Posts tagged ‘Food and Wine’

November 23, 2022

My memorable restaurants in México !

Well this is a fun update post of a memorable country visits since 1994 and family living. I have been to many restaurants over the years in Mexico, even before blogging and surely some will be missed, forgotten; however, will put the ones that brings the most memories and remembered them .  This is my treat on the Mexican cuisine, over the latter last few years, restaurants in no particular order or place. Of course, they are, also in the individual posts on the occasions, therefore, this will be on my black and white series, no pictures. These are my memorable restaurant in Mexico! Buen provecho !!!

I had gone to the Wing’s Army bar on Insurgentes Sur to see the football/soccer match between the PSG and Bayern Munich as a French team was playing and won 3×0, the ambiance was nice and plenty of good Miller High Life beers by the liter which have been a long time not drank again, this was neat and the Army hamburger great with good company I later came back in the week and it was equally impressive, definitively will be back here. webpage: http://www.wingsarmy.com/mx/

I had another lunch at a great find: Restaurante La Bella Lula , Oaxaqueño style food (Oaxaca) and had a very nice Tasajo de Res con Enfrijoladas with another nice set of local Dos X beers, nice flan dessert to kill for as well. Ah the dish is about four slices of beef with a tortilla spread in black beans soup, delicious! webpage: https://labellalula.com/

El Bajio for my first dinner there, nice place if a bit hurry up to get rid of me lol! The lady kept giving me dishes to try and I keep saying no thank you have enough, endless, but the food panoches, chicharones, and the pork dish with black mole and sauce and drinks were good, bohemia black beers or negra bohemia. webpage: https://www.restauranteelbajio.com.mx/sucursales

After doing some walking around safe in DF! lol! I met some old friends at the Olive Garden in the Patio Universidad shopping;  here with ravioli stuff champignon and a great Trapiche malbec Argentinian wine, coffee nice, great memories. webpage: https://olivegardenmexico.com.mx/

On another night went for TGI Fridays hahaha yes very original , I remember this resto from back in USA and love them. Found them here with a nice big burger and try Victoria and Pacifico beers !! This was ,also, in the Patio Universidad shopping! webpage: http://www.fridays.mx/tufridays.php?idres=6

Hoot hoot anyone? well did stop by at another old timer joint, this one in DF; Hooters another of my old favorites ::) Great Indio beer and nachos snacks with cheese and the action was good with friendly crowd. webpage: https://hooters.com.mx/

El Paisa, a more rustic restaurant in a working class area with a nice second floor terrace, a very nice welcome with lots of Mexicans families there; nice ambiance and great conversation with many. The area is nice around a corner, and serve in the terrace in the back upper level. One of the places to go when you know the area and want to get away from tourists. Here we had more goodies of the Mexican cuisine such as the alambre with meat and cheese melted sort like a pizza but chewy and yummy, pacifico beers and coffee expresso, first we had some chicharones and all good. yelp webpage: https://www.yelp.com/biz/el-paisa-m%C3%A9xico-3

At the corner of Hamburgo and Niza streets, there is El Lugar del Mariachi, its a restaurant with live music pop and mariachis alternatively, and a dance floor !!! This is right smack in tourist central so a bit high price but very good food, secure,and a very good group of musicians playing from pop to bolero to cha cha cha and then a group of mariachi singers playing their songs as well; a very good ambiance with romantic overtones or in family. webpage: https://ellugardelmariachi.com/contacto/

The wonderful Tezka restaurant basque cuisine of Spain and next to the Royal hotel in Amberes street, Zona Rosa close to Chapultepec always good chic reliable international cuisine. The hotel has been my central for many years, and it has an indoor door directly to the restaurant. This one has closed but keep it for the memories of meeting good friends there still in touch. nostalgic reference to it here: https://www.opentable.com/tezka-zona-rosa

Los Panchos in Condesa, Tolstoi 9, Col. Anzures, open Mondays to Sundays from  9h to 22h authentic Mexican food, I try all different dishes from tacos de carnitas, chicharrones, stuffed peppers , etc etc so much food down with agua de jamaica and agua de leche delicious. webpage: Yelp on Los Panchos: https://www.yelp.com/biz/los-panchos-ciudad-de-m%C3%A9xico

The Sanborns,is a chain very popular in Mexico, my old firm used to sell to them and we of course stop there many times to eat and also to buy essentials electronics. Always had a wonderful time eating at the Peña Pobre mall, by Av. Insurgentes sur y Av. San Fernando, its a shopping center with many stores and restaurant ; clothing, electronics , music, gifts are sold here too. It is one of many all over the city, another one I ate was at the Centro Insurgentes Sanborn’s cafeteria  ,Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur 1605.  webpage: https://www.sanborns.com.mx/c/restaurante/

The Gran Leon de Oro restaurant on calle Mercaderes off Insurgentes Sur is wonderful, very business like and refine, service superb and the food delicious, great tacos con lechon (roast pig) and Victoria beer. webpage: https://www.elgranleondeoro.com.mx/

Puerto Lapice, here it was the filete tampiqueño (Tampico) real beef that was the plate with Mexican wine chateau Domecq. Located at Poniente 128 647 ,Azcapotzalco, corner of Norte 45. RestaurantGuru webpage: https://restaurantguru.com/Puerto-Lapice-Mexico-City

 Cambalache, an Argentine jewel small but all kinds of cuts beef that is, at Insurgentes Sur 1384.webpage: https://www.cambalacherestaurantes.com/#insurgentes

Taqueria Senele at Polanco great tacos alambre and taquitos al pastor,,,,calle Leibnitz, Col Anzures, 11590 just at the corner coming out of hotel Camino Real Polanco back door. webpage: http://www.taqueria-selene.com/

I had to have my Spanish even in Mexico! Wonderfully refined great food and wine service of Spain at the Centro Castellano inside the Camino Real hotel,in Polanco. Webpage: https://grupocastellano.com.mx/restaurantes-2/

I had repeated good experiences at the steakhouse Angus Butcher House, Copenhage 31 , this branch is closed but have other branches in the city. Steaks are big, beers are cold, and the ladies are all beautiful ! webpage: https://www.angus.com.mx/

 VIPS cafeteria chain, the one at Insurgentes Sur 1581 and Mercaderes st is very nice indeed. I ate there several times lunch and dinner there as it was near my hotel. webpage: https://vips.com.mx/

This one is in Mexico City at the airport terminal 1 lol! great nachos and bohemia oscura (dark) beer as well as mashed potatoes chili’s . Oh yes the chain is Chili’s of course to remind me of Miami lol! webpage: https://www.mexico-airport.com/restaurants-and-food/terminal-1/chilis-aeropuerto-t1

 Le Pain Quotidien Belgian chain at Insurgentes Sur.  The Roast Beef platter and a Bohemia oscura beer did the trick as well as tartines later on! webpage: https://www.lepainquotidien.com/mx/es/locations/insurgentes/insurgentes-sur-#1630

Another wonderful Argentinian resto with huge delicious burgers Angus beef, while looking the nice world going by is El Diego, Insurgentes Sur 1581. This has closed but keep here for the memories of always. For reference Yelp on El Diego: https://www.yelp.com/biz/el-diego-m%C3%A9xico-2

Café Paris in the Grand Hotel of Tepatitlàn de Morelos, Jalisco, there is an old world ambiance with the hotel rooms decorated with a theme from Europe like I stayed in rooms Napoléon, and Rangel, and ate at the café, upper floor chic nice refined and all made to order. webpage: https://www.grandhotelboutique.com/

I was introduce to the restaurant Don K, in Tepatitlàn de Morelos,Jalisco.  The sport TV all over, the friendly service, good food, good company was all it took; I came back always to eat here!!! It is at Dr. J. Ricardo Alcala Iñiguez 284, Alameda, 47650 Tepatitlán de Morelos. webpage: https://donkrestaurant.com/

A wonderful place for dinner Bistro 77 right in city center of Tepatitlàn de Morelos, Jalisco,near the wonderful Cathedral and kiosk in the park. Wonderful Pulpo beers and pizzas with hot chili mexican here, great tv screens and wonderful friendly service. Cannot confirm if open but keep it for the memories of always. RestaurantGuru webpage: https://restaurantguru.com/Bistro-77-Tepatitlan-de-Morelos

