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PROVENCE: GEOGRAPHY MATTERS
“Provence” has more efficacy as a "brand" than as a place. One rarely if ever hears any residents of the Vaucluse say that they live in "Provence." The word is heard frequently in its adjectival form: provençal.
As geography, the term "Provence" suffers abuse. The French consider contemporary 'Provence' to take in three administrative department:
Confusion pops up due to the administrative region PACA: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
When "Provence" is employed for the department of the Var (Toulon, St, Tropez) or the department of the Alpes-Maritime (Côte d'Azur) or even the five departments of the Languedoc-Roussillon, it is the "brand" asserting itself.
This is a regional distinction that Peter Mayle buys into 100% in his book Provence A-Z. In fact, if Mayle had been 'geographically-correct,' his iconic best seller would have been titled "A Year in the Luberon."
The Luberon and the Comtat Venaissin, referred to as the “Comtat,” are the two large regions within the Vaulcuse,
Category Archives: Wine
Philippe Cambie: Southern Rhone Guru, Uber Vignernon and Rugby Fan, Cracks the U.S. Wine Market
This last April those who revel in Châteauneuf du Pape put down $275 a pop for a mega tasting at the Paso Robles Inn where they were on the receiving end of animated commentary by one of the rare virtuosos … Continue reading
Carpentras: Chez Serge is a Mecca for Wine Lovers
Along the wine trails of connoisseurs in search of Southern Rhone wines, Chez Serge in Carpentras is legend. When sommelier Serge Ghoukassian opened his eponymous spot as a pizza and wine joint in 1986, it was a heady time when … Continue reading
Provence Wine School “Auberge du Vin”: WSET Level Course Nov 21-25 with Room Discount; Spring 2013 Schedule Set
Consider the proposition from the Auberge du Vin, a wine school and bed & breakfast in Mazan, 16 miles northeast of Avignon with a splendid view of Mont Ventoux across an ocean of vineyards: Combine a visit to the Vaucluse … Continue reading
Place Aux Femmes: Fashion Your Own Wine Tour by Tasting the Wines of the Women Winemakers of the Rhone
Wine is a Women’s World: In the U.S., women account for 58.1 percent of wine buyers, according to the Beverage Information Group. A Gallup Poll indicated that among adult drinkers 58 percent of women prefer wine, compared to 20 percent … Continue reading
Provence Pairings: Escalope de Veau and Ravoli Saint-Jean with an “Imagine,” a Red Vintage of Vindemio by Jean Marot
A quick recipe for a warm September evening: grill veal scallops in a pan with a bit of olive oil; cook small Saint-Jean spinach ravioli, a speciality “Dauphiné” (the ancient roman province) from Romans-sur-Isère; sauté mushrooms in olive oil, and mix … Continue reading
Cairanne: Le Tourne au Verre, a Snappy Winemakers Wine Bar
In the Southern Rhone, Cairanne rings cherries, dark cherries that is for its terrific AOC Côtes du Rhône Villages ruby-colored Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah blends from a region where wine has been vinifed for over 300 years. Lacking the quaint … Continue reading
Provence Pairings: Chevre in Search of Locally-Produced Wines with Zippy Acidity
Chèvre, or goat cheese, is an acidic cheese in search of a naturally acidic wine. The white wines of the Southern Rhone often lack acidity due to nighttime temperatures that do not dip low enough for white grape varieties to … Continue reading
The Silky Kosher Wines – Cotes Du Rhone – of Les Vignobles David in the Gard Provencal
Within the highly-driven status-infected bourgeois Parisian culture, those who look to make a new life in “Le Sud” may be divided into three categories: those who search out the ‘bling-bling’ life of comfort in the Riveria and tony towns along … Continue reading
A WINE HARVEST SEASON OPENER: “LE BAN DES VENDANGES COTES DU RHONE” IN AVIGNON
In Roman times, no grapes could be harvested before the official authorization to begin picking, an edict called “lever le ban des vendanges,” to lift the banning of harveting. Today, the custom of “le ban des vendages” is respected on … Continue reading
PROVENCE SUMMER PAIRINGS: STUFFED SMALL MARSEILLE PEPPERS WITH A FRUIT-INTENSE RED — AN AMIDYVES FROM OLIVIER B.
Stuffed small green peppers — Petit Marseillais are a Provencal delicacy. From three to four inches in length — Petit Marseillais are found at the stands at farmers’ markets in Provence during the summer. If you rent a gite in … Continue reading