Friday, November 20, 2009

Great wines, great times

Add to Google Reader or HomepageI have written a lot about Gigondas and told many the story of the exchange we had while tasting Gigondas at one of the local vineyards. During the tasting, I explained to the woman who was running the degustation that when French friends asked why we bought an apartment in Vaison la Romaine, I would say “Gigondas” and the French would nod approvingly. When I tried to use the same answer in the United States, most people looked confused as they didn’t know about Gigondas. The woman at the vineyard asked about the apartment and if we were living there full-time. I explained that we had just bought the apartment. She asked what I thought we would do when we lived there. I replied that I was going to have to visit the vineyard everyday to make sure that their wines were still good. She laughed and then gave us and our friends, Marge and Charley, another glass of wine.

Gigondas and the other red wines of Côtes du Rhône have a spicy/peppery finish that I really enjoy. France produces many fine wines, but the wines of the Rhône valley are my favorites.

We have had a wonderful time discovering and learning about different wines. Our most recent trip took us to Domaine Rouge-Bleu just west of Cairanne. We knew about this vineyard both from “French Word A Day” ( and from the experience of caring for the Golden Retrievers, Braise and Smokey, who live there.

Since our neighbors wanted to go to a vineyard to taste wine and Ellen wanted to see the dogs again, we combined the two and visited Domaine Rouge-Bleu ( Kristin and Jean-Marc Espinasse are wonderful hosts and Jean-Marc is making very fine wine. Jean-Marc gave a very thorough explanation of wine making to us (though Ellen spent most of her time playing with Smokey.) We knew (from FWaD) that they had just finished bottling their 2008 wines and we got to be the first buyer of the 2008 vintage! We plan to enjoy these wines over the next few days including serving them with whatever meal we create for American “Thanksgiving.”

By the way, I failed to mention that Denise and Paul have set up their own blog to share their around the world trip with others. Their blog address is: