Why Old World French Winemakers are Choosing to Grow in Napa Valley

The trend of French winemakers relocating to the New World – why Napa is their new home, and what it means for the future of wine.

Drill down into a vintner’s experience these days and you’ll find an internship in Bordeaux, a harvest in Australia, a year in Argentina, a progressive stint in California. The movement of winemakers around the globe resembles nothing so much as an in-flight magazine’s map of airline routes.

One path, though, has become more heavily grooved in recent years. More and more winemakers (many representing major houses back home) are traveling on a one-way ticket—from France to the West Coast of the United States. It’s a commitment to concentrate on land lesser known than the great domaines and châteaux of Burgundy or Bordeaux; to raise families an ocean and a continent apart from grandparents; and to risk entire careers on early promise and a hunch [ . . . ]

Continue Reading at ROBB REPORT: Why Old World French Winemakers are Choosing to Grow in Napa Valley – Robb Report

9 Best Chilled Red Wines for Your Wedding 

chilled wineChilled red wine is officially a thing.

If you’re like most of us, you probably prefer your red wine room temperature, not chilled. But unless you’ve tried it straight from the fridge, you might be surprised to learn that some red wines are meant to be sipped this way—seriously! In fact, chilled red wines are officially a “thing” and are catching on more and more.

“It‘s a common belief that red wines should be served at room temperature, but unless the room is a pantry or cellar where it is normally cool and dark, most of our rooms are far too warm,” explains Benita Johnson, sommelier and owner at The Vine Wine Club. “Ideally, wine (all wine except sparkling should be served somewhere 52 and 55 degrees for tasting, but when we are simply enjoying a glass of vino, we typically aren’t looking for the specific flavor profile and nuanced characteristics of wine—we just want it to taste good.” Of course, personal preference reigns, so when choosing wines for your wedding, the most important consideration to make is the menu [ . . . ]

If you are open to and interested in trying out some chilled red wines for your big day, here are the ones that are trending and palate-pleasing, according to sommeliers.

Contine at BRIDES: 9 Best Chilled Red Wines for Your Wedding | Brides

Four classic French recipes, from beef bourguignon to cassoule 


French recipes Four hearty traditional dishes that owe more to the farmhouse kitchen than to haute cuisine, including poule au pot and duck à l’orange

Poule au pot (pictured above)

The story goes that France’s King Henry IV declared that every family in France should have the means to eat chicken every Sunday, and from this, the poule-au-pot was born.

Poule-au-pot is chicken simmered in water with vegetables and aromatics. The broth can either be served separately or with the chicken and vegetables. A spent hen – a chicken bred to lay eggs – is traditional for this dish. Tougher and more gamey-tasting than chicken bred for meat, such a hen would require a longer simmering time than is indicated below, at least two hours, to become tender.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 30 min
Serves 4

Beef bourguignon

Prep 15 min
Cook 2 hr 25 min
Serves 4

1 tbsp lard or oil
450g beef chuck or top round steak, not too lean, cut into large cubes
6 small onions, or shallots, peeled
150g lardons or streaky bacon, diced
tbsp flour
1 garlic clove, peeled 
1 bottle red wine, ideally a light red burgundy or red hermitage
tbsp tomato puree
1 bouquet garni – thyme, bay leaf and parsley tied in a bunch with string so it can be easily removed before serving
Salt and black pepper
12 small mushrooms
Parsley, leaves picked and chopped

Heat the lard or oil in a large pan on a high flame and fry the meat until browned on all sides, then add the onions and fry until those are also browned.

Meanwhile, in another pan, sweat the bacon in some oil or lard for a few minutes [ . . . ]

More recipes at THE GUARDIAN: Four classic French recipes, from beef bourguignon to cassoulet | Food | The Guardian

The cliche is French food is better than ours. The trouble is, it’s true 

I am, by nature, suspicious of food cliches. I don’t think Grandma’s cooking was always better. Certainly, my grandmother’s wasn’t. She hadn’t met a packet she couldn’t open and regarded the notion that she should cook from scratch as a calculated insult. Likewise, the good old days were nowhere near as good as now: choice was limited, quality was poor and “abundance” was a word for spelling competitions, not a descriptive term to be applied to food stocks.

I have long bridled at the insistence that the food cultures of our European neighbours are so much better than ours. It ignores the realities of history. Yes, trying to find a good meal in Britain outside the home (and inside it, for that matter) immediately after the second world war was as tricky as finding an honest banker in London’s Square Mile. Then again, during that war we industrialised food production to help fight a war of national survival, losing purchase on both cookery traditions and kitchen skills.

It seems all it takes to soothe me is a good selection of cheeses and a recently picked fig

And what’s so good about those robust food cultures anyway? They tend to be inward-looking and small-minded. Two weeks in Tuscany sounds like a fabulous idea. Then the reality slides in, like ink seeping slowly across blotting paper: day after day of the same bloody pasta dishes, the same rustic salads and anything for dessert as long as it’s tira-sodding-misu or something “inventive” involving pears and almonds. By day five, what you wouldn’t do for a bit of Thai food doesn’t bear thinking about. We eat more widely and thrillingly in Britain specifically because of the weakness of our indigenous food culture [ . . . ]

Continue at THE GUARDIAN: The cliche is French food is better than ours. The trouble is, it’s true | Food | The Guardian