I had a wonderful lunch while watching a football/soccer game France vs Germany, and really this is heaven around you of natural beauty and the food and cold beers was great; a must. Cenote Azul restaurant in Bacalar , Quintana Roo. Yelp on Cenote Azul Webpage: https://www.yelp.com/biz/restaurante-cenote-azul-bacalar

The above is an incredible site of a lake cave up to 90 meters deep great for scuba diving, the resto is on site, the place webpage: https://cenoteazulbacalar.com/

I had my drinks here at Hotel La Laguna in Bacalar ,Quintana Roo gorgeous place with wonderful views of the lake and I was allowed to roam free afterward, the site picture tells it all !! webpage: https://www.lagunabacalarhotel.com/ubicacion#top

In Quintana Roo had lunch as well in Las Tortugas resto in Calderitas just next to Bacalar, along the Bay of Chetumal, wonderful fresh fried fish, fries, sweet bananas, yellow rice, and beers Modelo Especial, nice. Facebook webpage: https://www.facebook.com/LasTortugasCalderitas/

Had lunch on the road at Birreria Chololo with goat meat and beers Indio oscura. An institution in the area, they are at Carretera  Chapala Km 17, Tlajomulco de Zuñiga.Jalisco. Again, cannot confirm if open but here for the memories of always. Yelp webpage: https://www.yelp.com/biz/birrieria-chololo-tlaquepaque 

And yes, sometimes you have to eat at the airport, and my good one there is this one at Wings in the Guadalajara airport. Guadalajara airport is small and nice. airport webpage: https://www.aeropuertosgap.com.mx/en/guadalajara-3/food.html?limitstart=0

I had lunch at Los Bisquets de Obregon , Ecatepec ,Estado de México, local cuisine restaurant with a great cecina steak (salted and dried by means of air, sun or smoke) with mashed potatoes, Mexican rice, and mango/papaya juices. webpage: https://bisquetsobregon.com/restaurante

I went north into the Sonora State at Ciudad Obregon, and had my lunch here at Los Arbolitos de Cajeme . A great mero fish with butter. webpage: https://www.mariscoslosarbolitos.com/#/

There you go folks, I am sure there are others, and perhaps more famous, but these are the ones that were special for the company kept and the good friendship that endures to this day. Again, the city has a world of food and culinary delights to offer for all tastes and pockets. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

November 23, 2022

How about my favorite European beers !!

I like to tackle a special subject that can be travel related too. If reading my blog I am very much into wines , collector, drinker, and amateur lover of the grapes and my god Bacchus ! Certified connasseur by France and Spain. However, I do indulge in other drinks such as beers. For a friendly chat or apéro as we call it in France, sort of a happy hour US or after work UK, we tend to dwell into beers for the better and quicker conversation lol! Therefore, let me write something on my favorite beers, as have done in the past other than Breton, like the Duchesse Anne triple , we drink Belgians, Czech, Irish, or German beers at home and at bars. Of course, while in Spain , we do drink the beers there but only our favorite from Madrid Mahou, and unless in foreign territory we have drank CruzCampo::)

Belgian beers are among the most varied and the most numerous beer collections in the world. They vary from the very popular “pils” to the exclusively Belgian appellations of lambic (spontaneous fermentation), old brunette, red beer or raw beer through the famous Trappists! and other Abbey or seasonal beers.  Since 2016, Belgian beer has been inscribed in the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO under the title: beer cultivation in BelgiumThe Guild of the Brewers of Bruges saw the day in 1308, that of Liège in 1357 and that of Brussels in 1365. In the 16C, the Maison de l’Arbre d’Or  (house of the golden tree) on the Grand-Place in Brussels was bought by the Brewers from the upholsterers. Restored in 1638, the Brewers ‘ House was destroyed during the bombing of Brussels by Marshal Villeroy in 1695. Rebuilt between 1698 and 1707, it is embellished in 1749. After the abolition of the corporations, it was sold as a State property in 1793 under the French occupation. A bit of more recent history, in 1934: the monks of Westmalle brew the first triple, yes! In 1954, the House of Brewers on the Grand Place of Brussels becomes a corporatist house. In addition to the Brewers Guild and the Chevalerie du Fourquet, it houses a brewery museum in the basement (yes very nice). In  2007, was the creation of the Belgian family brewers label bringing together the family Breweries of more than 50 years of existence. Authentic Trappist product at the moment, and six are located in Belgium: West-Vleteren, Westmalle (yes!) , Achel, Rochefort, Orval and Chimay (yes!). We know the doubles of the Trappist abbeys, but also the Sint Bernardus Pater, Maredsous (yes!)  and the Witkap Dubbel. The white beers, this type of beer, aged 400 years ago, had disappeared in the  1950’s, but was revived by Pierre Celis in his brewery in Hoegaarden.

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The Belgian beers tourist site on Belgian beers :https://www.beertourism.com/blogs/belgian-beer

The Guinness  is a dark Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness at St. James’s Gate, Dublin, Ireland, in 1759. It is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide, brewed in almost 50 countries, and available in over 120. The Guinness is a stout, a black beer topped with white foam, known worldwide for its flavor and its special appearance. Guinness is strongly linked to the history of Ireland; it is one of the symbols at the international level. The brand uses a Celtic harp such as that of Brian Boru or Trinity College as part of its visual identity. This 14C harp model is one of the traditional symbols of Ireland since the reign of Henry VIII in the 16C. Guinness used the harp as a symbol in 1862 and then as a logo deposited in 1876. However, it is reversed compared to that of the national coats of arms. This beer is a stout, a type of beer of high fermentation from the beers porter that became famous in the 18C in London. It’s almost black brown color (but which is actually deep red; to be seen in the light) comes from the use for its design of highly roasted malts and roasted barley grains. The cream-colored foam layer that caps the beer is the result of a nitrogen addition during the draught . This latter characteristic poses the difficulty of obtaining an identical flavor and texture between the Guinness pressure and those sold in bottles and cans. In 2016, under the pressure of vegans, Guinness modifies its ancestral recipe; it renounces to use the traditional fish-native bladders to filter and lighten its beer and now uses a new filtration process. their beers are now Vegan, The Guinness draught is the flagship variety of the Guinness range; it is also the best-selling beer in Ireland. The extra stout is a separate range within the Guinness range of beers. Stronger, more “corsed”, with more pronounced bitterness, the extra stout is also exported abroad under the name foreign extra stout.

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The popular beers of Irelandhttps://content.kegworks.com/blog/irish-beer-guide

The German beer (we drink most) originates in the high Middle Ages. For centuries, beer has been part of German culture and gastronomy, and the country is studded of Bierpalast  (“beer Palace”), Biergarten (“beer garden”), Bierstube (“Brasserie”), Bierkeller (“beer cellar”), Bierhaus (“beer house“) and Bierzelt (” beer tent “) found at the many beer festivals.  In Germany there are a large number of types of beers but the immense success of the pilsener  dominating 70% of the market eclipsing many regional varieties, apart from the export and the Weissbier which occupy about 10% of the internal market.  In 736 in Geisenfeld in Bavaria, there is a mention of a fermented beverage based on barley. In 766, mention was made of the oldest beer delivery from Geisingen to the Abbey of St. Gallen (Switzerland). In 974, the first brewing authorization was given by the Emperor Otto II of the Holy Roman Empire to the Church of Liège (Belgium). The Thuringian have a document of 1434 (Wirtshausgesetz) written in Weißensee, which states the only ingredients allowed: water, barley, hops. Decrees in Regensburg in 1453 or Landshut in 1493 prohibit any aromatization except that of hops. In 1842 also arrives from Bohemia, the pilsener which was to be immediately successful. During the recasting of the Biersteuergesetz in 1993, the rules of the former are maintained as a preliminary law of beer and the tax provisions transferred. Now the regulation on the eligible ingredients is no longer valid only for the production of beer in Germany for the German market. Imported beer is not subject to these regulations; and German Brewers can also escape if they produce for export, unless they receive exemptions for special beers. Now the beers still adhering to its principles are classified among the traditional  Lebensmittel  (“traditional foods”) and protected also by European decree. The Reinheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Law)  is in fact the longest existing law ensuring the food quality of a product for health.  The German beers are legally classified according to their densities: Einfachbiere (“simple beers”) , Schankbiere (“consumer beers” at pressure), Vollbiere (” “complete beers”) , representing more than 90% of the production, Starkbiere (‘ strong beers ‘) or Bockbiere .  To which are added two genres apart: Lückenbiere, all beers banned before 1993 under the classification of the time ; Biermischgetränke, variegated drinks or cocktails based on beer and fruit juice, aroma or energizing. The beers are also classified by type or style so very many! Centrally and industrialized in the North, breweries are more artisanal and more localized in the South. Only Bavaria contains half of the 1 300 breweries in the country and 4 000 of the 5 000 beer brands produced. The largest concentration of breweries in the world is located next to  Bamberg, in the upper Franconia region of Bavaria.  The Weihenstephan Abbey founded in 725 holds the oldest brewery still in operation (since 1040).  In 2004 Oettinger dethrone Krombacher (my favorite!) from the top of the biggest breweries Since 1810, the Oktoberfest has been the largest party in the world for two weeks in Munich (invited twice and missed sadly). Almost as well known and famous in Germany, the Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart is also a huge festival. The Deutschen Bieres Tag (“German beer day”) is celebrated on April 23rd since 1994 in honor of the famous Reinheitsgebot law.

