Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Sunday, November 10, 2013
(translated from French)
Roland : « For both reds and the whites, the balance between sugar/acid is excellent. There's a relative consistency among the whites, with good maturity and an aromatic freshness thanks to the natural acid. The reds are less consistent, and some suffered from the grail storm in July. We have, nonetheless, great hope for the quality of our from Côte de , the Colline de and also , all of which are exhibiting a marked potential for aging. »
- Press Conference, Hospices de Beaune, Christie's Auction House, Paris Oct. 29th 2013
Burgundy Wines 2013 – In The Eyes of Roland, Director of the Hospices de Beaune Vineyards and Cellars
Burgundy's 2013 will have the distinction of a rare wine. The Autumn-like we had in the Spring and the grail we saw in July served to ravage many of the vineyards in the Côte de Beaune.
The Côte de Bourgogne Grand Crus even in difficult years. and the Colline de escaped much of this climactic perturbation and will offer us their elegant ruby gems this year as is customary for
The late harvest, started at the beginning of October, will give us reds that are both tannic and « tonic ». In general, 2013 is a year that varied significantly throughout Burgundy, weather-wise and this will be evidenced in the respective harvests from each of the .
For the whites, the harvest was still a light one (/ha) even though these vineyards were less affected by the capriciousness of the weather.
The one constant for the 2013 whites is their freshness, a taste profile that is associated with a solid maturity for .
In : 2013 is a rare and precious vintage.
Burgundy Wines 2013
As Seen By Anthony Hanson, Master of Wine, Senior Consultant to Christie's
2013 is as promising a vintage for the Burgundy reds as for the whites.
The growing season for the vines this year played out delicately, as if in a stage play, but the vineyard managers and masters of the des Hospices de Beaune superbly defied the forces of nature.
April and May were wet months with little sun which put late into the end of June. Great care was taken to prevent the setting in of mildew. In July, the sun appeared unabashedly, bringing with it warm temperatures and hours of sunlight that exceeded averages in recent years. Rain was limited to four storms, one of which, that of July 23rd, when it hailed, damaged some of the vines. Vineyards that were affected were those of Beaune and as well as some of the neighboring villages to the north and south. By July, the vines had recovered to their normal growing cycles. In August and September the sun exposure stayed average and rain was only occasional which allowed for favorable maturation of the grapes.
For 2013, 43 will be sold at the Hospices de Beaune auction. 30 of red and 13 of white wines. Of the 443 items for auction, 333 are of red wines and 110 are of white wines.
About 85% of the Hospices vineyards are classed as Premier and Grand which is an exceptionally high proportion. At the time of this writing, fermentation is still underway and so it is too early to comment on the style of the 2013 vintage. Nonetheless, after seeing the quality of the harvest on the sorting tables, it is sure that we will have excellent wines this year, intensely fresh and fruity, and a silky texture.
- Christie's Auction House, Beverly , Communications Attaché
Every year, right around Halloween, Paris hosts the Salon du Chocolat. It's a four day extravaganza of the best chocolate makers scoured and gathered from across the globe.
For a city who, technically, doesn't really celebrate Halloween, the Salon du Chocolat makes up for it in spades, or, rather in chocolate... and all forms of choco treats all of which are edible and some of which are even wearable (see the photos snapped from the choco-couture runway show, a repeat signature event at the Salon).
Some photos from Halloween weekend in Paris and the Salon du Chocolat. Yes, the PUMPKINS ARE PURE CHOCOLATE!!!! Taken at the shop window on Place Madeleine.
©All photos Paige Donner 2013.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
« Do bubbles have a flavor ? Better to ask whether angels are male or female ? »
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Le Balm and Le Brooklyn DinerBy Paige Donner
Le Balm. An unusual name for a Parisian restaurant you might think. However, as soon as you step inside this elegant new establishment in the shadows of the Ministry of Culture on rue de Valois, and are enveloped by the soothing vibes permeating the place, you sort of sigh and say to the gracious hostess, "Where might I be seated, please?"
From outside, the design-rich interior first appears as if it could be a bit stiff with its generous use of white with bright spring green accents, full-size wall photos by Marc Lagrange and chairs designed by celebrated designer Jean-Marie Massaud. But once inside, whether it's for the lunchtime steal of a deal of appetizer + main for 29 Euros or appetizer + main + gourmet cafe (that's coffee served with little cakes and sweets) for 35 Euros, or in the evening for dinner service, the cosy warmth of le Balm overtakes you and serves to whet your appetite. In fact, it's a point that deserves even further punctuation as many big-city establishments serve outstanding food but skimp on tactile atmosphere. I find atmosphere - and vibes - imperatively important for pleasant conversation, ease of digestion, and quite simply put, overall enjoyable dining. Le Balm's got it all.
