A Week Touring France

I’m sitting in a wine bar in Angers which I suspect is named Le Cercle Rouge, drinking a glass of Effusion by Patrick Badouin and contemplating the days that have passed. The problem with writing about wine is that every time you’re in the midst of it, within the flux of people, places, exchanges and experiences, the possibility of putting pen to paper or more precisely finger to key is remote to say the least. And after a few precious days one is whisked or shipped back to normality and all the challenges and demands that said normality presents.

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Hence I have maybe a years worth of notations and pictures stowed away, but nowhere near the time to put them to print.

But enough complaining.

The week started with two lovely days at Les Affranchis, Les Vin de Mes Amis and Millésime Bio in Montpellier. I missed Biotop – another wine fair located in the more than average depressing Pavalas-les-Flots, but the other three were more than enough to bite my teeth into.

A great deal of my time was dedicated to tasting wines that might be considered for the new wine-list that I’m building for Restaurant Nedre Foss, and in that respect the wine fairs were more than rewarding. Many producers, among them Domaine Mosse, Andreas & Elisabeth Tscheppe, Elisabetta Foradori, Ampeleia, Larmandier-Bernier, Oliviere Riviere, Pattes-Loup, I Clivi, Patrick Badouin, Cosse Masionneuve, etc… all confirmed their worth and well deserved place on the wine-list. There were a few disappointments as well, but mainly with tank-samples from 2014 that didn’t behave as I had hoped.

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The Montpellier wine-fairs came to a halt on the eve of the 28th, and thus began my journey to Lyon to meet up with some old friends from Viniologi. We started the evening at a charming small café/restaurant by the self-explanatory name of Kitchen Café. The Swedish chef Connie treated us to a lovely array of cakes and coffee and later shipped us off to her neighbour – wine shop Vinsnature, were we went ultarnerd on all the unknown wines and producers and managed to empty two bottles before proceeding to a series of other wine bars and lovely people until we very late/quite early made it home to our hotel.

If the wine scene in Lyon can be judged by its wine bars in any way then it is thriving to say the least…

The following day consisted of a lovely visit to Bernard van Berg in Meursault. Bernard and his wife treated us as their lost grandchildren, showing us around the house and vineyards and treating us to a fantastic lunch, all the while discussing wine, nature, politics and of course food.

After a very long drive we collapsed in a dismal hotel in an industrial suburb uncomfortably far away from Anger. And today… Well, let’s just say I was the one with the fewest dreads in the room for once… But more on that tomorrow.

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