Monday, February 15, 2010

Vive le Vin

Hello Everybody,

L and I experienced our first French wine fair this weekend. A group of six of us traveled to Strasbourg early Saturday morning to arrive to the chaos that was the “Salons des Vins Vignerons Ind├ępendants” or Exhibition of Independent Wine Vineyards. We stayed Saturday evening for some French cuisine and picked up our purchases the following Sunday and returned home.

I believe France has 11 regions where they grow their wines and while it would have been great to taste each and every one of the wines from said regions, we focused on the Bourgogne-Beaujolais Region. This is the region where the French grow their Burgundy wines or Pinot Noir.

Having lived all her life in one of the best places to make Pinot Noir (Oregon), L figured we’d focus on what we’re familiar with (Pinots) and branch out from there, but where to start.

Of the 100+ Burgundy vineyards that were present at the fair, I researched 15 and while all were good, there were two that really stood out above the rest. So if one does the math, 14 to 16 out of 120 wines are good (according to me) and there were 560 different wine vineyard represented from 11 regions of France, and all the Cognac and Pineau. With that said, it's way to much wine for the liver to take and the palate to taste in 7 hours, plus we only made it 30 minutes before one of our crew members was toast.

Of course we did manage to find some excellent Pinot Noirs for super prices. What’s also great about the fair is, one can get to meet the winemakers and if they speak English or Spanish (German too, but my German’s not so good), you can talk about their wines. We had a great time and I learned quite a bit about French Burgundy wines. L and I both agree that the burgundy wines from the Volnay area of Bourgogne are something special and should be tried. If you happen to stumble upon one at your local wine shop, don’t be shy.

Well here are some pictures of the trip, enjoy

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Here’s L thinking, “What the heck?”

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“The Great Hall of Winos!”

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IMG_3966 Foie Gras sandwich anyone…what? Had one for the first time, quite yummy.

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Remember when I said one of our crew was toast with-in 30 minutes of our arrival, well here he is (left of picture) trying to get some more Armagnac. Even though the vendor looks annoyed, he actually liked talking to us about all the subtle flavors of his Cognac and kept on pouring. L and I bought a bottle of Pineau, which is made from Cognac, the flavor is sweet and has an awesome pecan aftertaste.

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Strasbourg in the evening

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Can everyone see the kitty?

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Their local cathedral.

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The city had some amazing buildings.

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Here’s what we brought home. I know…all from the Bourgogne Region, but there will be more wine fairs and next in line will be the BORDELAIS-AQUITAINE region, where many of Cote de blahblahblah come from, but I hear you need a big wallet for these wines…we’ll see.

until next time…

we miss ya,

M&L

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