Tag Archives: France

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.

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.


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.


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.


Mon café

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

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

Rosé again

This is from our day trip while in France last summer – there were 30 tables at the outdoor café set up this way.  Those French are clever people. This is beautiful

If you aren’t drinking rosé this summer then what’s wrong with you?

Battle Bernard – Let’s go Louis

Bring it on Louis Bernard – I challenge you to a throwdown.

I’ve got a Weinfrischhalter Geschenskset  and I’m not afraid to use it.  Truth be known I look forward to it. With my “WG” I can open two bottles and compare. I have a limited  taste memory and I’m hoping that this “training” will improve it.

 Louis Bernard makes both the Côtes du Rhône at $12.95 and the Réserve de Bonpas at $13.95. Both wines are the GSM blend – Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre – and I decided to open them last night. So what do you get for a dollar more? A way cool label that looks like a $45 wine label and more dried herbs in the taste. The Réserve de Bonpas was also darker and more refined but the Côtes du Rhône had the earthiness that I like in a Rhône wine. I liked them both but my “WG” made comparing them more cost-effective.

Hooray that my Weinfrischhalter Geschenskset  saved both my bottles for another day and helped me in my taste training plan.

La Vieille Ferme – everybody can’t be wrong


Did you miss the results of my blind tasting party –  the winner, with 4 out of 7 first place votes, was …

LCBO 298505 |  Price: $ 11.95

Et en francais …