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The popular beers of Germanyhttps://www.deutschland.de/en/topic/life/germanys-most-popular-beers

Czech beer has a long and complex history. The first known brewery in the region dates back to 1118. The city of Brno had been recognized for brewing rights as early as the 12C, while the two cities traditionally associated with Czech beer namely Plzeň and České Budějovice, have had a brewery since the 13C. The history of modern beer in the Czech regions (Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia) dates back to the creation of the Pilsner Urquell in 1842 which revolutionized the brewing industry. Previously, Bohemia was famous for its wheat beers, known in Czech under the term “světlé pivo” (light beer), the equivalent of the German “weissbier” or the Belgian “witbier”. Most of the large and medium-sized cities owned at least one brewery. But the largest breweries were in České Budějovice , Plzeň , and Prague. Important breweries were also found in the towns of Rakovník, Žatec  and TřeboňThe two most famous (and most exported) Czech beer brands are Pilsner Urquell, the first and archetype of Pilsner beers and Budweiser Budvar . Other major brands include Bernard, GambrinusKrušovice, Radegast, Starobrno, Staropramen, Velkopopovický Kozel and Svijany. Budweiser beer produced in the Czech Republic (founded in 1795 and having begun exporting to the United States in 1871); American Bud produced in the United States since 1876. In the United States, since 1939, the Czech brewer cannot use the names Bud, Budweis or Budweiser. This agreement signed by Czechs threatened at the time by Nazi Germany leaves a bitter taste, like the beer made in Ceske Budejovice, which had to take the name of Czechvar on the North American continent. A verdict of the European Court of Justice of July 2010 stipulates that Budweiser Budvar beer has the exclusive use of the Budweiser brand throughout the European Union. According to the Czech law, beers are divided into the following categories, regardless of their style and colour: Lehké, a light beer that stands at 8 ° Výčepní, a table beer that is between 8 ° and 10 °  Ležák, a classic Lager beer which is between 11 ° and 12.99 ° premium, for beers exceeding the threshold of 13 °. Originally, Pilsner just meant that the beer was breated in Plzeň. By extension, the term now refers to a pale and hoppy Lager beer. The Czech Beer Festival in Prague is the largest beer Festival in the Czech Republic and is held for 17 days each year in May!. It is possible to taste more than 70 different brands of Czech beers. The Pilsner festival is a two-day beer festival held each year in October by the Pilsner Urquell brewery in Plzeň.

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The original Czech beers :http://www.originalczechbeers.com/

There you go folks, this is a sample of my favorite beers/countries of course they are all over in our world. We just take a few of their beers for personal and family enjoyment, drink in moderation ,it is all for fun as well as keeping the traditions! However, the beers of Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic are all very good indeed!!! Hope you can enjoy them as I.

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

 

 

 

November 23, 2022

The beers of Bretagne and France !!!

Let’s talk about beers in the season to be merrier! Now I like beers too, and have consumed quite a bit of them over the years. As time passes and we gain a few years I tend to turn to the local artisanal beers and away from the industrial ones. This is the case arriving in Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh. I like to update this older post with new text, links and some beer labels.

However, what is a fact and you need to spent some time in the local bars and brasseries of France is that the beer is catching up. I know for a fact in my beautiful Brittany, the beer is king. The biggest tendance is the IPA beer ( India Pale Ale ) a style of beer that is as usual as asking for a mojito.   Almost all the breweries have an IPA. Leffe, was the first one three years ago with the Leffe Royale Cascade IPA. Raw materials and brewing techniques. Experiments and innovations take part in the dynamics of a brand while bringing new flavors. Beer aged in new oak casks or in casks having wine content (Sauternes, Pinot Noir, Meursault), rum, cognac, whisky or calvados. Beers brewed from stale bread, grapes, smoked malt with beech wood, wheat malt (or cheese), rye, buckwheat, oats. Beers flavoured with the addition of plants, fruit, fruit juices, non-alcoholic beers…You name it they are all innovating ideas and surprisingly there are markets for them!

Styles and large families: Lager: A generic term for low, blond, amber, brown, cold and refreshing beers, the most popular being pils, or pilsner. A blond, light, well-hopped beer. Ale (ale means beer): traditional beer from the United Kingdom, high fermentation, light in alcohol. It is available in Pale Ale (Claire), mild (mild), Brown (a bit sweet), bitter (very hoppy, so bitter), Porter (brunette), stout (black, malt-based very roasted barley), barley wine (meaning barley wine, with a lot of malted barley, strongly Alcoholic). Within this family of beers is the India Pale Ale (IPA), rich in very specific hops, with citrus, floral, earthy, fruity aromas…Abbey beer: Beer is named after an abbey but brewing is carried out by an outside brewery. Trappist: Beer brewed in the enclosure of an abbey or under the control and responsibility of the monastic community. Double or triple: Used in Belgium for Abbey Beers in particular, these denominations refer to the strongest beers in alcohol. The double is a dark beer measuring at least 6% alcohol. The triple is a blonde or golden beer that titles between 7.5% and 9%. I have tried the Duchesse Anne Triple 9% from Brittany, and Belzebuth at 8,5% blonde pilsners from the Nord -France. Specialty Beers: Those that are unclassifiable in other families, generally regional beers and high fermentation.

There are three types of beer fermentation, these are:The high fermentation beers : In the brewing, the yeast work at high temperatures between 15C and 25C ( 59F and 77F) transforming the sugars into alcohol and carbonic gas. The low fermentation beers : the yeast work at temperatures between 5C and 12C(41F to 54F).The beers with spontaneous fermentation: the yeasts work in the changing air climates making a natural fermentation putting the malt of the beers in open barrels.  This is the case of the lambics and  gueuzes beers of Belgium.

The best ones for me are the brasseries artisanales or homemade breweries that today are about 1100. This represent 3% of the beer market and to 2020 it will double. In France, the region that consume the most are Normandie, Grand Est, and Bretagne. The Normans drink 81% , Grand Est 79%,and Bretagne 78%. However, France is one of the countries in Europe that consumes less beer per person, in 2017 the brewers association or association Brasseurs de France, they drink 30 liters (about 8 gallons US) of beer per year.  This number is nothing compare with the Czech drinking 144 liters per year, the Germans 107, Austrians 104 liters.  Even if we have 1100 breweries with 3000 beer brands, France is the 8th producer in Europe behind Germany, UK, Spain, and Netherland.

La Cervoiserie began near La Rochelle in 2004 and now has more than 500 references of beers in stores of about 400 m2. They are gear to the « after works » or Happy Hour to from hours of 10h to 20h Mondays to Saturdays.  They are a franchises; we have one in Vannes. La Cervoiserie : https://lacervoiserie.com/les-cervoisiers/vannes/

Another one similar that we go often and buy more is V&B on a similar format as above. The stores has one in Séné, one in Vannes, and Auray. We have tried them all but we are comfortable and friendly with the store in Auray. V&B: https://vandb.fr/v-and-b-auray.html

The brewers association or Brasseurs de France: https://biere-tourisme.fr/brasseries/

Rate Beer ,beer rating worldwide: https://www.ratebeer.com/

Now let me give some names, places, the rest you can find online easy. La Brasserie du Bout du Monde at Rosnoen, Brasserie de Bretagne, at Trégunc; Brasserie des Deux Rivières – Coreff,  at Carhaix-Plouguer; Brasserie Lancelot, at Val d’Oust (Le Roc Saint André), Brasserie Mor Braz, at Theix-Noyalo; Brasserie la goutte d’or, 18éme arrondissement Paris; Brasserie Bière de Meaux at Meaux; and Brasserie de La Vallée de Chevreuse, at Bonnelles.

