Saturday, 26 June 2010

Wine Tasting

Wine drinkers fall into three categories in my experience. Those who drink what they think tastes good, those who drink what they have been told tastes good and those who know something about the subject and can tell the difference. There are of course sub-categories including the wine snobs (those who will like any wine as long as it is expensive) and wine anti-snobs (those who will like any wine as long as it is cheap). I daren’t say which category/sub-category we fall into but we certainly don’t pretend to know too much about wine. I know what I like and I know what I can afford and generally the two match up.

Since living here I have however, learned a lot more about wine in this area - where to buy good wine, interesting wine, cheap wine, expensive wine and we send the guests in our gites or from the campsite off to the appropriate wine cave depending on what they are looking for. We know where to go for a good tasting with knowledgeable staff and where to go for a wide range of wines and generally that knowledge is appreciated by our guests.

Back in 2007, we had some French campers who certainly knew about wine. I felt overwhelmed by their knowledge and felt inadequate to advise them where to go. They were after really local wine and so we suggested Bray which has a viticulturist – well he is “local” but that was all we knew about him. They came back thrilled to bits with their find and they let us taste some of his wine and we sat by their tent enjoying a glass with some goats cheese from La Trufière in Lys. The wine tasted very different to other local red wines which we find rather thin and boring and we decided to visit the viticulturist, but of course other things got in the way and we never actually went.

Recently we met some Americans who had rented a house in Ameugny for a month and when they came round for coffee and cake, they brought with them a bottle of this lovely wine. After enjoying that bottle, we decided that the time had come to visit Monsieur Lefarge ourselves. One rainy afternoon last week we made the journey to Bray (all 5 minutes of it) and we found Monsieur Lefarge at work in one of his sheds. We asked for a tasting and he set to, collecting bottles for us to savour. The wines were sublime and the chat and local gossip were also very interesting. We had a lesson on making Marc de Bourgogne (the local fire water), he explained how he paid the taxes on his vineyard by giving alcohol to the government - I thought Sarkozy was a teetotaller! He gave us the names and locations of all the expats he knew in the area - he knows of a lot more than us and we chatted about mutual friends. He even let us taste his “homemade” Fine which was delicious, but as he only had enough for his own consumption, we will have to wait until he bottles up the next lot before we can buy any.

We left with a case of wine, which we will save for special occasions or maybe we will just enjoy it out in the garden in the sun with some goats cheese.

For more information about the accommodation we have see La Tuilerie Website.

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