Introduce a Friend to French Wine 2: Loire’s St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil AOC Les Quaterones, Amirault #Winophiles

Three Loire Cabernet Franc by Xavier Amirault

What can make French wine confusing to newcomers is that often the name of the grape inside the bottle is nowhere to be found on the outside of the bottle.

That means to know what grapes are inside the bottle you have to know what is grown in the region named on the bottle.

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WW2 and Today in Champagne with Harmel’s “The Winemaker’s Wife”

The Winemakers Wife features scenes from Champagne France, past and present

Living in coastal California 75 years after World War II and 100 years after World War I makes it hard to imagine what it was like to live in Europe under the threat of invasion and occupation. Knowing that 6 million Jews were methodically taken from their homes to work in the concentration camps and exterminated is horrible and heartbreaking.

Closer to home, along our coast, round concrete structures remain as sentinels at the shore testifying to our fears of invasion by the Japanese. Worse, Continue reading

Corsica Rose with Salmon Crespelle and Currant Clafoutis #Winophiles

This month, the French Winophiles are inspired by the Ile of Beaute, Corsica, located in the Mediterranean just north of Italy’s Island of Sardinia. Being so closed to both Euorepan nations famous for both wine and cuisine, it is no surprise that the foods have a flavor of both — with their own special ways. Continue reading

Terroir Champagne Expert Caroline Henry Visits The Cave, Ventura 8/20

The dirty secret about Champagne is that the water of that region is the most polluted in France – and possibly the world. Why? Because of all of the pesticides used in growing the grapes to be made into wine.

I learned this fact last summer from Champagne resident, journalist, and wine educator Caroline Henry when I went to get a glass of water from the tap while visiting her.

In the introduction to her book, Terroir Champagne: the Luxury of Sustainable, Organic and Biodynamic Cuvees, Caroline explains what “terroir” means — beyond simply the place of origin– and why she focuses on how the people who make the wine interpret the expression of the soil. To truly express the soil, Caroline argues that the winemaker needs to facilitate bringing the minerals in the soil to the plant which requires that water “be able to freely move in the soil.”

“With all the herbicides generally used in Champagne,” says Caroline, “the soil is often hard and impermeable.”  During a heavy downpour, she says, you can see the water run off the land and erode the soil

According to Caroline, in Champagne

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Madiran: French Basque Wine of Pyrenees With Pintxos #Winophiles

The Basque region of Europe straddles the Pyrenees mountains in Spain and France. Like in the Alps, the rugged terrain made it daunting for invaders and allowed residents of the region to develop their own independent languages, foods, and cultural traditions. Located on the western end of the Pyrenees, the Basque mountains rise steeply on the French side with rare passes and sharp glaciated arcs called cirques while on the Spanish side, you will find more rolling hillsides and extensive viticulture, for example in Navarra.

While a challenging region for grape growing on the French side, Continue reading

Celebrating Climbing Kilimanjaro with Delamotte Champagne

 

About 18 months ago, I was reflecting on my accomplishments and what I still wanted to do with my life while I still had the will and the physical ability. Continue reading

Summer in a Glass: Sauv Blanc from Touraine, Sancerre, Santa Paula CA

3 Sauvignon Blanc from Loire and Ventura County, CA

So how did we really win a spot on the US Open Wine Tasting Team AND a trip to Loire, France in October, where, with ay luck, we will taste sauvignon blanc to our hearts content for at least a day or two?

Credit in part goes to a Loire tasting we did a week or so ago Continue reading