Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bocuse d'Or 2011 Winner Is Rasmus Kofoed


2011 Winner of Bocuse d'Or, Photo Francis Mainard

Read More on Local Food And Wine

(23-24 January 2011) Lyon, France  Rasmus KOFOED, representing DENMARK, has won the Bocuse d’Or 2011 trophy and €20,000 in prize money. 

Second place, Bocuse d’Argent  : Tommy MYLLYMÄKI, representing SWEDEN, won the Silver  Bocuse trophy 2011 and €15,000 in prize money. 

Third place, Bocuse de Bronze : Gunnar HVARNES, representing NORWAY, won the Bronze Bocuse trophy 2011 and €10,000 in prize money. 

Competing entry at 2011 Bocuse d'Or Competition. Photo Francis Mainard.

Several special prizes were also awarded: - Prize for the ‘Best Commis’, awarded by the Bocuse d’Or Winner’s Academy: Kinari KOYAMA, Commis to Tatsuo NAKASU, JAPAN  - Special ‘Fish’ prize: Franck GIOVANNINI, SWITZERLAND - Special ‘Meat’ prize: Jérôme JAEGLE, FRANCE - Prize for the best promotional campaign: GUATEMALA - Prize for the best Poster, as selected by visitors via the internet website:

SPAIN As part of the Sirha 2011 trade exhibition, performing in dedicated contest kitchens facing the public at the heart of the brand new Paul Bocuse hall, 24 chefs from all regions of the planet took up a major challenge: that of preparing within 5.35 hours, during an extraordinary show, two perfect dishes using the official products of the Bocuse d'Or 2011: Scottish lamb for the meat dish and Monkfish, Crab and Scottish Langoustine for the fish dish.  

To judge the 24 candidates, the jury was composed of 24 influential chefs who are emblematic of each country represented, under the aegis of 3 exceptional presidents:  Paul Bocuse, President Founder, Yannick Alleno, Honorary President (3* Chef at the Meurice, Silver Bocuse 1999) and  Geir Skeie, President of the International Jury (Bocuse d’Or 2009)





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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Win Tickets To Taste The World Vancouver

Save the date - February 22nd - because Vancouver Foodster is presenting their first ever Taste The World event in Vancouver. The foodie site, started almost a year and a half ago by Richard Wolak, is designating an evening to give Vancouverites even more of a chance to taste their diverse food cultures all in one place.

Win Tickets To Taste The World Vancouver! Click HERE!

Jason Browne, Alisha Mann, Roger Collins, Richard Wolak, Chef Culin David (from L to R)

Vancouver Food And Wine

From Foodster...

On February 22nd we will be presenting Taste The World at Venue on Granville Street at 6pm.

Let your taste buds travel the globe with Vancouver Foodster and AM Ventures. Local restaurants represent 6 cities across the world to bring you interesting flavors, traditional decor and lots of entertainment all here in the heart of Vancouver’s downtown. Your food passport includes 6 mini-courses from each of the 6 unique restaurants. If you enjoy wine, get the food and wine passport combination and sample 6 flights of wine paired for your enjoyment.

The Restaurants that span the world include:

Atithi – (India)

Bentons Cheese – (France)

Calabash Bistro (Carribean)

Charm Modern Thai (Thailand)

Dona Cata (Mexico)

Fresh Local Wild (New York)

Participants can purchase a “Food & Wine Passport” to visit all regional tasting stations and enjoy wine pairings while DJs spin and live music plays on stage. Win two Food & Wine Passports (value $95 each)! 

For a chance to win tickets to the Taste The World Vancouver event, go to




Vancouver Food And Wine

Okanagan Food And Wine

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Behind Mouton Rothschild's Chinese Label

By Jane Anson

Read More on New Bordeaux, Jane's Blog

As has been widely reported, Chateau Mouton Rothschild last week confirmed that its wine label for the 2008 vintage has been produced by a Chinese artist - namely Xu Lei, artistic director of Today Art Museum, Beijing’s leading contemporary art gallery, and a graduate from the prestigious Nanjing Academy of Fine Arts.


I wrote the story for Decanter ( ) but thought I would go into a little more detail about how the artists are selected, and why Mouton is very much not jumping on the 'must get to China' bandwagon'.

