exile in Burgundy.

savigny les beaune

In 1979, the Château was purchased by Michel Pont, a winegrower operating an important wine estate of 20 hectares of the Côte de Beaune vineyards, which undertook major restoration work. Former racing driver Abarth of the 1960’s, and important collector of mechanics, he founded several museums with important mechanical collections and housing, in 2018, the most important private collection in the world of fighter planes, approved by the Guinness Book of Records !

The general webpage for information is in French, but if need help and want to visit it let me know.

Official museums of Chateau Savigny les Beaune

Tourist office of the Côte d’Or dept 21 in French

Tourist office of Beaune on Château Savigny les Beaune in English

Now some photos without giving away everything ::) Hope you enjoy the visit with the entire family. Savigny-les-Beaune , castle, wines ,cars, airplanes the works love it! You will too!

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

March 10, 2019

Salon Vins et Gastronomie of Vannes 2019!

Once again I bring you back to the wonderful superb Salon Vins et Gastronomie of Vannes 2019 held over this weekend at the Chorus expo center in the Parc du Golfe. It is beyond words, the perfect place to meet and mingle with real producers of the goodness of my belle France, many of which later come to visit on their turf, and by now are just friends.

Vannes

This year is no difference. I moved here and heard about it but always too many to choose from went elsewhere, then in 2014 got the bugs and was nice skip again 2015/2016 and by now have gone to the events in 2017/2018/2019! Let me put for the memories at least mine the last visit to the salon in my post.

Salon Vins et Gastronomie Vannes 2014

Salon Vins et Gastronomie Vannes 2017

Salon Vins et Gastronomie Vannes 2018

And let me tell you a bit more on this year edition, which is actually the 27th in my area! The show was on March 9/10/11 from 10h to 19h with Monday to only 17h. Admission is 5€ adult but as I go often we get invitation for free from growers. There is free parking, lending of wheels caddy with proper personal ID, restaurant on site even to drink the bottles you purchase there, and tasting glasses with a deposit of 1€ (you can keep the glass or get the refund at end). Anybody under 16 yrs of age entered free.You get there by bus line 7 except Sundays from the train station at Vannes or the city center pl de la République for 1,50€.

vannes

vannes

Vannes

The stands are many and varied with producers coming from the Alsace, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Charentes, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence, Corsica, Southwest France, Valley of the Loire, Valley of the Rhône, and even wines from Moldavia! ,also, those producing beers, cocktails, liquors, and food such as pâte, cheeses, foie gras, nougats, chocolates, candies , escargots etc etc you name you have a cross section representation of the best of France, and most from brands we know here but not exported. That is why the Fair is call Wines and Gastronomy!! bon appétit.

Vannes

And from us, well hard to remember as once trying several we stuck with only a few for the last several years. However, from the list I can recall the Domaine Fleishcer of Alsace, Domaine des Gaudets Morgon of Beaujolais, Chateau Mercier of Bordeaux, La Rose Pauillac, Bordeaux, Domaine Fillon of Burgundy, Champagne Godmé Sabine, Champagne Robert-Allait, Roxane et Cyrano, southwest France, Domaine des Sanzay, Valley of the Loire, also from the Loire, Domaine Hérault, Vignobles de la Rodaie(Cousseau-Boireau), Domaine des Liards Berger Fréres, Alain Chartier chocolatier from our area, le Nougat de Montségur, Les Saveurs Catalanes, Maison Gastellou, Miellerie de Huelgoat, and Coutellerie Moret. If you see any of these names in your area, buy it you will be glad! I had highlighted the ones we purchase this year. Enjoy them without moderation lol!!!

Vannes

Vannes

And we came back to watch the VI Nations rugby match between Ireland vs France losing 26×14  of course, we have a bad team this year. However, with the goodies of above we are in heavens cheers!

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

 

February 22, 2019

Some news from Spain LXXV

So coming back at you at my beloved Spain , everything under the sun. Well it is sunny now with temps of 64F or about 18C, just fine , I have similar in my neck of the woods !!!

It is time tell you the latest and traditions of my Spain, this time with an emphasis on gastronomy and wines, what else, the country is loaded; I say the best component. And enough conversation topics to heal the troubles of my today’s Spain.