There you go folks, the beers are all very good, and I will again soon be tasting more in my beautiful Morbihan and lovely Bretagne. Drink with moderation of course, this is culture at its best and enjoy it with friends and or family even better.  Salut!!

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

November 22, 2022

The wines of Portugal ,and then Porto !!

I will talk about the wines of Portugal and especially about Porto. I have tried several Portuguese wines over the years and in Portugal. My best souvenirs have been drinking the porto wines. This post is about them.The wine producing Douro region is the third oldest protected wine region in the world.  In 1756, during the rule of the Marques de Pombal the Companhia Geral da Agricultura das Vinhas do Alto Douro or C.G.A.V.A.D., also known as the General Company of Viticulture of the Upper Douro or Douro Wine Company, was founded to guarantee the quality of the product and fair pricing to the end consumer. I am updating this older post with new fresh text and some of my favorite bottle labels! Hope you enjoy it as I

Port wine  or vinho do Porto (Portuguese) are fortified wines produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It comes in sweet red wine often served as dessert wine although it came come as dry semi dry and white varieties. The wine produced is then fortified by the  addition of aguardente (an eau de vie from sugar cane or grapes) in order to stop the fermentation, leaving residual sugar in the wine, and to boost the alcohol content.  The fortification spirit is sometimes referred to as brandy ,but it bears little resemblance to commercial brandies. The wine is then stored and aged often in barrels stored in a Lodge (meaning “cellar”) as is the case in Vila Nova de Gaia just across in the Douro river ,before being bottled.  Also, in the area around Pinhâo and Sâo Joâo da Pesqueira  considered to be the center of port production, and is known for its picturesque quintas estates clinging on to almost vertical slopes dropping down to the river.

The area is sub-divided into four official zones: the Baixo (lower) Corgo, the Cima (higher) and the Douro Superior. Over a hundred varieties of grapes (castas) are sanctioned for port production, although only five Tinta Barroca, Tinta Câo, Tinta Roriz (tempranillo of Spain), Touriga Francesa, and Touriga Nacional are widely cultivated and used. The Touriga Nacional is widely considered the most desirable port grape but the difficulty in growing it and the small yields cause Touriga Francesa to be the most widely planted grape. White ports are produced the same way as red ports, except that they use white grapes such as Donzelinho Branco, Esgana-Câo, Folgasao, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Rabigato and Viosinho.

Briefly as much as possible , the varieties are Ruby port is the cheapest and most extensively produced type of port. Aged tawny ports (my favorite) are wines made from red grapes that are aged in wooden barrels exposing them to gradual oxidation and evaporation. As a result of this oxidation, they gradually mellow to a golden-brown colour. The exposure to oxygen imparts “nutty” flavours to the wine, which is blended to match the house style. Colheita Port is a single-vintage wine fortified and aged in tawny style for at least seven years. Instead of an indication of age (10, 20, …), the actual vintage year is mentioned. However, Colheita Port should not be confused with Vintage Port : whereas a Vintage Port will spend only about 18 months in barrels after harvest and will continue to mature in bottle, a Colheita may have spent 20 or more years in wooden barrels before being bottled and sold. Garrafeira is an unusual and rare intermediate vintage-dated style of port made from the grapes of a single harvest that combines the oxidative maturation of years in wood with further reductive maturation in large glass demijohns. It is required to spend some time in wood, usually between three and six years, followed by at least a further eight years in glass, before bottling. In practice the times spent in glass are much longer. Reserve port is a premium ruby port approved by the official regulating tasting panel, Rose port is a very recent variation on the market; it is technically a ruby port, but fermented in a similar manner to a rosé wine, with a limited exposure to the grape skins, thus creating the rose color.

Late bottled vintage (or  LBV) was originally wine that had been destined for bottling as vintage port, but because of lack of demand was left in the barrel for longer than had been planned. Crusted port is usually a blend of port wine from several vintages, although single vintage crusted ports have sometimes been made in the past. Vintage port is made entirely from the grapes of a Declared Vintage year and accounts for about two percent of overall port production. Not every year is declared a Vintage in the Douro. Single Quinta Vintage ports are wines that originate from a single estate, unlike the standard bottlings of the port wine houses which can be sourced from a number of quintas. White port is made from white grapes and can be made in a wide variety of styles. Lagrima, meaning “Tears”, is the name for the sweetest style of white Port. When white ports are matured in wood for long periods, the colour darkens, eventually reaching a point where it can be hard to discern (from appearance alone) whether the original wine was red or white.

The drinking of it Porto, like other wines, should be stored in a cool but not cold, dark location (as light can damage the port), at a steady temperature (such as a cellar), with the bottle laying on its side if it has a cork, or standing up if it is synthetic or metal cap.  With the exception of white port, which can be served chilled, porto or port should be served at between 15-20C (59-68F). Tawny port may also be served slightly cooler. I served mine chilled without ice. Once opened, port generally lasts longer than unfortified wine, but it is still best consumed within a short period of time. Tawny, ruby, and LBV ports may keep for several months once opened; because they are aged longer in barrels, these ports have already been exposed to some degree of oxidation. Old Vintage ports are best consumed within several days of opening, but young Vintage Ports can be kept open for several weeks, if not months when very young.

The official  institute of wines of the Douro and Portohttps://www.ivdp.pt/en

The city of Porto tourist office on port winehttps://visitporto.travel/en-GB/savour-port-wine#/

Ok so now let me give some houses to look for them when buying porto as my favorites of course. Easy to look up their webpages online. These are Fonseca, Quinta do Noval , Sandeman, Ramos Pinto (my favorite see pics),Taylor’s , Graham’sCockburn ,Ferreira, and Rozes. 

There you go folks, enjoy the wonderful world of Porto or Port red or white, we drink both but much prefer the red. A world of their own, hoppe you enjoy the post as I. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

November 22, 2022

The Brasserie Paul of Rouen !!!

In my nostalgic saga of my family visits to wonderful places to spent a day in my belle France, I take you this time to Rouen. Who has not heard of Rouen? The gorgeous city in the Seine-Maritime dept 76 of the region of Normandie. We have come here often many times, especially since living closer in Versailles. I have my wonderful memories I like to share and maybe they will become yours too. Hope you enjoy it as I,

This is an update of an older post, Initially we came here from Versailles by car , and once by train from Gare St Lazare in Paris, after getting there from the rive droite station in Versailles, You can do in a day, either way for lunch , and sightseeing, it is worth it, me think,. I like to tell you with a very personal picture about our wonderful memories of the Brasserie Paul of Rouen.

rouen brasserie Paul PF et MF pl cathedrale l oct08

It is located at Place de la Cathédrale ,right diagonally from the Cathedral,  much less ancient than the Cathedral, but just as historic, Brasserie Paul also offers a trip back in time, in the shadow of the memories of Marcel Duchamp who played chess or Simone de Beauvoir, a loyal customer and also Claude Monet, and Apollinaire. Founded in 1911, the oldest brewery in Rouen in activity. The restaurant has kept an old-fashioned charm with its comfortable banquettes, friendly fast service even at lunch with great food and ambiance. You can have croissants in the morning, or dinner out of the opera or cinema. Brasserie Paul offers traditional home-made cooking. The fresh and regional products value the Normandy terroir and Rouen craftsmen, such as the Osmont bakery and the Olivier cheese maker. The years pass but the myth continues!  We tried the house specialty ,apple and camembert turnover with a cider sauce on this occasion,  sublime worth coming back for it, and gladly we did !!. And of course, plenty of Norman cider with great views of the wonderful Cathedral of Rouen! You can’t ask for a better food or spot than this one.

The official Brasserie Paul of Rouenhttps://www.brasserie-paul.com/

The Rouen tourist office on the Brasserie Paulhttps://en.visiterouen.com/brasseries-salad-bars/brasserie-paul-166-en/

My blog roll favorite reviews Yelp on the Brasserie Paul :https://www.yelp.com/biz/brasserie-paul-rouen-2

There you go folks, another dandy in culinary magical France. And of course, you have heard of the Norman hole? trou normande=  a gastronomic custom that consists of drinking a small glass of calvados between two dishes. It must facilitate digestion and restore appetite to guests ! Enjoy it like a true Norman! Be there at Brasserie Paul of Rouen!!