Read MORE HERE...
Reservations Recommended. Lunch M-F Noon - 3pm; Dinner Monday - Saturday 7pm - Midnight.
Le Balm 6 rue de Valois Paris 75001 balm.fr 01 42 60 38 81
Brooklyn DinerIn the exciting scene that is the never-ending evolution of Paris dining, another small team of young Frenchmen has opened the doors to their first Burger joint in Paris. Like other youthful adventurers, the team went for their walkabouts around the globe and decided to bring back to Paris a NYC diner that outdoes the best of the burgers in the west.
For Yann Bourgeois, Alexandre Maloubier and Hadrien Birembaux this is their second restaurant following Gatsby. This time they decided to give Parisians a real taste of what an authentic diner is like, the kind you might find around Mid-town Manhattan or even in Brooklyn.
Things that make you feel like you're back home: Huge portions. I'm not kidding. We each ordered a salad and a burger and it was about two dishes too much. The salads come in dinner plate size bowls and my Caesar Salad which should be called a Chicken Caesar Salad had so much chicken in it I had plenty to share with my little dog. She already keeps asking me, When can we go back? My lunchmate ordered the XXL Burger. At 18Euros I was thinking it better be XXL. He's a big guy - well over 6 foot - and even he had a hard time downing all of it after chomping down his tuna salad. "One of the best burgers I've ever had," was his true blue American takeaway. They have fresh-baked bagel sandwiches too - Lox, Turkey, Pastrami, B.L.T.
Read MORE Here....
Main courses 5Euro (NYC hot dog with relish) to 18Euro. Salads 12Euro - 14Euro. Serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
12, rue du Champ de Mars Paris 75007 (M. Ecole Militaire) Open 7/7 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
♥Chérie Du Vin
Friday, September 20, 2013
Napa, California, (September 18, 2013) – Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) Co-Founders and Directors Brenda and Marc Lhormer are proud to announce several of the festival's star-studded headlining films, as well as the first set of honorees to be feted at the Celebrity Tribute Program, hosted by Access Hollywood's Billy Bush.
NVFF returns in full force with a five-day Festival
spanning Napa Valley's four postcard-perfect towns
of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga,
November 13 – 17.
Two-time Academy Award®–winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks will "wow" audiences with a Gala Presentation, on Thursday, November 14, of Saving Mr. Banks, directed by John Lee Hancock and inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of the long road Disney's classic Mary Poppins took to make it to the big screen. The terrific supporting cast includes Colin Farrell, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffith, Kathy Baker and Paul Giamatti. Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.
More Films and Festivities HERE
The ultimate celebration of film, food and wine, NVFF, November 13-17, lights up the picturesque towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga at the most colorful time of year. NVFF features over 100 new independent films and studio sneak previews screening in 12 beautiful venues throughout the 4 walkable villages, as 300 visiting filmmakers interact with audiences at screenings and intimate events. Attendees enjoy film panels & culinary demonstrations, wine tasting pavilions, the spectacular Festival Gala, Celebrity Tributes, Awards Ceremony, and an array of parties, VIP receptions and winemaker dinners and more. For information or to buy passes, visit NapaValleyFilmFest.org
♥Chérie Du Vin
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Doc is by BBC - so it's all UK-centric. Would love to see this done covering other countries.
♥Chérie Du Vin
Thursday, August 8, 2013
I started my career at 15 years old so I have many memories and many wonderful moments. But if I had to select one it would be the day I was elected "Chef of the year" by my peers in 2008.
My secret talent, I have no idea! but I can tell you that I am doing what I like every day and if I had to change something, I would not change a thing. The secret would maybe be: Hard work and creativity.
It would be a Nespresso coffee, the Grand Cru Nespresso Indriya, with a spicy taste coming directly from India. Or of course a bottle of Château Yquem for a perfect meal with friends! And the two people I would most want to share my time with are my two sons.
I admire many people and many chefs. But if I have to quote someone it would be Paul Bocuse, who still has a very contemporary vision of French gastronomy.
The diversity of its restaurants. There is always a new place to discover.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
07/09/2013 Show Description: Local Food and Wine
**Interview by Doni Belau, founder Girl's Guide to Paris**
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Vive la France!
When you're ready to book your next Wine Vacation and/or Buying Trip to Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, Languedoc, Loire or Provence - Contact Us
BOURGOGNE WINES IN MANDARIN
The Book "Les Vins de Bourgogne" by Sylvain Pitiot and Jean-Charles Servant has just been published in Mandarin.
