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The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet - French Country Travel Life Film Maker and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to food, wine travel and Lifestyle Adventure!

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French Country Travel Life Pie – Part Four

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.


What are ya thinkin’?


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13 Responses to “French Country Travel Life Pie – Part Four”

  1. hugo benson says:

    5 course gourmet meal? ….definitely my kinda wine tasting!

  2. pami kulhane says:

    i’m with you hugo……this should be standard for all wine tastings IMHO!

  3. ellie brenner says:

    count me in on that pami!

  4. francis copeland says:

    incredible story! but then, the true ones always are, aren’t they?

  5. norm flockhart says:

    can’t wait to hear about your 15 seconds of wine fame!

  6. lonnie marshall says:

    really appreciate all the(for me, anyway) new info in this post..about vignerons i mean…..you learn something every post with DA BG (lol!)

  7. daniel murph says:

    sounds like a very gourmet wine tasting!

  8. fran kimmelman says:

    right on daniel…but perhaps a little intimidating for the non-expert?

  9. annie nonomis says:

    fran..my take would be WAY intimidating! (at least if i were in DA BG’s shoes!)

  10. ted danbury says:

    as other commentors have said…nice toget a broader appreciation of the french regard for wine.

  11. earle birde says:

    ted..i imagine you’re referring to the concept of “amateur du vin?”
    yes, agree…informative and, at least by our standards, unusual.

  12. fenton denman says:

    earle..by “unusual” i assume you’re refferring to the fact that the word “amateur” has a cimpletely opposite meaning in north american culture?

  13. earle birde says:

    fenton….you hit the nail right on the head.

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