Tag Archives: France

#WineWorldCup2018 predictor

As the only wine blogger with a Physed degree*  i feel it’s my duty to comment on, and predict a winner for the FIFA World Cup tournament happening right now in Russia.

Many methods are used to predict sportsing ball winners.  Paul the Octopus, Achilles the deaf Oracle cat, and Flopsy the Kangaroo are just some of the animals used to predict a winner.   So I thought, rather than use animals, metrics or “algorithms” [whatever they are] to predict a winner, let’s look at the wine produced by each country to predict a winner.  Here’s my argument for each team that i think has a chance to win.

4th Place – Germany.  Their Fußball team takes a back seat to nobody. But the fear of mispronouncing “Gewürztraminer” (German: [ɡəˈvʏɐ̯tstʁaˈmiːnɐ]) sadly places them low on the #WineWorldCup2018 list.

3rd Place – Portugal. I don’t love Portuguese wines that aren’t Port, with the exception of  a Vinho Verde on a warm day – but Portugal’s best and most beautiful player, Ronaldo, is a teetotaler – so his team can’t really be taken seriously. But hey, if you’re the best looking man on the pitch with over 2 billion people watching did you really lose?

Runner Up – France. My favourite thing about the French soccer team is their kit [or jersey as we say this side of the pond] featuring le coq. My second favourite thing is rose wine from any French region.

Le coq

Paparazzi photo of me drinking Rosé in Provence

#WineWorldCup 2018 Winner – Spain. One word – “Muga”. I have a well documented love affair with this pink nectar, the love child of Dionysus and Ariadne. It’s certainly the most photogenic wine in the world. Take that Cristiano Ronaldo.

Paparazzi photo of Muga in my back yard

Wines to drink this summer …

Muga Rosé 2017 Spain

—VINTAGES#: 603795   |   750 mL bottle $14.95 Released June 9

La Vieille Ferme Rose France

—LCBO#: 622134   |   750 mL bottle $11.95

Alianca Vinho Verde Portugal

—LCBO#: 75663   |   750 mL bottle $9.35

Pierre Sparr Gewürztraminer

it’s actually from Alsace but close enough right, and hey, another vote for France

—LCBO#: 373373   |   750 mL bottle $17.95

*footnote re. being the only wine blogger with a PE degree [a fact that i can’t actually verify so can somebody please add me as a reliable source on Wikipedia]

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Alsace

Alsace – that tiny region of France that isn’t quite German, but isn’t not French. I love both the taste of wines from Alsace and the shape of their bottles. This lovely crisp 2015 white wine from “vieilles vignes” [old vines] was under $16 in the Vintages section of the LCBO.

 

So pretty right? Also, this is the first photo this year i took outside that i felt the warmth of my friend the Sun. Oh, i love white wine with a promise of Spring.

The flute bottle shape originated because Germanic and Alsatian wines travelled on gentle rivers to their libation destination on smooth sailing barges on the Rhine while Burgundian wines needed a sturdier bottle with a large punt [indentation at the bottom of a bottle] since they travelled a rougher road by horse and cart. I just think it’s pretty, but the thought of a gentle wine is lovely too isn’t it?

This Spring try an Alsatian Riesling in a bottle that looks eerily like my dog Lorenzo’s snout.

Heimberger Riesling

Heimberger Vieilles Vignes Riesling 2015—VINTAGES#: 168955   |   750 mL bottle

$16.95

 

 


Blue Jays Bubbly [why the French don’t watch baseball]

Looking for some insight on the champagne celebration in the Jays clubhouse?

As the only wine blogger with a Physed degree I want to know what they’re drinking and how much money are guys who earned a million dollars in salary this month paying for champagne.  The talking heads at Sportsnet keep referring to the expensive champagne in the clubhouse. What I found may shock you!

Firstly, why does Josh Donaldson get eye protection and Hazel Mae doesn’t?  Also, who pays for her dry cleaning?

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So it turns out the Jays aren’t pouring and spraying and possibly drinking champagne at all.  Super slow motion on my PVR shows me that they’re drinking American sparkling wine from California [ask anyone from France and watch them be outraged at this being called Champagne even though we mean no harm – WE MEAN NO HARM!] .

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And how much does it cost?  Less than $15!
img_7443These players earn obscene amounts of money – the team is owned by Rogers Communications – who i pay a thousand dollars a month for my cell phone – and they drink $15 bubbly.  Awesome! And they also drank Korbel, which is also less than $15 a bottle.
img_7444So my point here?  I think we could all afford $15 per bottle to shake up and spray all over each other if the Jays in the ALCS!  Do it, nobody from France is watching baseball anyway.


Hanging on

There really is no effective way to come to terms with the end of a vacation.

The most one can hope for is to prolong it a little with some photos, conversations, or memories.

I think we all feel this way. Recently a columnist in the Guelph Mercury wrote about holding onto his vacation beard for at least a week after vacation. But I didn’t grow a vacation beard – it would have been far too scratchy for my wife’s comfort and far to grey for my own.

But what about a taste memory. I’ve read that taste and smell are the strongest memories.

Earlier in the summer I posted this photo of me enjoying a bière in my jardin in France.

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Yesterday  I found 1664 Blanc here in Canada, bought one, and then opened it up in my own kitchen [in front of my French copper pots just to add some je ne sais quoi – or terroir as the French have it].  That should help prolong my vacation.

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Café Culture

If there is one thing that I could import from Europe if would be the café culture. If you can believe it, what’s happening in this photo is illegal in my country.

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Why is it illegal – because it’s 8:45 am and I’m the only one drinking coffee. And before you judge, none of these men are getting “loaded”, they are meeting in a café for a small glass of wine and a beer. Yes, a morning verre de vin blanc et une petite pression of Heinekin. They were also hilarious [at least my limited French vocab thought they were]. In fact, I think the reason that I’m sitting alone at this table is because I’m the only guy drinking coffee. Although as my friend Rob notes, one of the men may be giving a “thumbs u to the Canadian for drinking coffee this late in the day”.

I asked brother-in-spain why we didn’t have places in North America that served half pints and small glasses of wine for 2euro – and he pointed out that if there was a place serving $2 beer then we probably wouldn’t want to sit there because it would be full of people trying to get “loaded” for cheap.

I’m not saying I need a beer or a glass of wine in the morning [I actually don’t need or want one] but it’s clear that there is a big cultural gap – café cultural.


Summer wines

Drinking rosé this summer? We do in France.

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Mon café

This just in from the espresso trail files. This cost me 1 Euro 60

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The espresso is ordered “noisette”and it comes with a little cookie and a shot of jus. Yay France.
Disclaimer – it also cost me the price of a plane ticket to Europe and 2 weeks accommodation