Most importantly, the label was not chosen by the management committee of Mouton, but entirely by Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, as she does every year - and as of course her father did before her. I spoke with her on Saturday (by telephone) about her selection process, and she is very clear about her reasoning. 'I would never put an artist on the label unless I very much like their work, that is first and foremost my reasoning for selecting an artist. For this year, I was helped by the very charming Michael Goedhuis (an art dealer based in London and New York who specialises in Asian contemporary art www.goedhuiscontemporary.comwho suggested several suitable artists to me, and I made the decision from there.'

It is worth pointing out that this is not the first time Mouton Rothschild has featured a Chinese artist on the label . Way back in 1996, before many of the classified growths of Bordeaux were even clocking up their Cathay Pacific airmiles getting over to Hong Kong and China, Baroness Rothschild asked renowned Chinese calligropher Gu Gan to create the label.

Mouton Rothschild bouteille 1996 HR

Gu Gan has several works on display in the British Museum, and several of his paintings are reflections on the political and economic reforms in China over the past few decades. He now lectures on modern Chinese calligraphy and is president of the Society of Modern Calligraphy and Painting. During a long period spent in Europe, he visited Mouton in 1996 and created, in the Baroness' words, 'a beautiful, rather sombre calligraphic label. I felt, 15 years ago now, that it was the right time to ask a Chinese artist.'

The 2008 label by Xu Lei is a figurative reworking of the classic Mouton emblem with a delicate ink drawing that depicts the famous ram standing between two halves of the moon. 'I like that is is figurative and abstract' said Baroness Rothschild. 'You can't be sure exactly what he wanted to express, and that gives it a haunting quality.' Unlike Gu Gan, Xu Lei did not visit Mouton in person, but studied the previous labels that had been created, and learnt about the wine through drinking it, and understanding the role that art has played in its character. Interestingly, Madame de Rothschild says, 'By looking at all that, an artist will understand what Mouton is. For me, the link between creating art and making wine is obvious. It is as important to me as it was to my father ever since 1945.'

Etiquette Mouton Rothschild 2008 specimen MD

The Mouton Rothschild Artists label series began in 1924, and has seen a new label created every year since 1945. Artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Prince Charles have all featured. And, however noble the reasoning behind the selection of artist this year, it has certainly had an effect on prices. When speculation of a Chinese artist first surfaced in late 2009, the price immediately moved upwards from the opening £1800 per case to around £2200. Right now that seems like a bargain – recent weeks have seen the 2008 vintage trading at between £8,000-£10,000 per case.




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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Italian Man Who Went To Malta

Sustainable Foods Summit, San Francisco, Jan. 18 - 19

New Horizons for Eco-Labels and Sustainability

Eco-labels continue to gain popularity in the food industry, however are they going far enough to meet consumer demand for ethical & ecological products? The third edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit explores new horizons in sustainability for eco-labels. How do organicfair trade and other eco-labels contribute to sustainability? What role should they play in a food industry that is increasingly looking at the triple bottom line? The summit aims to debate and discuss such issues in a high-level forum.

The North American edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit will take place in San Francisco on 18-19th January 2011. Key topics on the summit agenda include pioneering sustainability initiatives, ethical sourcing, sustainable ingredients, organic plus strategies and marketing & distribution innovations. To download the conference programme, please click here

Like previous summits organized by Organic Monitor, the summit will bring together key stake-holders in the food industry that include food manufacturers, ingredient & raw material suppliers, retailers & distributors, industry organizations & certification agencies, researchers & academics, investors, etc.








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The cutest, funnest, hippest cooking class in Paris is not easy to get into. Not easy at all. Which runs directly contrary to the vibe once you're in. Amongst a citizenry that takes its food seriously (UNESCO! cultural heritage designation!)  cooking classes among youngfolk have become the thing to do.

It's almost replaced hanging out at cafes and smoking cigarettes all afternoon discussing the tortures of romantic love as the thing to do when you're young, single (or in a couple) and looking for some social activity. Well, scratch that. It has replaced it.

There are increasingly more chef "ateliers" springing up and those that have always been around and are now being rediscovered. What the French have found is that a cooking class is 1) Fun  2) a great ice-breaker 3) a level playing field 4) a learning experience and 5) a great way to enjoy a meal or a dessert.

The Super Hip "concept" store, Colette, which is located at 213 rue St. Honoré is the location for Cooklette. The store has such a following that the cutest boys in Paris hang outside of it 5 minutes after closing pleading with the bouncer/doorman to let them in for just another 10 minutes so they can find a last-minute gift for their girlfriends. The 7 ft. tall bouncers invariably say, "No." Explanation is that it happens every day. But that's what Colette has become: The trendy Parisian club of concept stores.