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

November 21, 2022

I bring you back to La Roche Maurice !!

Let me take you to another wonderful off the beaten path site in my lovely Bretagne. However, the locals know it well and we love it even the market.  I have enjoyed the visits to La Roche Maurice in the Finistére dept 29, and I am amazed of the monuments of great architecture and historical value here. Let me update this older post on the Church Parroquial enclosure of St Yves, and the Château in La Roche Maurice. Of course, I have other posts on these but this post will be with additional new pictures in my blog, Hope you enjoy it as I.

The parish enclosure of La Roche Maurice consists of a modest Calvary but an ossuary and a church remarkably characteristic of the Leonardo Renaissance. I am translating from the City page on both as already plenty of history from my library in other posts.

First, the Calvary is formed by three crosses representing the crucified Christ surrounded by two thieves in Henry II costume. The current parish church has replaced a 14C medieval chapel dedicated to Saint-Yves . It was built in the 16C. It was first the trevial ​​church of Ploudiry until 1791. The Rohans ceded the land for free and paid numerous subsidies to help rebuild the church, which lasted nearly half a century. Indeed, the stained glass window in the apse dates from 1589; the south portal would be from 1550, the bell tower, 60 meters high, would be from 1589. It is characteristic of the Leonardo Renaissance with its double gallery and its double chamber of bells. The south portal consists of two twin doors, framed by a Flamboyant Renaissance arcade, in which are nestled the twelve apostles. The stained glass window represents in twenty-one paintings the essential scenes of the passion of Christ. The tympanum is divided into fourteen bellows with the coats of arms of the Rohans and their allies. The work was influenced by Flemish art. Made in 1539, the stained glass was removed and cleaned in 1715; the coat of arms broken during the French revolution was repaired in 1870. Revised in 1937, it was removed and saved from Nazis looting in 1942. It was reassembled from July 11 to 20, 1950 after being stored in Valy-Névez. It is framed on the left by the statue of Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours and on the right by the polychrome group of Saint-Yves between the rich and the poor.

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The rood screen of La Roche Maurice is one of the most beautiful in Brittany. Executed around 1570-1580, in polychrome sculpted oak, it looks like a bridge connecting the two large piers that delimited the choir. This gallery is accessed by a staircase in the right pier. On panels of the gallery, many characters: on the side of the heart, twelve statues in low relief; on the side of the nave, twelve other statues in the round. Above the rood screen stands Christ on the cross, surrounded by the Virgin and Saint John, The external ossuary is a success of the Leonardo Renaissance. The base of this side façade bears a gallery of seven characters, some of which were hammered during the French revolution, symbolizing the various social categories dependent on death, represented at the corner of the southern buttress by a skeleton (the ankou) brandishing a dart and proclaiming: “I kill you all”. At the door of the south gable, we also find another Latin inscription, dated 1640: “Remember, man, that you are only dust”.

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The city of La Roche Maurice on the parroquial enclosure: https://larochemaurice.fr/leglise-saint-yves-et-lenclos-paroissial/

The local Landerneau-Daoulas tourist office on the parroquial enclosure : https://www.tourisme-landerneau-daoulas.fr/sortir-bouger/activites-culturelles-et-patrimoine/patrimoine-culturel/enclos-paroissial-de-la-roche-maurice-5072

The Château de Roc’h Morvan clinging to its rocky outcrop overlooking the Elorn river by 70 meters: it was in the 11C that the viscount of Cornouaille, Morvan, erected it for its strategic defensive position. The medieval castle then passed into the hands of the family of the viscounts of Léon, then that of Rohan, before serving as a prison. It even becomes a quarry for the reconstruction of the town! Find out more about the site at the Heritage House, located at the foot of the castle. You will find some objects from the excavations. Interpretation panels are also installed to guide you in the discovery of this monument with a square dungeon that few buildings of this type have preserved in Brittany.

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The City of La Roche Maurice on the castlehttps://larochemaurice.fr/chateau/

The local Landerneau Daoulas tourist office on the Roc’h Morvan castle https://www.tourisme-landerneau-daoulas.fr/sortir-bouger/activites-culturelles-et-patrimoine/patrimoine-culturel/le-chateau-de-roch-morvan-un-site-fortifie-tout-en-hauteur-6941

And of course, left out from previous posts on La Roche Maurice but we need to eat and so we did grandly at the Auberge du Vieux Château,Rare but will include this personal picture here for reference to the restaurant, It is me and my oldest son, For generations, families from Landerneau and the surrounding area have flocked to the table at the Auberge du Vieux Château, Sadly , I read in local newspaper ,the owners of 33 years are retiring tired of the pandemic covid and the resto is for sale, This was a memorable lunch,indeed. To be continue…

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The official Auberge du Vieux Châteauhttp://aubergeduvieuxchateau.fr/

The RestaurantGuru reviews on the Auberge du Vieux Château: https://restaurantguru.com/Auberge-du-Vieux-Chateau-La-Roche-Maurice

There you go folks, another dandy in my lovely Bretagne. These are great architecture and history of the medieval period with nice views , worth the detour to La Roche Maurice to see the Château de Roc’h Morvan and the Church Parroquial Enclosure of St Yves. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

November 21, 2022

Curiosities of Josselin and Loudéac !!

Going just north of me ,I like to update this older post on pretty Loudéac in pretty Côtes d’Armor dept 22, and awesome Josselin in my beautiful Morbihan dept 56, both in my lovely Bretagne.  We have been to Josselin before that we enjoyed very much; we had time so we ,also,visited Loudéac! I l will post on the tales of two wonderful towns of my lovely Bretagne!

Josselin  has a thousand years of history and home of the noble family of the Rohan.  It is just about 45 km from my house and easy to get there on the road D768.  We headed for Josselin, and found easy parking at the Place d’Alzey right by the Hôtel de Ville or mayor’s office and behind the great Basilica. We did visited the usual wonderful buildings of the City with posts in my blog, such as the Basilica Notre Dame du Roncier, and the Castle of the Rohan, (see posts) as well as the new look at the Chapelle de la Congrégation as it is more popular known today. 

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We did had time of course to eat and shop here always lovely. We re visit the Le Guethenoc restaurant ,11 Place Notre Dame, just facing the side of the Basilica Notre Dame du Roncier. It is our central place for eating here, and we had  pizza guethenoc, omelette jambon fromage, tagliatelles bolognaise, hamburger Rital ,omelette italienne, drinks for Leffe beers and expresso coffees all for less than 16€ per person, nice in a wooden house, very good nice service, and good local food (my sons going in on pic). The official Le Guethenoc:  http://www.restaurant-guethenoc.fr/

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We, also, did some shopping as usual across from the restaurant and in front of the Basilica at the Le Feu d’Or souvenir store. Loaded with Breton motifs in celtic décor and this time my sons went for the rings with Celtic dragons motifs. 20€ silver. You will find almost…everything here to take home too! City of Josselin on Le Feu d’Orhttps://www.josselin.com/professionnels/le-feu-dor/

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As we finished too early to get back home, I decided to show my family one of my old business haunts in my Brittany, and we headed for Loudéac, along the D778, this is Gallo language territory not Breton. We came back for more later on and have several posts on it; for now was just an introduction.

The main rue de Notre Dame is a nice artery with plenty of shops and restos, as well as a rather nice Hôtel de Ville or city/town hall with a bell on top. This is Loudéac, my business trips took me here and stayed at the very nice Hôtel des Voyageurs ,part of the local Brit chain of very good local classic hotels. This one is recommended and the restaurant is nice too as well as underground parking! It gives you a good central location to see inland Brittany very nicely.

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The city of Josselin on its heritage:https://www.josselin.com/decouvrir/josselin-et-son-patrimoine/

The Broceliande local tourist office on Josselin: https://www.broceliande-vacances.com/en/discover/our-must-haves/the-canal-from-nantes-to-brest/the-towns-and-villages-along-the-canal/josselin-a-thousand-year-old-city/

The city of Loudéac on its heritage/historyhttps://www.ville-loudeac.fr/listes/histoire-et-patrimoine/

The Côtes d’Armor dept 22 tourist office on Loudéac: https://www.cotesdarmor.com/a-voir-a-faire/patrimoine/villes-et-villages-classes/les-autres-villes-et-villages/loudeac/

There you go folks, a nice road warrior trip with the family. And we came home zipping along the D700 then the D768 ,to our home and comfy with goodies to eat and drink and thinking where to go next lol! Hope you enjoy the post and the combination of Josselin and Loudéac, as I.

