After all, food is one of the best ways through which to get to know a culture, and one of the great pleasures of exploring a new place is to gorge on the local cuisine. However, I soon discovered that the English-language cooking classes I wanted to sign up for were either fully booked or beyond my budget. So on a brisk Sunday morning, I found myself next to the Bastille, rubbing shoulders with Parisians amid an abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, bread, fish and street food.
Located on the Boulevard Richard Lenoir near the famous historical fortress, the Bastille Market stretches for about one kilometer, along two alleyways. We jostled our way through the thronging crowds, snapping photos of elderly men in trench coats, women pushing trolleys, and young couples with kids in pushchairs. After only a couple of minutes, I had gotten used to uttering " pardon " when I bumped into yet another French person, rather than its English equivalent, "sorry. The first time I was in Paris, I enjoyed a meal of snails in a restaurant in the touristy area of the Latin Quarter.
But when I came back and spoke with my French friends about it, they told me that French people do not ordinarily eat snails. Both of the friends I talked to said that they only eaten snails once, when they were young, and considered them to be "gross. Instead of trying them again this time, I snapped a photo, as tribute to the classic French appetizer. The view from above Paris in spring is filled with an air of romance. Rough 10 minutes walk from the Bastille metro station, the 4. The walkway is a paved concrete path, with ample foliage lining both sides.
Resplendent green in summertime, in the autumn, the walk takes on more melancholic yellow and red hues. Separated from the bustling traffic and mobs of pedestrians on the ground, the tranquil walkway an ideal place for a peaceful job, or for tourists who would like to have a better view of the Parisian neighborhoods from an elevated perch.
I planned to walk all the way from one end to the other, but was distracted by a small film crew shooting a square down below. Watching the actors from above, I quickly figured out it was a scene in which a young couple were bidding farewell forever to each other. Produced in the Okanagan Valley from vineyards planted in , this ultra-premium winery philosophy is to merge Old World tradition and knowledge with New World technology, spirit and adventure.
Le Grand Vin begins with aromas of vanilla, cassis, black cherry and chocolate but also with that note of cigar box that Bordeaux collectors look for. The fruit is densely concentrated, with a sweet core wrapped inside the mineral, smoky and peppery notes, very characteristic of the Southern vineyards of the Okanagan Valley. I had a great evening chatting with a lot of interesting people passionate and eager to share their experiences with Canadian wines, and we were lucky enough to have an amazing all-Canadian platter of charcuteries and cheeses from our next door neighbor Peasant Cheese.
The wines were all showing very well and our guests had a hard time choosing two favourite amongst our selection. The results were a little bit unusual, I must admit, but I was very pleased! Next time that you decide to choose a Canadian wine, I encourage you to try a new label, a new producer, or simply talk to one of your wine enthusiasts at the store for a recommendation.
The Canadian wine industry has never been more dynamic and exciting and we should be happy and proud to support our local winemakers in their quest to position themselves as a quality driven player on the world wine scene. Yes, I love Italian wines. But to be perfectly honest, I never considered Italy as one of my go-to countries to find value wines… But maybe I need to reconsider that premise! Once more the Italian wine was the favourite of the night.
I had the privilege to direct our last five Tight Wad Oenophile tastings at KWM, and four times out of five, the Italian wine was the winner, often time by a large majority of votes. The great thing is that this actually makes sense! These wines are all incredible and over deliver for the money, which is what our Tight Wad classes are all about. Italy may be famous for many very expensive wines but it is good to see that there are more and more outstanding values to be found. Make sure to sign up to receive our electronic Wineline on our website and stay posted for the release of the winter tasting schedule and in the meantime, visit us at the store and ask one of us to recommend a few Italian gems from our selection.
A delicious sparkling wine, aka Cava, from Spain! The specialty here is sparkling wines.
Pares Balta is a family-run business with more than 70 years in the industry. They are dedicated to quality and sustainable farming. Throughout the winter months, flocks of sheep graze the vineyards, naturally fertilizing the earth and eliminating any need for artificial fertilizers. Perfect Sunday morning brunch sparkling wine! It was one of the first established bodegas in Rioja and has cultivated a long-standing reputation for quality. The Monopole Blanco is the oldest white wine brand of Spain produced since and is made from handpicked Viura grapes.
One of our all-time best buys. This Torrontes-Riesling blend comes from extremely high vineyards metres above sea level , which benefit from brilliant sunshine during the day, but cool nights that slow the ripening so that the grapes retain their crisp acidity while having time to develop flavour. Rose petal, apricot and peach and ripe grapefruit notes lead into a well-balanced taste of minerals laced with a touch of honey.
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Best pairing partners: seafood and spicy Asian dishes. After years as leaders and pioneers in the electronic music business, Tom and Judy Beckmen, joined by their youngest son Steve, set out to make wines as well-crafted and distinctive as the keyboards and synthesizers that built their successful careers as founders of Roland Corp. It is like a liquid version of orchard fruit, offering up ripe peach, apricot, and ripe Bosc pear, with a hint of dried pineapple, flower oil and honeysuckle on the finish.
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Rich, full-flavoured wine that stays lively and clean on the palate. A great example of what the new wave of winemakers from southern California can accomplish! Those of us who love pinot noir are raving about its red-berry aroma, soft velvety texture and rich chocolatey depths, but also tend to moan a lot about its high price.
Fine-quality pinot, especially from its spiritual home, Burgundy, can be expensive while and cheap, decent versions are hard to find.
Ruth Ellen Brosseau résiste à la vague rouge
This pinot is a great example of a cooler-climate region in a warmer country, at a terrific price. This vine stock forms tight compact clusters that generate deeper color and more layers of tannin than other Pinot Noirs previously grown in California. One of my go-to California wines in the shop! Aromatic and complex, with bright red fruits, star anis, and an irresistible garrigue character.
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Full and harmonious palate, with a nice tannic structure and flavors of cherry and blackcurrant. With a nobility title going back to the , Ermenegildo Giusti, Noble of Conegliano actual area of production of the highest quality Prosecco: Conegliano Valdobbiadene , revived in an old family tradition and restored from the ashes of time his cultural heritage.
His journey started with the purchase of two-hectare property where Giusti Wine was to be established.
This interesting wine is the perfect example of the new generation of producers that dare to explore the international varietals in places typically ruled by tradition. Smooth, silky mouthfeel, with very vibrant red fruit on the nose, cocoa powder and dried herbs finish. Verum is a shining example of the awesome winemaking potential in Patagonia. An inky-dark red colour, it has notes of cherry, blackberry, violet candy and spice, with a very dry finish. Interesting fact: The results were far from being unanimous and all the wines received between 2 to 6 votes each, which is very unusual!
My personal opinion is that the wines were all showing very well and deserved a place in our top 2. I think that overall, our guests had a hard time selecting their two favourites.enter
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Many styles, many countries, but all great quality, value-oriented wines! Another week goes by and another batch of sweet, sweet new beers. We got something from nearly all walks of life this week! From sour to fruity, to dark, to farmhousey! Before I spill the beans, just another reminder that the Craft beer Advent Calendar is in store now and is shaping up to be a smash hit for the 4th year in a row. A bold base with a bright crisp acidity that is accented with cherries. Fruity, full and super flavourful.