Over 400 pages, it includes 65 maps of regions and appellations as well as 30 illustrations and all the information you need to know about the Bourgogne region and its wines.
This reference work, first published in 1952 and at that time, authored by Pierre Poupon, is now in its 14th edition.
It is available in French, English, Japanese, Korean, German and Mandarin.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Like any good California girl, I love me some Sangiovese. So when I was able to get my hands recently on a bottle of the stuff from the Old World, my lips were smacking and my fingers trembling as we uncorked the bottle.
Garnet Hued * Vanilla * Spice * Red Berries
Hint of Earthiness
Balanced power between Tannins and Acidity
Wine Spectator's Notes On Vintages
- 2008 91 A cool growing season with rain at harvest; those who waited produced aromatic, balances and elegant wines. Drink or Hold.
- 2007 93 Hotter and riper than 2006; fruit-forward, rich and elegant, offering immediate charm and softer textures. Drink or Hold.
- 2006 95 Complex powerful wines that impress with ripe yet fresh fruit, firm, dense structures and fine balance. Hold.
Excerpt from Wine Spectator June 30, 2013
Sangiovese is virtually synonymous with Tuscany and is the most widely planted grape variety in Italy. Brunello, a synonym for Sangiovese Grosso, or "fat Sangiovese," gets its name from the big ripe grapes that are produced from these vines in the prestige appellation (Brunello di Montalcino DOCG) of Montalcino, a classic hilltop village surrounded by slopes just 30km. south of Siena in Tuscany, Italy.
Mocali is owned by the Ciacci family and overseen by enologist Tiziano Ciacci. Their soils are mostly Galestro and Alberese that enrich the ground with mineral salts. Their Brunello di Montalcino wine - in fact all Brunello di Montalicino wines - are made exclusively with Sangiovese Grosso grapes.
This DOCG shares the top spot only with Vino Nobile de Montepulciano. Though winemaking in the region is recorded from as far back as the 14th century, the wines we associate today with this very first Italian DOCG emerged in the 1870s. It's largely credited to the efforts of the esteemed winemaking family of Biondi-Santi, namely Ferruccio,who decided to implement a revolutionary technique (for his day) of making his Montalcino wines - vinify his Sangiovese grapes separately from the other varieties. (At the time in Tuscany all grapes were fermented together - even the reds with the whites.) As he implemented this and a few other techniques, the resulting wines gained a reputation of being livelier and fruitier than other wines.
In July 1980 the appellation was formalized as Italy's first DOCG alongside Piedmont's Barolo. It is mostly small farmers and family estates who produce this exquisite red wine today and number approximately 200, up from just 11 producers in the 60's. One of the DOCG requirements is that vineyards are not planted above 600m sea level. Brunello must be aged at least 4 years and for the riserva distinction, a minimum of 5 years aging is required. More INFO at Tuscany Taste.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Château Mouton Rothschild, June 16, 2013
All photos by Anonymous Pirate Photographer c. Paige Donner 2013
L'Art et L'Etiquette
This is the title of the current exhibit at the new Château Mouton Rothschild Museum and Cellars in Pauillac. On display are the famous wine labels dating back to the very first one created in 1924. Below here is an excerpt from the official Château book explaining the new museum and cellars, translated from the French (to the best of my ability):
The call to great artists to illustrate each year the Mouton wine labels was a genius idea; but one that required time to be understood and accepted.
After an initial try, perhaps a bit too early with the label designer Jean Carlu in 1924, at the very first occasion of "bottled at the chateau," Baron Philippe waited until 1945 to definitively establish this practice of adding this artistic flair to his Mouton wine labels which would eventually constitute the visual signature of Mouton - and each one of its vintages.
From that moment until today a passionate collection is enriched each year by a new piece of artwork, which reunites, through the wine's labels, the most famous and celebrated contemporary artists of their day, and the most diverse: from Miró to Chagall, from Braque to Picasso, from Tapies to Francis Bacon, from Dali to Balthus, and even Prince Charles of England!
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Monday, June 24, 2013
"The building does not resemble any known shape because it's an evocation. Not of wine itself, but of the soul of wine," explain architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazieres from French firm X-TU.
When fully unveiled in 2016, the eco-building that will be the Cité des Civilisations du Vin nestled on the shores of the Garonne will offer a total surface area of 14,000 m2 including 750 m2 for temporary exhibits and 3500 m2 of permanent exhibit space.
The laying of the first stone was celebrated on June 19, 2013 during Vinexpo Bordeaux. Slideshow Below.
All photos c. Paige Donner