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

November 20, 2022

The wines of my Tenerife !!!

Ok so let me tell you a bit about a loving subject of mine and my deep roots. I will tell you a bit on the history and wineries of my beloved grandparents home of Tenerife. The story is a condense article out in the El Mundo newspaper of Madrid on the wines of Tenerife. My grandparents on both father and mother’s side used to tell me that their wine may be sour but it is our wines! Well, they have improved enormously over the years and now they are very good indeed. Hope you enjoy the story on the wines of my Tenerife as I. 

The absence of phylloxera has allowed to preserve more than 80 vine varieties, many of them endemic, nonexistent in other lands. That makes it possible to name the lucky wines. The importance is not the years of the vineyard but the quality with which the vineyard is worked; The braided cord in La Orotava; the glasses in Vilaflor, in Güímar and in Santiago del Teide; the trellises in Ycoden; the low grapevines in Tacoronte; the free system (margullón) in Taganana … But the most important thing is that our vineyards are not born from the nursery, they are planted either from my neighbor or from the same vineyard, in this way the genetic material of each zone is the same for five centuries !

For centuries the vine is also one of the main crops of the island. The vineyard came to Tenerife with the first Europeans in the 15C,more precisely in 1497, when  the Portuguese Fernando de Castro planted the first vineyard on the soil of Tenerife, attracted by the fertility of its volcanic soils. Little suspect then that their crops would be the beginning of a whole wine culture that remains today. In 1985, the first denomination of origin was born that is granted to the island, more specifically to the wines of Tacoronte-Acentejo, which drives the wine sector in Tenerife again and since then it has become an indispensable part of its agriculture. Here it is produce wines with aromas and special flavors that are the ideal companion for the dishes of Tenerife’s cuisine. It is a question of elaborations of great typicity, result of the volcanic and atlantic character of Tenerife. The Island has five distinct wine regions: Tacoronte-Acentejo, Ycoden-Daute-Isora, Valle de la OrotavaValle de Güímar, and Abona. In these areas, the rich volcanic soil in which the vines are grown gives them a special character and different nuances. A special mention deserves the wine made with the Malvasia grape. Its demand during the  16-17C was incessant on the part of Europe and the main royal houses of the continent tasted it with assiduity. Even William Shakespeare or Walter Scott talked about them in some of  their works.  And many others came to taste in addition to the latter two were  Herman Melville, Lord Byron or Robert Louis Stevenson; with him they surely celebrated the victories, and tried to drown their defeats, Captain James Cook, Admiral John Jervis and the navigator Horatio Nelson. There are historians who point out that Malvasia was raised in Tenerife and not in Madeira with which Benjamin Franklin offered the signing of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

In Tenerife you can find different ways of growing the vine depending on the region and the type of grape. In the region of Tacoronte-Acentejo, the low parcels (0.80 mts) prevails, supported by forklifts anchored to the ground. In the Valley of La Orotava, on the other hand, highlights the laborious braid or drag system. In the Ycoden-Daute-Isora region you can find several systems, such as trellis, irregular vase or low vine, and more recently trellis cultivation. In the south of the island by Guimar  the low parcels predominates supported on pitchforks in the perimeter of the plots, while in the higher areas (such as Vilaflor, in the county of Abona, or the Pelados de Güímar) can be found crops with vase driving .

One of the keys to the success of the Tenerife wines are the different native varieties of pre-phylloxera vine that are grown on the island, which can not be found in the rest of the country. Listán Blanco, Malvasía, Gual, Albillo Criollo, Vijariego, Moscatel, Marmajuelo and Verdello are the grapes used to make white wines, while the rosés and red wines come from the Listán Negro, Negramoll and Tintilla grapes. The Malvasía grape stands out in white. It is an especially aromatic berry, one of the oldest known, and which was already used in the past to make Canarian wines so appreciated in Europe. It is a different strain to the one elaborated in the rest of Spain or in Lanzarote and reaches in these latitudes all its quality and potential of expression. The Listán Negro variety, very resistant and vigorous, is recognized by its medium size and dark color clusters, produces aromatic and fruity wines of great typicity. The Negramoll grape is also very appreciated for transferring a velvety touch to the wines.

The first wines produced in Tenerife were white. Malvasia wine production was, for several centuries, the main economic engine of the island of Tenerife. Their quality and taste made them one of the most sought-after in the world, especially in Europe: In the Old Continent, these famous wines known as Canary Sack were highly valued. Especially appreciated are the dry whites made with white varieties Listan Blanco, Albillo, Verdello etc. and even Malvasia, as well as mono-varietals either in mixture or blend  between them. Although the rosé wines of Tenerife enjoy a careful production, this is less than in the case of white and red wines.

White wines are the star of the wine production of the Valle de Güímar Designation of Origin, since they account for 80% of the production. Its color presents tones between pale yellow and straw, even golden, and is characterized by a fresh and fruity taste. The aroma of these white wines is medium intensity, with touches of fruit and fresh grass. Rosé wines are highly appreciated for their aroma of red fruits, while red wines are recognized for their earthy notes. Other varieties are the sweet wine, with hints of honey; sparkling wines with a very fine bubble and persistent crown, slightly acidic; and needle wines with notes of nuts and slightly spicy. The Valley of Güímar Designation of Origin covers the town of: Arafo Candelaria (paternal grandpas from here !!) ; and Güímar. My family background from grandparents and older generations! The denominations of origin are the best wines from the regions of Abona, Tacoronte-Acentejo, Valle de Güímar, Valle de La Orotava and Ycoden-Daute-Isora holding this distinction. They benefit from the richness of the volcanic soils of Tenerife, the excellent Atlantic climate of the island and the care and professionalism with which they are made.

Some of my best Bodegas and wines from my dear Tenerife are:

The first Canarian wine scored with 97 points in Robert Parker’s guide is Táganan parcel Margalagua 2017, The Táganan from the Margalagua plot is born in red basalt soils, it is an elegant, complex, saline, deep wine. In the limestone soils, more structured wines are born, elegant, with depth; in the vertical granite, longer than wide, with lower middle palate, direct; in basalt soils they are direct, fresh towards the end of the mouth and the wines of the sandy volcanic soil are … We have very young soils in Taganana: they are from two to three million years old. Maybe a Listán Negro grape because it is a well adapted variety and is the one that best expresses the soil in the Canary Islands and is the most widespread.webpage: http://www.josepastorselections.com/envinate.html

Bodegas Monje (the best) try their Listan Negro or Dragoblanco Seco (dry). The winery occupies 17 hectares of a beautiful estate of stony but very rich soil, fruit of the volcanic action and its strains grow on the slope of a hill facing the Atlantic Ocean, so that its grapes directly receive the sea breeze and the rays of the Sun almost permanently creating a perfect microclimate for the maturation of the strains. Visiting Bodegas Monje is an unforgettable experience because, in addition to producing magnificent wines, its structure responds to this cultural concept in the broadest sense of the word. Along with large stainless steel tanks where they ferment the wines, other artistic manifestations coexist in full harmony with the wine. More than 60 barrels of American and French oak, some with more than 200 years, alternate with scenic spaces where poetry, literature, theater or music are part of the life of the winery. There is also a fine restaurant and combi of tapas and glass of wines for tastings. webpage: https://bodegasmonje.com/

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Comarcal de Guimar or  Sociedad Agrícola de Viticultores or  Agricultural Society of Viticulturists created in 1989. The winery was built in 1993 and a year later the Brumas de Ayosa and Pico Chomarcial brands were created, with a range of dry and simian, pink and red whites. The surface of the vineyards is more than 1,500 hectares, located between 200 and 1,500 meters high. Its excellent Sparkling Wines stand out. Webpage currently in maintenance: http://bodegavalledeguimar.com/

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Bodegas Insulares de Tenerife.  The winery has 660 viticultural partners from the Tacoronte-Acentejo region. The red wines or Tintos are made with the Canarian varieties Listán Negro (95%) and Negramoll (5%) The whites: the harvest is done since the end of August. They are made with the Listán Blanco variety, with soft pressing of the whole clusters. The rosés are made with the Listán Negro variety. After six hours of cold maceration, a gentle pressing is carried out. Webpage: https://www.bodegasinsulares.es/index.aspx

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More information on the wines of Tenerife are to be found in

The Casa del Vino or house of winehttps://www.casadelvinotenerife.com/en/

The Repsol Guide (the Michelin of Spain) on Tenerife wines, especially those Benjamin Franklin toast to celebrate the signing of the US Independance! https://www.guiarepsol.com/es/comer/vinos-y-bodegas/vinos-de-tenerife-denominaciones-de-origen-y-bodegas/#

The official Tenerife tourist office on its wineshttps://www.webtenerife.co.uk/tenerife/gastronomy/wines/

There you go folks,hope you now have a grasp of the wonderful world of the Tenerife wines as view from a wine enthusiast and local point of view. Hope you get to taste and enjoy the wines of Tenerife!