Downstairs, in the Water Bar, on the first Friday evening each month, they stage "Cooklette" which is their free cooking class. How do you get in? You have to be one of the first twelve to sign up on their website as soon as they announce the date in their newsletter.

January's class was devoted to making Galette des Rois. These are the flat round tarts filled with almond paste that the French eat for the New Year. Custom has it that the cake must be cut into as many parts as there are people present, plus one.

It is also always baked with a tiny feve which is a small porcelain figurine or button that designates the recipient the "King" or "Queen"for a day. Another custom, which Cooklette faithfully practiced, is that the youngest in the group sits under the table and chooses who gets the pieces of cake and when. This is so that the person who cooked the cake can't choose who gets the feve. Égalité, Fraternité, Degousté!

The La Galette Colette class was taught by Catherine Kluger who is famous among Parisian gourmands for her Tartes. Her Tartes Klugerare at 6 rue du Forez in the 3rd. She does sweet and savory tartes: Zuchini, Tomato, Mozzarella;  Ham, Parmesan, a touch of Bechamel with some Bacon Crispies on top. Sweet tartes include: Tarte au Cafe' with grains of coffee and chocolate; Tarte a La Mousse au Chocolat Noire; Rhubarb and Milky Rice.

A very self-effacing chef, Catherine approached the class as if she were teaching a group of friends in her own kitchen.  She used her own recipe which rendered a simple but flavorful frangipane galette that was moist, flavorful and flaky.CLICK HERE FOR Cooklette Slideshow

According to Anais Sidali, Cooklette is just something that Colette does because they want to offer a fun activity for their customers to participate in. The downstairs Water Bar is an ideal location. They just pushed some of the center tables together and Voila' we had a cooking atelier.  Diners were welcomed to stay and observe at the booths that hug the walls of the 20-cover or so blue and white simple diner. 

To my left was Stephane Bureaux, the author of Design Culinaire, a book full of fantastic photos and food ideas. Colette sells the book and still has a few copies left. You can't miss it: It has a carrot and a fork on its cover. As far as culinary concepts go, Design Culinaire is to food what haute couture is to fashion.  A Marseille-based blogger loves the concept so much, she adapted the cover photo of the book for her own So Food So Good blog business card.

To my right were a couple of young ladies who had, after three attempts, finally gotten lucky enough to get the reservation for the course. According to Sidali, they don't take reservations months in advance, just the first ones to sign up that month get to come. It attracts the most passionate foodistas: The girls were raving about their intended brunch that Sunday at Chloe S.

Our advice: Subscribe to the Colette Newsletter;  Sign up for Cooklette the second it's announced; Get Ready for some Culinary Fun 'cuz it's a nice cooking class if you can get it.






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Saturday, January 8, 2011

La Garde Robe

Translated, "La Garde Robe," is a closet. Which is about the size of this snuggly little wine bar just off the rue de Rivoli, a hop and a skip from the Louvre.

Paris 75001, La Garde Robe offers Organic Wines

Wandering in late one night after a meal with friends, there were just enough stools at the bar to accommodate the few of us. The high tables and the low tables towards the back, were all full of revelers who had the appearance of having spent the entire night at the comfy little "closet" swilling vins naturel and chomping on made-to-order plates of cheeses and thinly sliced meats.

La Garde Robe has a loyal following and locals will name it as one of Paris's top wine bars.  You can get a good glass of red for anywhere between Euro 3,50 and 7,00. Come with a sense of adventure, ready to try something you haven't before. It might be within a recognizable apellation, but likely you'll find producers you haven't yet tried.

Or just come for the ambiance. It's one of those exquisite central Paris hole-in-the-wall wine bars that you'd never know was there until you purposefully set out to look for it. And on these cold winter evenings when a lighted window friendly beckons you to come in from the cold, well, if there's still room for you to squeeze inside, you'll be glad you did especially once you've tried a few things you may not have before.  This is Paris, after all! You can also buy your bottles to go.

