Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Brulerie Daval - Paris's Best Coffee Roasters

by Paige Donner

Brulerie Daval

It's taken years but I've finally found the hands down, absolute best coffee shop in Paris. It's the Brulerie Daval, just off the Bastille in the idyllically pleasant and peaceful Passage Damoye. It translates to Daval Coffee Roasters.

When Madame's husband opened their shop here in 1947 the Passage was still home mainly to the vestiges of furniture craftsman who worked in the furniture shops that the neighborhood around the Bastille had come to be famous for. Real craftsman who turned out exceptional quality furniture, the kind that lasts generations.

She explained to me that all the flats in the buildings of the Passage were therefore cold water, workmen's flats with shared lavatories on the floor corridors. That was before Americans moved in a few years ago, starting in the early 2000s and with their swarm, apparently mostly young internet tycoons and techies from SF, they renovated the buildings and the flats and turned most of them into posh condos. Still, many of the buildings do not have elevators. Madame's is one of them.

Brulerie Daval

Brulerie Daval

I've often thought that Paris would not be the easiest of cities to grow old in. Any big city really. Places like Paris and Manhattan and San Francisco where everyone is rushing to get somewhere, literally and figuratively, raising young families, dealing with bills, and stress and jobs and carrying heavy bags of groceries up stairwells and the daily commutes on and off of buses and subways and trams and commuter trains.

Holiday seasons drive this point home. Wintry and lonely sometimes I observe the elderly of Paris and wonder where they find any comfort, if they do at all ? France is probably a bit better than, say, Manhattan, as the sense of family is still so strong here in this country. Family ties are solid. But you can never use that as a blanket statement. Because then we risk desensitizing ourselves to the exceptions, and there are always exceptions.

Chatting with Madame about her shop and the history of the quarter, while buying some Christmas Blend Tea from one of the hundreds of canisters of teas that line her shelves, just behind the stacks and stacks (oh, I'd say at least about 50) of whole roasted coffee beans in burlap sacks, I asked how often her children are able to help out in the shop. She told me she had none. Given the era she's from, already married in 1947 and her sort of Southern dark looks,  it would have been altogether too easy to assume, indeed I did assume, that she would have several progeny. And even progeny of those progeny. But this widow has not one.

That's when she got to telling me about her trip a few years back to California – to Hollywood, to Beverly Hills and then even over to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. We mutually agreed that the Eiffel Tower in Vegas is nothing in comparison to the one here in Paris. She told me she loved driving past all the stars' homes in her tour bus with the 50 or so other elderly she'd taken the trip with. Of course I didn't ask her age but jusging from appearances she had to have been past 80 already when she did that trip.

This brief conversation, during which we each chattered away, a sure hint of two kindred city souls, has kept turning in my mind. And it's gotten me to resolve to be particularly kind and generous and thoughtful to the elderly this holiday season whose paths I cross. Lord knows the lives they've had and the struggles they face daily. Madame, for example, hurt her hip a couple years ago so now rather than going up the stairs to her kitchen for lunch each day – the stairs being too much to navigate more than once in a day – she relies on someone to bring her her lunch which she eats in the shop. That's a long day for anybody, 10 – 7 :30. And no comfy chairs to recline on, just a little old wooden table and a couple of rickety stools.

So this is my wish this Holiday Season (Santa are you listening ?) that all elderly people living alone and without family in big cities this Christmas and Hannukah and Kwanzaa, feel the warmth, joy and love of people's, young and old's, appreciation for who they are and the contribution they've made to our world during their years so far spent here on this Earth.

Peace Joy Love and Blessings to All. And don't forget to pick up your Christmas Blend coffee and tea at Brulerie Daval in Passage Damoye, Metro Bastille. In fact, pick up two or three packs and give them as gifts ! People will surely appreciate you for it.