Do we say Pizzas? yes the cuisine of the world, and Spain is nothing to be left behind. My lovely Madrid has plenty, and will give you some good ones of my own.

Grosso Napoletano. The Neapolitan pizzas in this house are already spread over five sites in Madrid. In the menu, classic creations such as the Margherita or the piquant Diavola share protagonism with the Borghese (with truffle and speck) or the Cantabrian (with anchovies and sauce with San Marzano, cherry, olive oil and garlic).  My take was at Paseo de La Habana, 27, the original: more here: Grosso Napoletano Madrid

Luna Rossa , visited at Calle San Bernardo 24. Opened a quarter of a century ago, it has been in the hands of Ana Zucchini (daughter of the founder) for two decades. Its raison d’être is Neapolitan cuisine, especially pizzas made in a wood-fired oven (such as Arrabiata, with hot sobrasada and fennel seeds, or Tonno, with tuna, olives, basil and onions). The space, recently restored, preserves the rustic charm of yesteryear. More here: Luna Rossa MadridLuna Rossa Madrid

Of course, if you want your regular eat in take out delivery place then no one better in Madrid than TelePizza, doing it for years!!! Several locations all over the city, I have in my old neighborhood of Quintana (Ciudad Lineal): Telepizza Quintana Madrid

And why not alone,no way, we need to have a good beer with them and Madrid has plenty of this too. My favorites amongt many are

Cervecería Santa Bárbara .Although it has several branches in Madrid, the one that occupies us in these lines is the original (opened in the year 1815). It is a reference to the time of the appetizer: for its beautiful bar of marble rods fly  and the doubles, with cream instead of foam, of soft bitter taste and uniform. Do not leave without tasting the prawns of Huelva, the canned cockle and the anchovies in vinegar with french fries of Churrería . The original at Plaza de Santa Barbara 8:More here: Cerveceria Santa Barbara

La Ardosa. Although it started as a wine tavern where it was sold in the region of Toledo from which it takes the name, when Gregorio Monge (father of Angel, current owner) was made with the business transformed it into a brewery, a pioneer in outside brands such as Guinness or Pilsner. Now, this passion is preserved (European labels are always served in double glass) and is complemented by a good vermouth of Reus. To accompany, salmorejo, potato tortilla, salted and pickled. As a curiosity to add that in this address you will find the first tap of Guinness of Madrid . Calle  Colon 13.More here; La Ardosa Madrid

Bar Martín. Martín Jiménez is the third generation that directs this bar devoted to the appetizer first opened in 1940. Besides calluses, Banderillas and Russian steaks, to drink the rods triumph, pulled with a lot of grace from Madrid (not in vain, our host is Master marksman of Mahou, the beer that is very local ). At Avenida de Menendez Pelayo 17. No webpage but a reference in my favorite YELP: Yelp on Bar Martin Madrid

La Dolores. Inaugurated in 1908, this centennial house is one of the most traditional bars in Madrid. Easily recognizable by its beautiful tile façade, inside an army of duly uniformed waiters is struggling to serve the reeds, doubles and muds (earthenware jars) of beer served as ordered by the canons of Madrid: Up to half, blow to up and up. They always go with a snack of bucket, but if you want something more it has an incredible collection of canapés and rations to match (boquerones and anchovies) served with olives, piparra and french fries .At Plaza de Jesus 4. A wonderful bar and great area for walks before or after: no webpage but my favorite YELP here: Yelp on La Dolores Madrid

Cerveceria Cruz Blanca, Calle Doctor Esquerdo, 157  or Ave Menendez Pelayo, 47 both locations are great and my hangout in Madrid for the last few years. Great service, good food, prices to match and great cold beers, the terraces are superb! These are setup as franchises so are you up for it? try them you will love them. More here: Cerveceria Cruz Blanca Madrid