La Garde Robe, 41, rue de l'Arbre-Sec (rue de Rivoli) 75001

Transit: Pont Neuf, Louvre-Rivoli


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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

French Wine My Way

By Sallie Robbins-Druian


Let's face it.  Wine is complicated.  And French wine is a swirling maelstrom of history,  government control, regional divides, family in-fighting, and basic chemistry.  But must we know every little detail to understand what we like when we drink it?

I want to demystify French wine.  I want to simplify French wine.  I want to drink French wine without reading volumes and memorizing details.  I want to know about the people and families who make the wine, and how they feel about their commitment and drive for perfection.  But honestly, I simply want to breath-in the aroma, take-in the first sip, savor the wine, linger on the mid-palette and head for the finish line with a smile of satisfaction.

It's like searching for the Holy Grail.  Except we are searching for magic in a bottle.   And it can be elusive.  But isn't the thrill of the hunt in the searching?  How do we begin such a journey?  Must we climb to the top of a French mountain for enlightenment?   Should we read a book or check wikipedia for each regional grape variety?  Or might we jump right into the deep end and go for it!  I say jump, but with some thought as to how to organize and accomplish this search.

Make it easy on yourself and create your own Tour de France.  Pick a wine region such as the Loire Valley or Burgundy.  Or select a varietal such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir.  Then choose one wine each from three different producers for comparison.  Congratulations!  You have just created a wine tasting.     You have now entered The Wild and Wonderful World of Wine Subjectivity.  Pat yourself on the back.  You have already graduated without taking the exams.

It doesn't matter what wine critic Robert Parker says or the local wine columnist professes.  It only matters what YOU think when you inhale the aroma and linger over the first tastes.  And remember, Mr. Parker was a beer drinker until he met a pretty French girl he wanted to impress.  He got the girl and he built a career from practice, practice, practice.

TASTING PEP TALK Now it is your turn.  First check the color and clarity, and then the aroma.  When you take the first sip of any wine, take a mouthful and acclimate your mouth.  On your second and third sips, pull the wine slowly over your tongue to get some aeration.

It's like inhaling through your mouth with pursed lips.  Feel how the wine settles on your tongue midway, giving you an impression of body and texture.  Sense the depth of flavor and how it finishes.  Did it drop off like a stone?  Did it linger on your tongue then quietly disappear?  Or did the flavor burst like a ripe peach spreading multiple layers of liquid goodness!

It's your call.  Because wine is subjective.  And it is all about you.  First, is it tasty?  Do you like it?  Then this wine is a winner.  And so are you.  Then move on to wine number two with wine notes in hand from wine number one.  Look forward to comparing the two and challenging yourself.  What are the differences, the pluses and minuses?  Think of the strengths in flavor.  Does it interest you?  Are you now curious about wine number three?

Then let 'er rip and move forward!  With regard to "Wine Notes", try to create your own vocabulary in describing the wines you taste.  You've heard or read the pros pronounce the ultimate descriptives: asphalt, barnyard, grass, leather, tobacco, licorice et cetera.  It's a world of Jelly Belly flavors out there but it means nothing unless you discover the descriptive word yourself.

Besides attending trade tastings, we do private events and tasting classes on a regular basis, and sometimes it is even difficult for us to find the right descriptive word.  The secret is to not try too hard.  Keep an open mind and let the aroma and taste lead you.  Sometimes it takes only one inhalation and sometimes it takes more little sniffs and multiple sips.  Take your time and go slowly.  Occasionally the aroma will be contrary to the taste, as I recently discovered with a Cotes du Luberon (Rhone Valley) I had in Paris this August.  I will now add "nail polish" to my wine vocabulary.  OK, lets be chic and use the French name "varnis".  I had no chance to think about it, because it hit me in the nose before I could open my mouth.  The thought of tasting it was off-putting, but I lifted my glass and sipped like a sparrow.

Pure amazement and happiness danced in my mouth.  The alcohol-prominent nose settled-down and the wine was enjoyed as we continued with our meal.    Now let's take it up a notch.  Let's talk about food.  Let us think about food.  Give yourself a food challenge and think about what foods will go with these wines you have just tasted.  It's a creative opportunity.  It's only a matter of taste.  Your taste.  You will not be judged by The Napoleonic Court of Food & Wine.  The ball is in your court.  Use your own good sense.  Think of contrasts.