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

November 20, 2022

The wines of Vouvray !

I was recently on a road warrior tour of the Centre Val de Loire region and got me a bottle of this delicious Vouvray. It made me come back to update this older post on the wonderful wines of this area. I have been to Vouvray an exquisite wine indeed.  I like to tell you a bit more on the wines of Vouvray !

The region of Touraine is a sub region of the Loire valley and has a large known production of Pétillant and Sparklers call Mousseux done in red, white ,and rosé as well. The names are Vouvray, Vouvray Mousseux, and Vouvray Pétillant. I like them all ! Vouvray is a white wine of AOC status produced around Vouvray, in the department 37 of   Indre-et-Loire in the Centre-Val de Loire region of my belle France.

This vineyard is located on the right bank of the Loire river, in the middle of Touraine, east of  the city of Tours. The Vouvray appellation area covers eight towns in the Indre-et-Loire dept 37 such as Vouvray, and the neighboring towns of Chançay, Noizay, Reugny, Rochecorbon, Sainte-Radegonde-en-Touraine (attached to Tours in 1964), Vernou-sur-Brenne , and part of Parçay-Meslay.  The Vouvray vineyard was created by the monks of the Marmoutier monastery  founded in 372 by Saint. Martin. During the 14C part of the wine-growing terroir of Vouvray belonged to the kings of France who made these wines serve at their table.

The AOC Vouvray was recognized by a decree of the INAO (national body that regulates the wine industry in France) in 1936 . It was a Champagne gentlement, Mr. Maurice Hamm, whose family was a native of the village of Aÿ in the vineyards of Champagne area in the department 51 of the Marne, which, before WWII, brought the Champagne method of winemaking to Vouvray. He made the still white wine from Vouvray, a world-renowned sparkling wine. The use of the Chenin as main varietal and that of Orbois (also called “menu pineau “) in accessory variety. However, it seems that the Orbois intervenes only exceptionally today in the composition of Vouvray wines.

Still white wine can be drunk in its early youth. Preserved for a few years, it will give off aromas of coing and acacia. Vinified in sparkling, the Vouvray expresses the typicality of its terroir by its lightness and finesse. A less advanced foam intake gives a pétillant wine, a local specialty. These effervescent undergo a second fermentation in the bottle. Before being marketed, these wines must lie on slats for at least twelve months The white wines of Vouvray can accompany: appetizers, cold cuts, crustaceans, fried small fish, cheeses, seafood, cakes, fish in sauce or grilled, white meats in sauce, grilled or roasted, poultry in sauce or grilled. There are many family and independent vineyards, the average structure of the farms is 16 hectares.

The best in my opinion over the years of drinking them are the  Domaine Huet, L’Échansonne ,Domaine du Clos Naudin,  of Philippe Foreau , Domaine des Aubuisières , Caves Rougebec , Jean-Louis Rougebec, and the Cooperative Cave of Vouvray.

The Coop Cave de Vouvray is the cooperative of winegrowers and traditional know-how for 60 years. From this alliance are born the finest fine bubbles Vouvray and the still wines of Vouvray. The guide will accompany you through ther 3 km of cellars’ galleries and will deliver the secrets of the wine making. A commented and convivial tasting will be offered to you and you will be able to discover the shop and let yourself be tempted by the regional products and the cellar items. The Cave des Producteurs de Vouvray is located in the town of Vouvray,  about 28 km from Chenonceaux (town) along the D140 road . This agricultural cooperative is made up of 43 AOC Vouvray winegrowers who manage around 350 hectares of vines. Different spaces: boutique space (sale and wine tasting), Cooperage Museum space (exhibition of objects + projection of a film “The four seasons of the vine”), accessible by a staircase or a gently sloping secondary access , cellars dug in the tufa – 2 km (accessible only by guided tour), hangar dedicated to disgorging and dressing of bottles, inaccessible to people in wheelchairs,but compensated by the viewing of a film in the accessible projection room.  Here you can buy from all properties at their store. The Coop is very convenient because in addition to their wines you can buy the wines of others in the area and load up home like we do!! The official Coop Cellars of Vouvray: https://cavedevouvray.com/?lang=en

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Other helpful webpages to help you understand and enjoy the wines of Vouvray are:

The wines of Vouvrayhttps://www.vinsdevouvray.com/

The Val de Loire wines on Vouvrayhttps://www.vinsvaldeloire.fr/en/wine/vouvray

The Montlouis-Vouvray tourist office on winerieshttps://www.tourisme-montlouis-vouvray.com/your-stay/food-drink/visits-to-cellars-and-vineyards/

There you go folks, you are now armed and dangerous to be knowledable on the wines of Vouvray and do enjoy them , they are sublime. Especially while in the area tops! 

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

November 20, 2022

Wines news of France XXXVII !!

Well, we are right into mid Fall season , and November 2022 ,is coming along fine, the temps are warmer so say the so call experts. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wines news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! 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. I have taken several old posts into one for the memories’ sake. Hope you enjoy it as I.

This is just in and need to have it here ,update: The sale of wines from the Hospices de Beaune, the oldest charity auction in the world, once again broke a record on Sunday (today) , an emblematic cask reserved for the cause of children winning 810,000 euros. The recipe for this “piece”, as a cask is called in Burgundy, was this year reserved for the Princess Margot and Vision du Monde children’s aid associations. The 228 liter cask (288 bottles) was sold for 810,000 euros (excluding costs), beating by a hair the previous record set last year, at 800,000 euros. The proceeds from the other batches are intended for equipment and the renovation of the four hospitals and six nursing homes, i.e. a thousand beds, which are currently grouped together by the Hospices Civils. The latter do not receive any aid from the State for these expenses, which are therefore entirely financed by the vines given to the Hospices since their foundation in 1443. The official Hospice de Beaune : https://www.hospices-de-beaune.com/

At the Chateaux Grand Launay and Haut Lorettes in the south-west of France, pruning shears and machines are running at full speed for the harvesting of the reds. Most are reporting will make a great vintage, thanks to a very hot summer. We are, in France, one of the regions that has evolved the most technical and environmental in the last ten years, and the range of 5-15 euros, Bordeaux is unbeatable in quality . But we have no clear message ! vis-à-vis the consumer, lamenting the image hyper traditional Bordeaux. Indeed there are lots of properties in Bordeaux little known or hard to know that produces top wines at affordable prices! I am next to the Salon Gastronomique et vins of Vannes Nov 2022. Very good properties and affordable there indeed!

Do you know the wines of Tavel? Many years ago were my introduction to French rose wines! They were qualified at the time of kings of roses, a reputation that still precedes them today, as its wines astonish by their richness and complexity. It is a magnificent, powerful and generous wine, deep pink, revealed by the typicality of its terroir and the variety of grape varieties, from which it draws its floral and fruity aromas on the palate. With age, it develops shades of red fruits, grilled almonds and spices, far from the usual simplicity of the rosés of our aperitifs. webpage: http://www.vin-tavel.com/fr/l-appellation-tavel/appellation-aoc

From one vintage to another  to be or not to be considered Cru Bourgeois. The handicap is more or less important according to the notoriety of the property. It’s a bit complicated to understand.  A  Cru Bourgeois can be a year and not be the next one, to appear or not in the official selection for a given vintage, the following or the preceding one. Either because it chose not to compete at all and did not submit samples in year N, but may review its choice the following year; either because the samples presented did not convince the jury on this vintage; either because it has unfortunately not disposed of the volume required to compete (harvest amputated by frost or hail …). Life is never so simple even in the wine business! The rule will therefore change with the next classification since the label will be issued for 5 years. To be or not to be considered  Cru Bourgeois from one vintage to the next, the handicap is more or less important according to the notoriety of the château.  In 2003, Chasse-Spleen was distinguished “cru bourgeois exceptionnel” and Gressier Grand Poujeaux “cru bourgeois superiéur”. The classification was split in 2007. Result, Chasse-Spleen has slammed the door of the crus bourgeois, Gressier Grand Poujeaux remained, but not for all vintages. Now presented as the wine produced by Chasse-Spleen,  the cuvée  sold directly by the property and online via the market place, it does not really need the umbrella “cru bourgeois”.