Then I take you to something typical of Galicia and Madrid, hard to tell I like them both even if grew up eating the Madrid style; talking about the stews or Cocidos. Here are some where to eat them well in both places. No carnival without stew. At least in Galicia. With just similarities with the Spaniard (coincide in being a mix of meat, vegetables and carbohydrate and to have the soup as an entrée), the Galician is a hearty recipe that is enjoyed in Galicia, but also in cities like Madrid. In Madrid, Casa Gallega, where it is served with cabbage (instead of grelos or Nabizas), and Sanxenxo.  Meanwhile, Sal Negra dispatches both Madrid and Galician stew styles

At Coruña or Puxigo (as Pontes), which incorporates Grelos de Villalba, and Cabana (Bergondo), classic overlooking the estuary that prefers cured and non-smoked pieces. Sarria is Roma, restaurant-hotel of the Fontal family with 44 years where they serve the stew or also only the horn. And the recipe includes that piece almost wild as a star: the head of the pig (Cacheira, or hat), tasty and cartilaginous that, if you like, derives in a real enjoyment and can be of Celtic pork (salted and cured before their cooking, they sell it in Carnicas and Teijeiro) or Galician pork without this marking. More on hotel restaurant Roma here: Hotel Restaurant Rome in Sarrià

Time for Carnivals in Orense province,Galicia and more celebrations!!

The carnivals (from March 1 to 6), many of the municipalities of the province of Orense have been celebrating one of the most festive and expected moments of the year for several days. The Entroidos, popular name for which in Galician lands are known the carnivals, of the oldest in Spain, are characterized by the presence of picturesque masked characters of ancestral origin, denominated in different way according to the locality ( cigars, barbers, screens…), which take over the streets forming part of lively and colorful parades and troupes. This tradition is a special claim for the towns of Laza, Manzaneda, Verín, Viana do Bolo and Ginzo de Limia,  which lasts up to five weeks in some cases. Putting Orense capital as a starting point, I propose a route to live three of these most popular carnivals in Galicia: Ginzo de Limia, Verín and Laza, to the south of the province, make up the “magic triangle” of the Entroidos.

Ginzo de Limia. The most durable, since it takes place over five weekends, in which charangas, parades and musical acts do not cease. The main protagonists are the screens, some characters in white suit, a peculiar mask and red cloak with colorful ribbons and bells chasing, cow bladder in hand, to those who are not disguised. Once reached, they take them in twinkling to a bar, where they will have to pay glass of white wine and gather in the Plaza Mayor and then start their characteristic dances and jumps through the streets of the town. See program here: https://www.paxinasgalegas.es/fiestas/entroido-2019-xinzo-de-limia-0686.html

Verín.  At 35 km, this town next to the Portuguese border, protected from the top by the castle of Monterrey ,a fortress of the 10C perfectly preserved. It starts its carnival on February 21 with the traditional Thursday of Compadres, a parade predominantly Male that runs through the streets of the village to the Plaza Mayor. Sunday 24 February by 11h is the day for the cigars, which flood the streets with their characteristic wooden masks, their colorful costumes, which hang the legendary clashes of cowbells and a crop called Zamarra, the rhythm of brass bands and the clink of their bells. On Saturday and Sunday March 2-3 are the big days of the carnival, in which the whole city turns over. Plaza de la Merced welcomes the baptism of the Cigarrón on Saturday,16h30, while at Av. de Castilla is the place for the Grand Parade ,Sunday at 12h, with the participation of cigars, floats and troupes that parody politicians and society in general. More info here: http://www.visitchavesverin.com/es

Laza. It is obligatory to move to the central Plaza de la Picota and to the adjoining bars of this town  60 km from Orense. Although it will officially begin on February 28th, with the thursday of Comadres, the carnival has already several weeks of celebration, with the four Fridays of Folión ,street party from 23h. The main protagonists of this celebration are the Peliqueiros, characters armed with their officer sheepskin coats, their clashes at the waist and their demonic animal masks that roam the streets imposing their law. These accompany the leaflets, groups of 30 to 40 people with different instruments, whose mission is to scare away evil spirits. This ancestral celebration continues until Tuesday of Carnival ,March 5, the farewell day with the Peliqueiros, the parade of floats, the will of the donkey and the Queima do Arangaño. More here: http://www.entroidodelaza.com/dias-de-entroido/