Take Sauvignon Blanc as an example.  Think about the minerality, what it does to your mouth, the clean crispness and the contrast potential.  Opposites do attract.  Perhaps a creamy seafood pasta with prawns or bay shrimp?  With perhaps a small side of dressed baby greens with a splash of EVOO and a grind of sea salt.  Or Patron peppers, sauteed in EVOO with a touch if sea salt.  Keep it simple as you go.  Don't complicate your attempt in pairing a wine with food.  Trust your instincts and use your imagination.  Practice, practice, practice and begin your pairings conservatively, layering as you gain confidence.

However, the first order of business is to concentrate on tasting the wine and it's flavors.   For those of you who seek the perfect cocktail wines, ask yourself if this wine, this fresh and zippy Sauvignon Blanc that you have just sampled, stand-alone.  From your third sip you will know for absolute sure and even perhaps from the first mouthful.  But always give French wine a chance for adjustment when tasting.  It's more layered and complex by nature and design.  And remember, your body chemistry can change your first impressions of any wine.

Did you brush your teeth just before tasting?  Did you have a bad day at the gym?  Did you have to fight the boss or traffic before arriving home?  If so, then  try to chill and take a break.  Give yourself a small positive distraction, and relax for a few moments with a few deep breaths.  Stress and wine are not amiable companions, and the aroma and taste can be affected or even soured, giving a false impression of the wine.


So enough of this theoretical chit-chat and let's get on to a real-time practice run with three of the same French varietals from three different producers.  But let's add a twist to make it more interesting.  We will pick two very different Sauvignon Blancs from the region of the Loire Valley, but add a Sauvignon Blanc blend from Bordeaux as the third selection.

We are including the varietal, but adding an unusual use of the grape from another region.  You can change-up the rules if you keep the varietals a common denominator.  Anyway, it's your tasting and you have thrown an interesting curve.  Note:  Always taste in the order of least complexity to the most, in order to not overwhelm your taste buds.  If you aren't familiar with the wines or French wines for that matter, always ask your wine merchant or search online for flavor profiles and recommendations.

NUMBER ONE is a 100% Sauvignon Blanc 2009 TOURAINE VAL DE LOIRE SAUVIGNON from the biodynamically farmed eastern Loire Valley vineyards of highly respected producer Francois Chidaine.  We will get to the subject of biodynamics later.  Let's first pop the cork and pour.  What is the first impression from the color and aroma?  What are the qualities positive and negative?

Can you pick-up the earthiness and acidity in the nose?  After you have taken your first mouthful and subsequent sips, can you sense the minerality and long refreshing finish?  Is the body heavy with herbaceous or grassy undertones or is it clean and crisp, reminding you that this could be  a perfect match for goat cheese or even oysters.  What would pan-sauteed and salted almonds do to enhance these flavors?

Your mind races to find creative ways to pair this wine with food.  Congratulations!  You have opened the door to what good wine is all about!  And one, that won't break the bank at $17.    Please note: I cannot improve on the information regarding Francois Chidaine and his biodynamic farming provided by the importer Michael Sullivan at  Michael also lists on his website, retail sources where you can purchase these wines in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.  All three Sauvignon Blancs in this discussion are his imports.

Moving on to NUMBER TWO, a 100% Sauvignon Blanc 2008 DOMAINE PELLE MENETOU-SALON BLANC MOROGUES from the small appellation of revered winemaker, Henri Pelle, located slightly south of Sancerre in the Loire Valley.  He is known for the exceptional quality of his vineyards chalky clay soil.  You can refer to the Beaune Imports website for further details on the "Kimmeridgian" soil and production notes.  But let's get on with what we are here for.  Tasting!  Continue with the same glass, simply swirl with a little of the new wine and toss.  Never rinse your wine glass with water because it will dilute the next pour.

This Sauvignon Blanc is a special one.  Pull the cork and pour.  Then take in the aroma in a deep breath.  Pull from your vocabulary of descriptive words and apply.  Or think of a new one.  Do you detect mineral and lemon?  Is it juicy or dry?  Or do you pick-up a scent of honey.  Now it's time for the unveiling.

Take a slow deep sip.  Then take another sip or two.  Think about the strong and long fruit-forward mid-palette taste and the level of acidity.  Do they work in harmony?  Does this wine not have the most amazing balance?  Now can you understand why soil can make the difference between a good wine a great wine.  This is refined, sophisticated and perfectly balanced.  It zings!