12 rue Daval (Passage Damoye) 75011 Paris   + 33 (0) 1 48 05 29 46

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Burgundy Preview Harvest 2013

by Paige Donner

(translated from French)

christies-hospices-de-beaune cherie du vin

Roland Masse : « 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 cuvees from Côte de Nuits, the Colline de Corton and also Monthélie, all of which are exhibiting a marked potential for aging. »

-  Press Conference, Hospices de Beaune, Christie's Auction House, Paris Oct. 29th 2013

Christie's Hospices de Beaune press conference photo copyright Paige Donner 2013 Local Food And Wine

Roland Masse Hospices de Beaune photo copyright Paige Donner Loca Food And Wine

Burgundy Wines 2013 – In The Eyes of Roland Masse, Director of the Hospices de Beaune Vineyards and Cellars

Burgundy's 2013 pinot noirs will have the distinction of a rare wine.  The Autumn-like weather 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 Nuit and the Colline de Corton escaped much of this climactic perturbation and will offer us their elegant ruby gems this year as is customary for Bourgogne Grand Crus even in difficult years.

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 Climats.

For the whites, the harvest was still a light one (30hl/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 Chardonnays.

In sum :  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 cellar masters of the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune superbly defied the forces of nature.

April and May were wet months with little sun which put floraison 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 Pommard 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 Cuvées will be sold at the Hospices de Beaune auction. 30 Cuvées of red and 13 Cuvées 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 Cru and Grand Cru 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 Bueninck, Communications Attaché


Halloween In Paris and Salon du Chocolat Fashion

All Photos copyright 2013 Paige Donner

Paige Donner copyright 2013 Local Food And Wine Paris Halloween

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.

Paige Donner copyright 2013 Local Food And Wine Paris HalloweenPaige Donner copyright 2013 Local Food And Wine Paris HalloweenPaige Donner copyright 2013 Local Food And Wine Paris Halloween

©All photos Paige Donner 2013.


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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Limoux, Family Guinot and A Brief History of Bubbly