Orense. It is also worth the festivities that mainly fill the historic center of Orense, the city bathed by the Miño river. The celebrations in the capital start on Thursday of Comadres ,February 28, a night traditionally reserved for women. From there, there are five days of uninterrupted festivities in which everyone goes out into the street in disguise or with a mask. More information and program in  http://turismodeourense.gal/

Let’s talk about wine stores; sure we like to go to the source, but sometimes little time so what to do to grab the beauty of Spanish wines? Well heads for these wonderful wine stores of my trail.  You know the best known ones are all based in Madrid and Barcelona, where abound, and those reference addresses that are for offer and service. Asking in Madrid, there are many that I will recommend Lavinia, Santa Cecilia, Viuda de Cuenllas, or Mantequerías Bravo come to mind.  And there, in Barcelona, as many others as Celler de Gelida, Lafuente,  La Carta de Vinos, or Enoteca Divins. But the wine stores continues beyond these big cities and it is in those other wine stores in which today I will take you with my favorites over the years.

La Vinatería Yáñez ,calle Padre Sacramento 11. Zaragoza. They have since 1953 focused on the sale of wines apart from those dedicated to the diffusion of their culture. It gathers several thousand references among which the representation of foreign labels stands out. Good offer of malts, Armagnacs, brandies… Conditioned rooms for tastings and conferences, and good library of consultation. More here: La Vinateria Yanez Zaragoza

Vinoteca El Lagar, Calle San Lesmes 14 bajo. Burgos . A small space that houses labels of very different nationalities, since they have great relevance the foreign, especially those of French origin. It has a part destined to distillates and various gadgets useful for wine. More here: Vinoteca El Lagar Burgos

Vino Cutanda La Bolsa de los Licores, Avenida Ramón y Cajal 14, Albacete. Family business located in the center of the city, opened since 1982, and with more than 2,500 references; Wines from all the processing areas of the world as they gather a thousand foreign labels. They complete the wine offer, with spirits, accessories, gourmet foods, and various activities.   More here: Vinos Cutanda Albacete

Valentín Moreno e Hijos ,Calle Méjico 8, Guadalajara. Dedicated to wine since it opened in the mid-sixties, it responds to the name of its founder. Now the third generation owns it and among its more than 700 references there are wines from all over the world, although the protagonists have the patriotic, with special attention to the Manchegos. They include distillates and miscellaneous wine accessories.  More here: Valentin Moreno e Hijos Guadalajara

The Palacio de los Licores, Calle Correhuela 24, Salamanca. A neighbor of the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca, this large wine market brings together more than 1,500 selected wines, liquors that surpass the five hundred brands, specialized publications and accessories. More here: Palacio de los Licores Salamanca

Casa Claudio , Rúa San Andrés,  A Coruña. With two points of sale in the city, this was the first, inaugurated in 1889 and therefore emblematic store in terms of the sale of oenological and gastronomic products: wines (on 3,500 references), liquors, distillates, canned, sausages, spices, etc. They also schedule tastings.   More here: Casa Claudio A Coruna

La Licoreria De Cuenca,  Avenida de la cruz roja Española, S/N,warehouse and store open to the public where we purchased last in Spain, at Cuenca of course. This last address is off the A-40 ,Autovia de Castilla La Mancha. A place to visit. They have a store in city center at Calle Doctor Alonso Chirino, 9-Bajo ,where you can make your purchases as well. In it you can find a great variety of wines, liquors and delicatessen products. They have 21 years of experience. The webpage is here: http://www.lalicoreria.es/

Hope you enjoy the ride in my beloved Spain, the second most visited country in the world by UN WTO standards.

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

 

February 5, 2019

Grevenmacher and Bernard Massard!

On a day calling for snow, well not seen any yet just a bit of rain and some wind all calm down by now; I like to go into one of  my favorites subject, wines. This time however, will not tell you about French or Spanish wines but those of Luxembourg and especially the sparkling wines of Bernard Massard.