And it has great finesse.  It's potential for food pairing is exciting to consider.  Michael Sullivan notes that it is crisp, yet rich with exotic fruit flavors.  Is that what you think?  This could be a Caesar salad wine.  This could be a creamy seafood pasta wine.  Or a perfect choice for a creamy lemon-drizzled, avocado-shrimp cocktail with cilantro.  And as I discovered,  it is a hand-made sea salt potato chip kind of wine.  The Menetou-Salon elevates the simple chip to a whole new level as it plays off the oil and sea salt.

This is a major "wow" factor that shows how good wine can take any humble food and transform it.  But consider this also as a stand-alone wine that allows you to take in the sheer perfection from aroma to finish, and follow the layers of complexity.  It is simply one of the finest Sancerres ever made, and is a bargain at $25.

We are close to the finish with NUMBER THREE, which is a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc with 20% Semillon and 10% Muscadelle grapes.  This is a 2008 CHATEAU SAINTE-MARIE ENTRE-DEUX-MERS from the region of Bordeaux.  This is a Grand Vin de Bordeaux (a great wine from Bordeaux with no specific meaning) made from "Vieilles Vignes" (old vines).  "Saint-Marie" refers to the vintner's family residence that formerly was a nunnery.  "Entre-Deux-Mers" translates to "the land between two bodies of water", which refers to the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers which border the hilly hand-picked vineyards of over-achievers and organic/biodynamic wine producers, Gilles and Stephane Dupuch.  Learn more about them and their production techniques on the Beaune Imports website.

Note that Semillon (also the grape of Sauternes) is a rich honeyed blending grape that shines with Sauvignon Blanc.  Muscadelle is a spicy grape variety that is blended in white Bordeaux in very small doses to balance and enhance the fruit.   All this discussion has made me ready to get tasting.  Get that cork out and pour.

Check the color and get your nose into a glass and take a slow, deep breath.  Does the aroma strike you as something similar or different from the other two wines?  You know by now that this is the most complex Sauvignon Blanc of our line-up.  You know that the blending grapes have to make a difference in the basic flavor profile.  Are you curious?  Then take a big sip and let it saturate your mouth.  Is it crisp with a complex and refined minerality?  No?

Then please take another sip.  Is there a clear fruit- forward flavor from the mid-palette to the finish?  Note the depth of flavor.  It's like biting into a bursting ripe grape infused with honey.  The blend of the Semillon and Muscadelle do not intimidate the Sauvignon Blanc.

They enhance it.  This is another "stand-alone" wine.  In fact, it is a great cocktail wine for the price of $20.  And a wine that yet inspires interesting food pairings.  I find that this works perfectly with a crispy chicken liver salad on a bed of greens, grilled or pan-fried sardines, or any savory food that has a bit of acidity.  It is bold and perhaps deeper in flavors than the other two wines.  This Sauvignon Blanc blend is layered with complexity, crisp acidity, flavors on many levels, and can take on any food pairing challenge.

FINAL THOUGHTS  So now you have experienced three unique Sauvignon Blancs.  Did it meet your expectations?  Did it surprise you?  Did it show you differences, similarities or even possibilities from the aromas to the mouthfuls?  Did the value of the wine surpass the price?  I am betting it did.  If you are happy with the results, then now is the time to plan your next tasting into another region of France.  For myself, I will look next to the reds of the Rhone Valley and find three interesting wines in common to compare.

I have purposefully avoided lengthy paragraphs about history, production, climate and soil.  I believe you can get a great sense of history by TASTING the wines of France.  You will continue to gain an appreciation for any good wine, by the goodness of the grapes and the inspired efforts of the winemakers.  Still, we should be reminded that if it was not for the Phoenicians, the Greeks and the Romans, there would be no French wine, let alone the wines of California.

You have now earned the right to the use of the French word "terroir".  I paraphrase the classic definition offered by Bruno Prats, former owner of Chateau Cos d'Estournel in Bordeaux.  Terroir is the combination of the climate, soil and landscape that forms the character of a vineyard and its wines.  And when it is great, it is magic in a bottle.  Remember lastly, it is no accident that wines go well with food.

Winemakers think first of their own tables and practice, practice, practice.  The best advice I ever heard to accomplish the perfect match with food, is always try to think of the wine as a secondary "sauce" for the dish.  Amen and pass the wine.

SALLIE ROBBINS-DRUIAN  Sallie Robbins-Druian along with her husband Jay Druian, are the owners of The French Cellar in Los Gatos.  They sell regional wines and objects from France.




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