2015 pre-harvest vintage comments

Many importers have expressed concern regarding the 2015 vintage- and the biggest concern is will it be another 2003.   2015 is a very promissing vintage so far and here is why the style of vintage is likely to be better, very different from 2003 and 2005 with more harmony.   Before the heat and…

Domaine Du Dragon Cotes de Provence, Rosés 2014 and a few reds….

Most of jobs in the wine business require the ability to take on multiple and extremely varied tasks. Wearing several hats, so to speak. Thibault Lienard, 42 year old director of Domaine du Dragon, is one of these people. Wine maker during the harvest, tractor driver when necessary, salesman, export manager…. And, as often happens,…

2013 Domaine de Chantemerle, Francis Boudin

2013 was a late harvest, but with low alcohol (about 12.5°). In spite of low alcohol, grapes were ripe and yellow. This is the reason for a slightly yellow color and ripe aromas. These ripe aromas were amplified by a warm harvest (grapes were warm when picked= 24°C /76°F) But acidities were good on average…

Chablis with some age on it

Got a text message from JM. He had missed his connecting flight in Hong Kong. Had to fly through Rome and then onto Paris. But he was determined to make it to lunch at the Tour d’Argent. Who wouldn’t be? 20 hours later we are here. Abnormally beautiful warm weather in Paris for early November…

2014 harvest in Burgundy – it’s time!

In Burgundy, the 2014 Harvest started the week of September 8th in the Maconnais, Chalonaise and Cote de Beaune with beautiful weather. Promises of large crop are reassuring growers who have suffered 4 consecutive small harvests  (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013). Those who still tried to deliberately curb yields for concentration have almost perfect grapes. For reds…

Egly Ouriet 2014 disgorgements

  Egly Ouriet is family estate of 4 generations The Grand Cru terroirs are on the villages of Ambonnay (7,8 ha) Bouzy (0,3 ha) and Verzenay (1,6 ha). The 1er Cru terroir is in Vrigny, 2 ha of Pinot Meunier Average age of vines is 40 years.   Brut 1er cru “les vignes de Vrigny“…

Mistral lunch in Gigondas

The village of Gigondas is located at the foot of the impressive Dentelles de Montmirail. We were warm in the car when we drove to the center of town and saw that the terrace of l’Oustalet was open. Beautiful May day …but we underestimated the wind. Wow was there a lot of wind! And not…

Veronica’s spring risotto

One of Veronica’s long time dreams was to buy food and cook it in her own kitchen in Paris. Her dream came true this spring. Saturday morning found us at the Bio market on the boulevard des Batignolles loaded down with beautiful springtime produce. Peas and asparagus that Veronica planned to simmer into her risotto….

Behind the scenes @ Le Jardin Gourmand

They were just back from Rome, to get away while the work was being done. Work being a total make over of the restaurant Le Jardin Gourmand. « We had to do it to be ready to face the next 10 years » said chef Pierre Boussereau with a laugh as he welcomed us into the empty…

Those Brittany boys….

“White and purple !!” I exclaimed, truly shocked. “Where do these sea urchins from?” “Brittany.” Replied Colette “I’ve never seen anything like these !” “Neither have I.” She admitted, almost as shocked as I was by her own remark. If Colette has never seen these, they must be REALLY rare. We order 2, one white and one…

Colette and the sea urchins

No one picks out sea urchins like Colette. She’s got it down to an art. Picking them up delicately and with the slightest shake of the wrist, she weighs each one in her knowing hand. Oui, là, ils sont bien pleins (yes, these are nice and full). She says it with a sparkle in her…

Saturday morning breakfast @ Batignolles Organic Market

On cold blustery days (the kind we’ve had a lot recently) the tarps covering the market stalls look like they’ve been pulled extra-tight together, huddling up close in solidarity. On the nicer, sunnier days, there is a little jazz trio playing notes that dance with the patches of sunshine through the alleys of the market….

Tang, Coquilles and St Julien

I’ve mentioned Resturant Tang before as one of my absolute favorite places in Paris. I know a lot of his dishes, but on my last visit, he surprised me with this scallop and spicy soy sauce recipe. Scallops (Coquilles St Jacques, in French) are in season now here in France. It is rare to find a…

Did I mention the 2009 beaujolais?

I’ve been tasting a lot of 2009 Beaujolais recently, everything from Crus like Régnié, Brouilly and Morgon to plain Beaujolais.  Some are just bottled or just before bottling. Everytime I stick my nose in a glass of the stuff, I cant get over it : they are all delicious ! So delicious, I want to suck down…

Christian Etienne and unexpected truffles…

The streets of Avignon are dead on this wintry night with the exception of a few Chinese tourists. How did they get here? Where is everyone else? We arrive late at Christian Etienne, but when we open the door, we are greeted with all the human warmth and sunshiny southern French accents were had been…

Sidewalk inspirations: alternative foie gras

It happens when he is walking down the street. Who knows what is going through his mind. And then, suddenly, something emerges. Clear. Precise. A mission. Monkfish liver and oysters… It has to do partially with a dish that Antoine Heerah at the Chamarré did for us not long ago, he presented it as ‘foie…