December 11, 2017

Clos de Montmartre a Vineyard in Paris

Clos de Montmartre a Vineyard in Paris

Nutmeg had read about a small vineyard in Paris, located in the shadows of the Sacré-Coeur spires. The last time either Ginger or Nutmeg had been to Montmartre was in the 1980s. After a crazy taxi ride complete with construction bottlenecks, pre-Christmas traffic, impossibly narrow streets and hills only fit for funiculars they arrived in the middle of a mob scene. A clear Saturday afternoon right before sunset, it was immediately obvious why there had been a 30-year gap since their last visit. (more…)

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November 18, 2013

Beaune’s Carnival the Ventes des vins

Beaune’s Carnival the Ventes des vins

Barely 9:30am 15 glasses sampled and suddenly flaky, cheese pastries looked quite appealing. Blood-red stains were visible in every direction and the lighting under the curved ceiling was at best dim. Ginger and Nutmeg were at the Cuverie des Hospices de Beaune, the wine cellars, for the first degustation of the weekend, with 44 wines available for tasting from the 2012 harvest. (more…)

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December 3, 2012

Languedoc Food and Wines

Languedoc Food and Wines

It would be impossible to describe in any significant detail, the unique culinary treasures of the Languedoc region in a single blog post. Nutmeg has decided to take you on a little driving tour to share a few Languedoc food and wine highlights. The Étang de Thau is a natural seawater lagoon. The lake is about 20 km long and relatively narrow at 8 km wide, it separated by a sand bar from the Mediterranean Sea. The Étang de Thau joins the Canal du Rhone at Sète and the Canal du Midi at Agde. The lagoon is a valuable water body for the production of shellfish in France, including oysters and mussels. The oysters and mussels grow in farms, in the waters of the Étang, once harvested; they are marketed as Bouzigues Oysters. The mistake that Ginger and Nutmeg made was to go to the village of Bouzigues on a Sunday at lunch time, with no reservation. There was not a parking space to be had, and the restaurants were full. The group had to return to Meze to find a roadside restaurant, the shellfish was delicious and the white wine a perfect match. (more…)

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October 8, 2012

Provencal Vines Through The Seasons

Provencal Vines Through The Seasons

Anticipation is what Nutmeg would call this blog post. The labour of love required to persuade grapevines to produce their fruit year after year, is one for only the most patient individuals. Owning a vineyard and producing your own wine certainly sounds romantic, to those who might be desk or office bound. However, the reality of the yearlong process is one of hard physical labour and working with what Mother Nature delivers. Ginger and Nutmeg have certainly sampled their fair share (possibly more) of wine, while in Europe. They certainly do not pretend to be experts in the field of growing grapes, nor producing wine. There is no reason to dive into the specifics of viticulture in a blog post, as there are many experts who have written tombs on the subject. Instead, here are some ABCs around wine that will make you sound like an expert (or an idiot) and some fun facts. (more…)

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April 30, 2012

Blending Wine and Art at Chateau La Coste in Provence

Blending Wine and Art at Chateau La Coste in Provence

Ginger and Nutmeg had spent a morning at a cooking class, and even longer consuming the tasty results. It was already 15:00 (3pm) and they needed a walk after that four-course lunch. On advice from a friend they decided to visit Chateau La Coste to answer the question; can decent wine be produced from a combination of Irish wealth and French grapes? This vineyard is found just outside of Aix-en-Provence, near the town of Puy-Sainte-Réparade. It is not to be confused with the town of Lacoste (that will be another post). Paddy McKillen a wealthy Irishman purchased the old bastide and surrounding land in 2002. This is a man who knows about premium quality, he is the majority owner in several high-end hotels including, London hotels Claridges and the Connaught. (more…)

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