This weekend was the Asparagus festival in the neighbouring town of Etauliers.
It is a feast, not only of the beautiful white Asparigii for which the region is famous, but also of artisanal food and wine from all over France. Yesterday we tasted fruit wines from the Dordogne, cherry, rhubarb,quince and lemon wine. The lemon wine was made as a desert wine and was about 18% proof, despite it’s sweetness , chilled,it was very fresh and light for a spring day. The others were all delightful and refreshing, but not so alcoholic.
We then bought a bottle of champagne and a white and red from two of the small producers, one from champagne and the other from the north of Blaye, a neighbour of Chateau la Rose Bellevue.
Most of you know that I am the godfather of Augustine, the first child of Valerie and Jerome, the owners of Chateau La Rose Bellevue, and we joined them at the festival for lunch, which was asparagus omelette with cep or porcini mushrooms, the king of all wild mushrooms, and plentiful here at certain times of the year.
There was a huge frying pan, and altho I lost my bet to Clarissa, and it was not quite the size of one of our smaller local restaurants, it was still pretty big. At the bordeauxwinevilla, I will have to adjust the balance that she owes me, as usually I win the bets, so she has built up a hefty debt to me which she is now reducing, by being far more careful with her wagers.
We also tasted organic beers, from two fairly local, micro breweries and decided with Gary and Allison our colleagues in the Tapas bar, to stock these in La Gallerie as they were stunning.
Those of you planning visits in 2014, around this time, should try to co ordinate your dates with this fair, the atmosphere is unique and it is an experience that is relished and remembered for ever.
The WSETwine certificate course will be run here on May the 27th, it is a one day programme taught by a winemaster from Bordeaux, in English. The one day course is followed by a multiple choice exam, and it is the foundation course for those wishing to embark on a wonderful lifetime journey of wine. The course includes the tasting of eight wines, the tuition and exam, lunch and a visit and tasting to a local chateau the following day. There is still some accomodation available at the villa that night, see www.villastsimon.com.
We have a number of birthyear wines now in stock, they make a unique gift for family and friends, and we can provide bottles from the early fifties and younger. These are collector’s items and we do not guarantee the drinkability of these old wines. My birthyear 1951 was about the worst year ever in Bordeaux, I have not yet been able to locate a bottle from that year, a blessing perhaps?
Thomas is doing the French part of this blog. For those of you wishing to learn or improve your French, this is an ideal way. One can use Babelfish to translate. The same company also offers French lessons on the internet.
Looking forward to seeing lots of you again this year, and remember it is almost always « wine o clock »