« Do bubbles have a flavor ? Better to ask whether angels are male or female ? »
-         Pierre Casamayor, L'Ecole de Degustation
 Local Food And Wine Blanquette de Limoux Guinot
by Paige Donner
The historical regions in France that have produced effervescent wines for several centuries are not limited to Champagne. Several regions pre-date that famous appellation's « discovery » of bubbly by a full century – notably Limoux, in the south of France, just north of Carcassonne and Narbonne. The other two historical regions of bubbly are Die and Gaillac, both also southerly.
For our purposes here, I will concentrate on the appellation of Limoux and use for illustration the illustrious Maison Guinot, whose sparkling wine took home the gold medal at the Exposition Universelle de Paris in 1889 during the inauguration of the Eiffel Tower.
 Blanquette de Limoux Guinot Local Food And Wine
Historical Background
It was in 1531 at the Abbey of St. Hilaire where the Mauzac grape was cultivated and first used to make a sparkling wine, known still today as Blanquette de Limoux. That was a full century before the dawn of champagne when the northerly region was still producing « still wines » from their Pinot Noir. Hence the Blanquette de Limoux carries the distinction of the « oldest Brut in the world  » and its characteristic ripe apple notes, a gift of the Mauzac grape, make it instantly recognizable even when it is blended, as it is today, with poroportioned quantities of Chenin or Chardonnay.
Building on top of their 19c. success, the Maison Guinot responded to Tsar Nicolas II of Russia's interest in their wines by producing for him the very first Crémant de Limoux in 1913 : L'Imperial Guinot. You can find this cuvée still referenced today in Parker's guide to French wines and also in the Guide Hachette.  The main difference between the Blanquette de Limoux and the Crémant de Limoux is, of course, the variety of grapes used for the blending. Crémant uses Chenin and Chardonnay today. Though Chardonnay was only authorized into AOC Limoux in '92. Blanquette uses Mauzac primarily though most houses today blend with either of the other two varieties, Chenin or Chardonnay. It's good to remember, as well, that champagne, at the turn of the last century, would have resembled something more like a Prosecco. Back then the bubbly, which was not so famous at that time, was blended for a palate seeking sweeter tastes. It's also worth noting that today's Loire Valley sparkling wines are often produced from the Chenin Blanc grape.
Limoux Terroir
So what is particular about this south of  France terroir surrounding Limoux and the St. Hilaire Abbey that allows for superlative cultivation of not only the Mauzac and Chenin grapes, but also some of the country's best Chardonnay as well ? For this I will lean heavily on Pierre Casamayor, the French wine expert, author and professor at the University of Toulouse, to explain the local terroir, paraphrased from a presentation given by him.
Limoux has four distinct terroirs. Situated between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, the appellation's altitude and soils vary throughout. Winds can blow either easterly or westerly depending on the weather patterns.
Mediterranean Terroir
These are the villages of St. Hilaire, Villebazy, Rouffiac, Pomas…The orientation is East/North-East. Altitudes average between 100m-200m and the Atlantic is what influences here, notably « le marin »which is an easterly wind. Very low rainfall, about 680mm per year. Here olive trees and green oaks share the vineyards' landscape. The grapes the vines yield are lower in acidity and show a quick and early ripening. The Chardonnays here are warmer and show little resemblance to their northern cousins.
Autan Terroir
Warm and dry are the watchwords for this area immediately surrounding the town of Limoux, in the lower part of the Aude Valley. Villages here are Rouffiac-d'Aude, Cépie, Alet-les-Bains and are somewhat protected from the winds at their 100-250m altitude. This area gets the lowest rainfall of all with only about 600mm per year.
The wines here appeal to a palate « a bit more delicate than the Mediterranean terroir ». Notes you'll find evident are tilleul and verveine, the Chards have vivacity. On the nose the wines offer scents of citrus, grapefruit, white flowers, jasmine, « lys » and spices.
Oceanic Terroir
These western villages of Loupia, Villelongue-d'Aube, Gaja-et-Villedieu and Pauligne are influenced by the Westerly winds and by the Atlantic weather patterns meaning rain and moisture. Rainfall is about 750mm per year with elevation at 200-300 m. No olives here just the green oaks. The grapes respond with a higher acidity, longer maturation.
The bouquet of these wines offer scents like cardamon, mineral, safran (spices), wild vanilla. The palate is harmonious, elegant, taut ; a good balance between power and vivacity/ freshness. A good home for the chards :« These Chardonnays can rival the best of them. »
Terroir of the Upper Valley
Roquetaillade, Bouriege, Festes and St. Andre are at the upper valley's 250 – 420 m elevations. Rainfall is the heaviest at 850mm per year on average. Temperatures are lower than down below and some of the local vintners describe this region as the « Burgundy of the South ». Characteristic of that nickname, you find microclimates here. Westerly winds are fresher and come later in Spring ; in the Fall they are cold and short. This is a terroir marked by the vintage year. The slower maturation of the raisins means that the flavors and « aromatic finesse » can develop and ripen slowly. Up here, not even green oaks grow.
The bouquet of these wines is fine and delicate and you can often detect a dominant floral-acacia note, even chevrefeuille, exotic fruits, light leather, tabacco. Palate appeals to tastes of austere elegance, « like muscles with no extra fat ». They often leave the taster with a bright finish and the desire to cellar for 2-5 years.
 Cherie du Vin Blanquette de Limoux
Harvest 2013 at Maison Guinot
Harvest this year, all done by hand as is the custom of the house, began on September 27th for the Mauzac. It usually lasts about 3 weeks according to Michel Guinot, who also confided that the Chardonnay harvest this year yielded « good quality, good aromatics, good acidity » when they harvested at 12-12.5%. Their Chenin Blanc came in at 11% alcohol and their Mauzacs at 10.5% at the beginning then 11.5% by the end of harvest.
The Maison Guinot has preserved that delicate balance between observing tradition and implementing modern adjustments. For example, they do their own blending and are their own « œnologues », Michel today and his father and grandfather before him. However the pressoir they use is automatic, the Wilmes, only one of two in France, the other being used by the house of Moët & Chandon. They turn 30K bottles by hand every day, using the now-established méthode Clicquot, or the riddling method first discovered by Madame « Veuve » Ponsardin Clicquot. For disgorgement they employ a process that can be considered unique these days, in that they do not freeze the neck of  the bottle in order to dispel the accumulated sediment during the second fermentation ; Rather they use simply the built-up pressure of the carbonic gas to achieve the same results for their 180,000 bottle annual production.
Food Pairings
As we approach holiday season and colder weather in many parts of the globe, it will be a good and right thing to treat your palate to both a Blanquette de Limoux, its ripe apple flavors pairing so well with an oven-roasted turkey or chicken filled with a bacon-mushroom-chestnut stuffing. And for a fish or crestacean meal, as well as a citrus meringue tart or fruit-accented dessert, a Crémant de Limoux is quite nice.