These are just some of my favorites in a condense write up ok. Château Le Crock(Saint-Estèphe); Château Lilian Ladouys (Saint-Estèphe); Château Paloumey (Haut-Médoc); Château de Taillan(Haut-Médoc);Château Bel Air Gloria (Haut-Médoc);Château Lamothe-Bergeron (Haut-Médoc); Château Malescasse (Haut-Médoc).;Château Fourcas-Borie(Listrac-Médoc);and Château Haut Breton Larigaudiére(Margaux). You won’t go wrong with any.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte: Today, the Union of Cooperatives located in Chouilly (Marne) Associates 4 500 winegrowers for a surface of 2 100 hectares and 10.4 million of bottles produced. Which puts the mark, in terms of volume, just behind Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot. Today, 40% of our volumes are destined for the international market. They would like to achieve parity with the French market, i.e. 6 million bottles sold in France and 6 million elsewhere, and that’s within five years.  They have great margins of progress in the United States, where they are imported and distributed by the group Ste Michelle. They benefit from its network. In addition, they have signed a three-year partnership with the Canadian company Cirque du Soleil last May. We are now their official supplier in the US and Canada. They are already the preferred brand of the French, as confirmed by several studies carried out by the Nielsen group. Indeed they are all over the supermarkets !!

Nothing so surprising about these Cistercian lands overlooking the three villages of Aloxe-Corton, Ladoix-Serrigny and Pernand-Vergelesses, in Côte-d’Or (21). Among the many owners, the Maison Louis Latour alone has about twenty hectares, a continent on the scale of Burgundy. Aubert de Villaine, also co-owner of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Vosne-Romanée, has invested heavily in recent years, with three parcels and a closing contract, for a total of about 6 hectares. The Burgundian family Méo-Camuzet is also present today in Corton, like the Freys who bought the château of Corton-Andre, renamed Corton C, Patrick Landanger of the Domaine Pousse d’Or and others. Thus, 20% of the Corton-Charlemagne appellation has changed hands over the last twenty years!!

Among the great villages of the Côte de NuitsMorey-Saint-Denis is undoubtedly the most unknown or even the most misunderstood of the wine aficionados. The story explains much of this disaffection: until the 1960’s, the wines of Morey-Saint-Denis were bought by the traders of Côte de Nuit and Beaune to assemble them with wines of Chambolle-Musigny or Gevrey-Chambertin, better known and easier to market. Another significant element, the absence in the village of Morey-Saint-Denis of large historical family property, pioneer of bottling at the Morey-Saint-Denis estates has taken on its neighbors a delay of notoriety that the town still behind, All of these considerations deserve to be reviewed. Modest in area with 133.53 hectares of vines, the name of Morey-Saint-Denis is not lacking in advantages thanks to five Grands crus: Clos de Tart, Clos de la Roche, (which has added its names to that of the town), Clos des Lambrays, and Bonnes-Mares, mainly located on Chambolle-Musigny, but a small part of it is included in Morey-Saint-Denis. These five Grands Crus pass through the town, from the south to the north, glorious succession of exceptional terroirs in the middle of the hill.Therefore, try them more and you will be delighted.

With skewers of poultry; the ideal, is the red wines of the Loire Valley type Sancerre or Saumur-Champigny  (love it) which give the response to poultry with their fruity, their vegetable tip but also a characteristic sour freshness. But the Burgundy red wines such as the Mercurey or the Beaujolais wines also lend themselves to the game of concordance with this type of food.  Lovers of white wines and skewers that mix poultry, lemon and vegetables will turn to a little fleshy cuvées; Meursault, Pouilly-Fuissé, white wines from the Massif de La Clape. With grilled fish, try the rosés Provencal, the white wines of Cassis, those of the range of Ballet or Corsica enjoy the company of a bar or a grilled sea bream. And with sardines? Prefer the rosés of Roussillon, like those of Collioure powerful, with aromas of red fruits. The rosé, color of summer, is also the wine of the Grill par excellence! Prefer those who possess matter and density such as the rosés of Tavel, a rosé Bourgueil or a Marsannay.  There you go from 45 years of wine drinker, collecting, selling, and diploma guy from France and Spain. Enjoy it !!!

A great men of wine I have followed for several years and enjoyed his wines is Bernard Magrez, owner of four Grands Crus Classés in Bordeaux, and about 40 other domains in the world. Taking aim at developing new vineyards and also to take position in new territories. He had purchased the Château de Sartre and its 33 hectares in the appellation Pessac-Léognan. The castle was owned by the Perrin family, and produces 140000 bottles two thirds red and one third white each year. Now, it will allow Bernard Magrez to offer a complete line of Pessac-Léognan wines of high quality such as Château Pape Clément, Clémentin, the second wine and now Château Le Sartre . This latest purchase will allow a domaine of land of 54 hectares in the Haut-Médoc bordering his other property the Château La Tour Carnet that has itself 180 hectares. The idea is to increase the production of the second wine of La Tour Carnet. He had also made an acquisition of a property of 1,5 hectares in Pomerol as well to add to his portfolio which includes one hectare of Châteauneuf-du-Pape as well as a sign promise to developed wine in the country of Georgia. Webpage: https://bernard-magrez.com/en/bernard-magrez-2/

Tom Sullivan , an American story in purchasing the Château Gaby in Fronsac just over the Médoc in Bordeaux. The vineyards descend to the Dordogne river. There he and his wife owns a mansion that they enjoy spending time in . In little time Mr Sullivan has acquired four properties there, The Château Gaby appellation Canon Fronsac, also Château Moya appellation Castillon côtes de Bordeaux, Château du Parc, appellation Saint Emilion Grand cru and Auguste appellation Bordeaux Supérieur all in bio, He finds the wines from Napa very tannic and pre fabricated so he turns to France and especially the Bordeaux. Today, 90% of his 320K bottles are produce in his properties in France and the wines are exported with good recognition in the USA especially on the west coast but also in Miami and New York. Webpage: https://www.chateaugaby.com/our-wines

But those who continue to appreciate a good bottle, and there are more and more of them, especially in Paris; no longer hesitate to push the door of one of the 600 or so Parisian cellars shops, almost a quarter of wine merchants have developed their bar. wine and more than 60% offer delicatessen products. La Grande Épicerie du Bon Marché cellars has a clientele 80% Parisians. True national pride, wine is above all a marker of the strong identity of French gastronomy, especially in Paris. What comfort the 87% of Parisians who drink wine in restaurants (against 81% for all of France), but who find the wines too expensive. It must be said that, according to Statista, wines are 26% more expensive in gourmet restaurants in Paris than in the rest of France, and 15% in independent restaurants and bistros. (Of course Paris carries a price!)

An effort to revive the first vineyard in France which had some 42,000 hectares at its peak in the 18C, before completely disappearing after WWII. The numbers are: 14,363 cafes and restaurants were identified in Paris in 2017, which represents 61.3% of Ile-de-France establishments (Source: CCI de Paris Île-de-France). 604 wine merchants are established in Paris, i.e. + 11% between 2014 and 2017 (Source: CCI of Paris Île-de-France). 8,800 bars and restaurants in Paris have an IV license, which allows them to sell alcohol (Source: CCI de Paris Île-de-France). 8.84 restaurants per 1,000 inhabitants in Paris far ahead of Lyon (5.62), Bordeaux (6.77) or Marseille (5.22) (Source: CCI de Paris Île-de-France). 5.40 euros average price of a glass of wine in a restaurant or an independent bistro in Paris. An amount which rises to 9.10 euros in a gourmet restaurant (Source: OpinionWay for Wine Paris). 52% of wine consumers in Paris consider themselves to be enlightened amateurs  (Source: Wine Paris). 250 sommeliers are members of the Paris and Île-de-France Sommeliers Association.

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

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

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