Category Archives: FRANCE

Corsica: Napoleon’s Vinous Dreamscape

If you took the eno-expertise of France and blended it with the climate of the Italian Riviera and stirred in the heritage of Greece, you might  suppose that you’d just created vine Valhalla—a test tube appellation with Goldilocks conditions where … Continue reading

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Bourgogne Passetoutgrain: Gamey Gamay

Pinot Noir doesn’t need my stamp-of-approval of course, but Gamay is a groovy grape that occasionally wears a stamp-of-ignominy because of Beaujolais Nouveau—which I also like—and which, in any case, is as absurd as dissing Zinfandel because of Sutter Home. … Continue reading

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Life’s A Bubble: Sparkling New Thoughts, Fizzy New Year

In the week before Christmas and New Year’s, it is customary to write a column about Champagne and related species.  And doing what is expected, occasionally a thorn in the paw of creativity, also keeps us focused in this time … Continue reading

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L’Enfant Jésus: Good to the Beaune

Everything about Burgundy is eternal; nothing about Burgundy is predictable. Except for one thing: The Little Drummer Boy could not have afforded L’Enfant Jésus. When I was a fledgling fan of French phantasmagora, I used to use the mnemonic Beaune—pronouced … Continue reading

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Château Palmer: Margaux Your Own Way

If you find the Bordeaux Classification of 1855 irrelevant, confusing, frustrating or all the above, rest assured: You are in good company. The snit of owner Baron Philippe de Rothschild over Mouton’s second-rate status led to decades of lobbying, resulting in … Continue reading

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Merry Meursault And A Châteauneuf Christmas

Christmas is for the young; so it was with perfect propriety that I sat with eternally young wine merchant Elie Boudt over a couple of French classics as re-interpreted by a new generation of winemaker. The techniques employed were not an … Continue reading

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To Be Or Tannat To Be: That’s The Question

Tannat is a wine geek’s grape, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.  Like cult films or cult bands, tannat is often dug for its brooding obscurity or transgressive potency more than for any sense of down-home approachableness. Nonetheless, like … Continue reading

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