Navarin French Lamb Stew with Biodynamic M. Chapoutier “Les Meysonniers” for #Winophiles


It’s the heart of winter here in Southern California, and we’ve been getting drenched.

While grateful that this may mean the end of the drought, the intense rain raises fears of floods and debris flows. Indeed, after four days of steady rain, we got about 8″ which is more than half of our average annual rain fall for this desert region. Many people were evacuated and the Ventura River flooded its banks requiring the exodus of people camping in the RV resort along its banks. Continue reading

It’s SUMMER! Time for Rosé Wine from Provence, France with Seafood Pasta!

Yesterday was the summer solstice which means today is the first full day of summer!

How better to celebrate with a summery fresh wine like ROSE from Provence in the South of France?

Perhaps that’s why the Provence people decided to name TODAY, the fourth Friday of June, “International Rose Day” Continue reading

Picpoul Goes Southern Style with Shrimp and Grits

 

Not too familiar with Picpoul? We’re not either but we’re learning!

After two outings in two months with this zesty, racy grape, we’re fast fans of this super acidic grape that is one of the thirteen allowed blending grapes in the Rhone’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Picpoul is also grown south of the Rhone in the Languedoc region, where it is one of the oldest domestic grape varieties.  Because of its susceptibility to fungal diseases like powdery mildew and because it is low yielding, it fell out of favor,

But it is starting to show up in California thanks to Tablas Creek’s connections. Continue reading

Cassoulet Domesticates the Wild Wines of Minervois and Corbières

While you may not be familiar with Minervois and Corbières, you likely have heard and certainly tasted the wines of Languedoc because one in 10 bottles of wine produced in the world came from the region in the 20th century (Robinson 1999:395). To further complicate the matter, the region is now known as Occitanie, a new name for an old region of France located in the southeast.   Continue reading

4 French Wine Finds $20 and under paired with Croque Monsieur and Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese

4 French Wine Finds $20 and under paired with Croque Monsieur and Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese and a simple summer salad

Many of us think of French wine and food as fussy and difficult and expensive. But that is definitely not true as you can tell from a visit to your nearby Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Bevmo where you can find a number of French wines under $20 as well as heat and eat food. However, with a little effort, you can have an amazing gourmet yet causal meal without spending a great deal on food or wine.

So! What do you get for $5 or $10 or $20 for a bottle of French wine?

Recently we tasted four wines in four glasses — all at $20 or under and we paired them with grilled cheese — French style two ways. Continue reading

Chablis and the Sea: French #Winophiles Travel to Burgundy

 

the night I found out about beurre blanc…

Many of us grew up with gallon bottles of white wine around that said boldly on them “CHABLIS.”

But it is very unlikely that my grandparents were actually drinking “Chablis.” Instead, my relatives were drinking white wine, most likely Chardonnay blended with other white wines like Muscat, Chenin blanc, and Sauvignon blanc (which I think was called “French Colombard”!)

Today, just like if a bottle says “Champagne” it should be coming from Champagne France, if a bottle says “Chablis” on it, it is most likely to be wine made from 100% Chardonnay and coming from the Chablis region of France.

What makes Chablis special? Here are nine reasons: Continue reading