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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Le Balm And Brooklyn Diner

re-published from Bonjour Paris

Le Balm and Le Brooklyn Diner

By 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.
Reservations Recommended. Lunch M-F  Noon - 3pm;  Dinner Monday - Saturday 7pm - Midnight.
Le Balm  6 rue de Valois Paris 75001 01 42 60 38 81

Brooklyn Diner

In 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.

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♥Chérie Du Vin

Friday, September 20, 2013

Napa Valley Film Festival - 3rd Annual

local food and wine napa-valley-film-festival

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

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♥Chérie Du Vin

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Julia, Jamie, Gordon - The Rise of The Celebrity Chef

Documentary about the rise of the Celebrity Chef. With Jamie's fortune estimated at over £40 (million!) these cooks know how to whip it up in the kitchen. On and off screen.

Doc is by BBC - so it's all UK-centric. Would love to see this done covering other countries.


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♥Chérie Du VinFollow localfoodwine on Twitter
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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Yannick Alléno is Terroir Parisien

by Paige Donner
[Originally published on BonjourParis]

Yannick Alléno, Three Michelin Star chef, is a member of the elite circle of the world's greatest chefs.  His work on Cuisine Moderne is about to break the rules of French cuisine and to take a stand for liberty and culinary creativity.
Born in Puteaux (near Paris) into a family of chefs, Alléno immediately took to the kitchen. After training at some of the top restaurants, by 2003, he became head chef at Hôtel Meurice. By 2007, only four years later, he was awarded his third Michelin star.
What are you most proud of (in terms of your own achievements)? 
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.
What's your secret talent? 
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.
If you could share a coffee or bottle of wine with a fellow Parisian from past or present, who would it be? 
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.
Is there a local person you admire?
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.
What's your favorite thing about Paris? 
The diversity of its restaurants. There is always a new place to discover.
What's the one thing that every Parisian should own? 
Terroir Parisien Carte by Alleno - LocalFoodAndWine


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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Paris Food And Wine by Paige Donner on Girl's Guide

07/09/2013 Show Description: Local Food and Wine  

**Interview by Doni Belau, founder Girl's Guide to Paris**

07/09/2013 Show Topic:  Today we will be talking about every Parisians favorite topic, food and wine. Paige Donner will be joining us today, founder of Local Food and Wine. She is a certified Champagne specialist, and has also written for numerous publications, including The International Herald Tribune, NY Times, Fodor's Guidebooks, Blackbook Magazine and Bonjour Paris.

Download: Girls Guide to Paris Radio Show Archive July 9, 2013

Read MORE on Paris Food And Wine


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Interesting Wine Stats - Pour de France

As France celebrates Bastille Day today - 14 Juillet - we thought it amusing to post these interesting Wine Stats. 

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

Burgundy Wines In Mandarin

courtesy of BIVB



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.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Brunello di Montalcino - Mocali - 2007

Tuscany Food And Wine -

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

 Tuscany Food And Wine -

Wine Spectator's Notes On Brunello di Montalcino 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.

Tuscany Food And Wine - localfoodandwine.wordpress.comTuscany Food And Wine -

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

Chateau Mouton Rothschild - The New Museum and Cellars

Château Mouton Rothschild, June 16, 2013

Pauillac, Bordeaux

by Paige Donner


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!

@ ♥Chérie Du Vin

Local Food And Wine

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♥Chérie Du Vin

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cite des Civilisations du Vin, Bordeaux

by Paige Donner

"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.


 SlideShow HERE

Inauguration June 19, 2013 Cite des Civilisations du Vin in Bordeaux

Mayor of Bordeaux Alain Juppe and Anouk Legendre, architect of Cite des Civilisations du Vin

All photos c. Paige Donner

FULL Gallery Pictures HERE