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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,
Tag Archives: Wine
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
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
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
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
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
PROVENCE SUMMER PAIRINGS: A DAUBE PROVENCAL WITH AN AOC VENTOUX SAINT JEAN DU BARROUX BY PHILIPPE GIMEL
A Daube is a slow-cooked red meat stew which calls for marinating the meat, usually beef, for eight hours. Cooked in a “daubière,” this typical Provencal dish is served with pasta and grated cheese along with a sauce made from … Continue reading
There is pleasure in the predicable: visiting a castle in Ireland a pig scampers across the hallway; sipping bitter served lukewarm at a London pub, or relaxing in Provence at “l’heure d’apéro,” the late afternoon early evening tradition of taking … Continue reading
PROVENCE SUMMER PAIRINGS: “LA SOUPE AU PISTOU” AND A FRUITY AOC VENTOUX RED FROM THE CHATEAU UNANG OF JAMES KING
Everyone in Provence has his or her own recipe for the classic Provençal vegetable soup, “La soupe au pistou,” made from a market-fresh assortment of beans, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes and onions along with a small amount of macaroni or … Continue reading