We were vacationing in Germany, and doing some road warrior trips into Luxembourg, we tumble into the town of Grevenmacher and voilà just crossing the Moselle river we stumbled into a nice beautiful building that is the cellars of Bernard Massard. And of course, a visit was necessary lol!

grevenmacher

from Grevenmacher LU ,B Massard over the bridge and Germany

 

They are done in the Champenoise style as he learned the trades there, however, more on what the French call Crémants or a bit more creamy smooth type of “champagne”. We like the smoothness of them and a nice price to match so we not only tasted but purchase several bottles for home which we enjoyed and looking forward to a next visit.

grevenmacher

I like to tell you a bit about the town, very brief.  Grevenmacher is a town and the capital of the canton of the same name in Luxembourg. The city is bounded to the east by the Moselle, a tributary of the Rhine river which also acts as a border with Germany at this point. It is surrounded by well-known forests and vineyards.

My surprise was to find a sparkling wine maker of good quality and better prices in town. This is Bernard Massard,which is open from April 1 to October 31 every day from 9h30  to 18h. Out of season, by appointment only see webpage for contact. We came on regular hours and park right inside the premises.

You announce yourselves and wait in a nice lobby for the tour by a cellarmaster. He comes to pick you up and take you on the lobby showing some historical features of the House of Bernard Massard. Then, you go with him into the cellars, seeing all the production process and  ageing as well as at the end go up to a nice terrace restaurant with lounge chairs to have your tasting and hors oeuvres ,the price I believe if can remember was 7-9 euros per person. You get to try about 3-4 different bottle labels.

grevenmacher

The company was created in 1921 by a Luxembourg Oenologist who learned his craft in Champagne, France named  Jean Bernard-Massard. He led his project in the future by building his beautiful cellar of Grevenmacher on the banks of the Moselle river, these cellars produce sparkling wines in the Champenoise method. The visit of the lower cellars is complemented by the projection of a documentary film on the Grand Duchy, the Moselle river area, the work of the vine and the elaboration of sparkling wines as said.

Bernard Massard exploits in particular the enclosed areas of the rocks which stretches over 18 hectares, in Grevenmacher and Thill Frères which extends over 12 hectares, and Schengen, reputed especially for their Rieslings, Pinot blanc and Pinot Gris. The company is the first family producer of still and sparkling wines from Luxembourg with a total production of nearly 3.9 million bottles. Export wines in more than 20 countries, with a presence in Belgium since its foundation but also in many other markets such as Finland, Canada, Great Britain to name but a few. Total area is  38 ha,with  9 grape varietals, and  6.2 km of underground cellars.

grevenmacher

The historic building of the Bernard-Massard cellars, located in Grevenmacher, in the northern part of the Luxembourg vineyards, houses: a superb winery, ripening cellars, riddling tools, disgorgement and labelling, and ideal premises for organizing of events. Over the decades, Bernard Massard has become the first family manufacturer of sparkling wines from Luxembourg.  With its two partner domains, the Clos des Rochers and the Château Schengen , the company is one of the best producers of white wines of the appellation. In 1921, Jean Bernard-Massard, with the support of Luxembourgish and Belgian wine lovers, also founded a sparkling wine cellar in Grevenmacher, Luxembourg, and built a distinctive wine cellar right on the banks of the Moselle River. The brand Bernard Massard produces sparkling wine from Chardonnay, Riesling, and Cuvées in various flavors. The dry sparkling wine is made in traditional bottle fermentation in the naturally air-conditioned cellars.

grevenmacher

Previously, in 1919, the Luxembourg cellar master Jean Bernard-Massard founded a sparkling wine cellar in the Palais Pillishof, which was first mentioned in documents in 1447.  Thanks to its rococo façade of 1770, this building, in the middle of the city center, is one of Trier’s most important buildings in terms of art history. To this day, Bernhard Massard produces its sparkling wine in the basement vaults of the palace, which dates back to 1270. This is a different legal company of the family there.

grevenmacher

Some webpages to help you plan your visits here and it is worth the detour are

Official Bernard Massard Luxembourg

City of Grevenmacher tourist office

Tourist office of Luxembourg on Grevenmacher vineyards

Tourist office of the Moselle Luxembourg area on Bernard Massard

There you have a nice wine visit and lovely town as well. I had written mostly on the town before in my blog with brief mention of Bernard Massard, but definitively needed a post on its own, worth the visit indeed.

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

 

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