This French Country Travel Life Pie – Part Four is not the end of the saga. But, probably close to it. More bang for your buck can be had by first thrilling to the spine-tingling, hair raising, credibility assaulting PARTS One, Two, and Three.
Here in France, someone who’s not a vigneron is known as an Amateur du Vin.” Not “Expert du Vin” or “Vin Fou.” (Wine crazy.) Somewhat curious, n’est ce pas? Because back in my exotic homeland,“amateur” means someone who’s not very good at whatever he/she/it wants to be good at.
This is definitely not the case with the French “amateur’s du Vin” of my acquaintence. And it’s equally not the vibe I get generally from my wine related activities.
You might be thinking (and I’ll understand if you are) that “Amateur du Vin” is simply French for “Wine Snob.” Nothing could be further from the truth.(with the obvious exception of politicans, bien sur) The French A.D.V’s I’ve clinked glasses with are extremely knowledgeable about and interested in wines from all over. Not just their home turf.
And unlike the Wine Snob, who only drinks rare, spendy vintages, and whose greatest pleasure is NOT the Wine, but knowing that YOU KNOW just how rare and spendy his wine is – the A.D.V. is interested in the wine’s quality and origin. Not it’s price.
Case in point: I have a Doctor friend who could buy most any wine that appealed. And although he does have a well-stocked “cave” – his greatest thrill is discovering a great wine (often in the supermarket close-out bins) for less than five euros.No one has ever accused me of being a Wine Snob.
Nor do I, in spite of my obvious affection for fermented grape juice, consider myself an “A.D.V.” However I’ve had one (very brief) moment when my “wine star” blazed across the Wine heavens. Annointing my (faux) expertise light years beyond yer average A.D.V.
And, as you might have guessed, it was a Jean Tatin related adventure.
One or Two wednesdays a month, all the vignerons of the wine co-op to which Jean belongs, gather for a tasting. A private one. Needless to say, with all these expert and experienced palettes in attendance, this is no ordinary slurping wine event.
In reality, it’s a gourmet five course meal with five different wines. (tiny sips, bien sur.) Here’s why: Each tasting has a theme. Decided upon by the vigneron who’s presenting the goodies. ie – wines of the Loire, Wines of Provence, etc. So, where does the grub come in, you’re wondering – right? Elementary my dear winestub.
The presenting vignernon also selects authentic (as in from the place, not the supermarket)local munchies that traditionally accompany each of the wines.
And my 15 seconds of Wine Expertise Fame?
That’s comin’atcha next time.
THROW ME A BONE HERE, PEOPLE!
What are ya thinkin’?