Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!

The arrival of the first wine of the season – the Beaujolais Nouveau – is a celebration of the country’s most popular, iconic and valuable drink. Bottled less than two months after harvesting, the wine is lighter in colour than other typical reds given its’ extremely young age and is produced to be drunk straight away as opposed to be laid down for drinking at a later date.

Beaujolais Nouveau

Each year the release of the Beaujolais Nouveau conforms to a similar format. The first bottles of are released on the third Thursday in November, which this year means that in wine producing regions the opening will take place at midnight on the 18/19th. Forty years ago the popularity of this special event in the French calendar grew significantly which culminated in races to Paris carrying the fruits of the year’s harvest as well many other festivities. Although the occasion now competes with many other marketing activities of its’ kind internationally – and perhaps is more low key – in local communities the Beaujolais Nouveau remains hugely popular with tastings (of course), a plentiful supply of good food and live music and fanfares to accompany the arrival of this prestigious drink.

Where does the Beaujolais Nouveau actually come from? The wine is made from the Gamay noir à Jus blanc grape: Gamay to you and me. The law requires that all grapes are harvested by hand in the region and furthermore they must originate from the Beaujolais Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC).

In 2013, France exported wine to the value of €7.7 billion, but in the case of the Beaujolais Nouveau the wine is generally produced for domestic consumption, although bottles can be brought in the UK, US and other countries.

The Beaujolais Nouveau is not without its’ critics. For some people, the Beaujolais Nouveau is a marketing gimmick and as a drink should be avoided at all costs due to its’ insipid taste, when compared to other aged wines – but what do you think?  Santé!

SOURCE/CREDIT: photo and article reblogged from Rootstock Ads Newsletter 

Nice, After the Paris Attacks

Posted on by Best of Nice Blog

paris attacks peace signIn a state of shock after the attacks in Paris, the city of Nice has predictably doubled down on police and military presence, and cancelled all major city-sponsored events and shows over the weekend.  But even though public gatherings this weekend were strictly forbidden by the Mayor’s office, this didn’t stop at least200 people from spontaneously gathering Saturday evening at Place Garibaldi for a candle-lit homage to mourn the victims of the Paris attacks.  Unfortunately, however, they weren’t the only ones to show up, as a well-known and rather vocal group of thirty barged on the scene, singing a loud and aggressive version of the French national anthem and brandishing signs with anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant slogans like ‘France for the French’.

It is worth noting the local Muslim community’s reaction to the Paris tragedy: immediate and unanimous condemnation, responding to the senseless spilling of innocent blood by a massive turnout to donate their own blood to the local blood bank, joining other Nicois of all faiths, in a most personal show of solidarity to help the hundreds of injured.  The line at the blood bank went around the block with many waiting up to 3 hours to donate.  The influx was so overwhelming that over a 120 were asked to come back Monday.

The Mayor’s office is organizing a chain of solidarity for Paris next Sunday the 22nd November in Place Garibaldi at 2pm.


Saintes-Maries de la Mer

While long weekending in the Camargue, I was given the name of an excellent restaurant by the owner of the B&B where I was staying, who knew the owners and the quality of their local fare. And so it was that I ate at Le Fleur de Sel, not one but two evenings!

A gastronomic delight with excellent, friendly service:  Chef Alexandra spontaneously created a two-course vegan dish for my friend, while I enjoyed the menu fixe – un regal!

Fleur de Sel restaurant

Fleur de Sel restaurant


Veggie entree

Entree/Appetizer Legumes Craquants

Veggie plate

Veggie plate/Main course

Fish dish

Fish dish/Queues de lotte roties

Dessert trilogie

Dessert trilogie




A Female Perspective of Paris

Who doesn’t love Paris!?  I was lucky to have lived there for a short time years ago – read why/how in “Solitary Desire – One Woman’s Journey to France” (available on most Amazon sites)

As in any city, it is wise to be city smart and aware of your surroundings, but according to Adrian Leeds, Editor of newsletters “Parler Paris” and “Parler Nice,” her experience of living in the City of Light as a single woman is summarised below.  When I lived alone and worked in Paris, I felt safe as well and observed the obvious cultural differences that she highlights.

“Let’s start with Paris and why Paris is great for single women:

1. Paris is safe. Women can freely travel alone at any time of day or night in almost any district and feel totally safe. This is a very big difference! Do you get into your car and lock the doors fast, like I used to do? Or never go anywhere alone at night for fear of the car breaking down somewhere you wouldn’t want to be stranded? And even in New York City where the subway runs all night long and there are people on the streets at every hour, do you still feel safe wherever you are? I doubt it.

2. Being alone in Paris is never lonely. You can dine alone, have a drink at a café alone, go to a movie alone…and never feel lonely or really ‘alone.’ In fact, being ‘alone’ is the best way to meet someone! Most North American cities are such family and couples-oriented places that being alone makes you stand out, particularly as a woman…don’t you think? And so what do we women do? We hang out with our friends — and that’s a tough way to let a ‘someone’ into the space you had, but filled with ‘them.’ “N’est-ce pas?”

3. Parisian (and most European) men respect and adore older women. Women don’t have to be face-lifted or tummy-tucked to look younger than they are to attract younger men, who see them as wise, worldly and more experienced. And young women can happily and openly choose to be with older men. Age is much less of a stigma for both genders when it comes to love and sex. Remember the article in the Washington Post February 2008, “French Women Don’t Get Fat and Do Get Lucky” by Pamela Druckerman? She wrote, “Just 15 percent of Frenchwomen in their 50s and 27 percent in their 60s haven’t had any sex in the past year, according to a 2004 national survey by France’s Regional Health Observatory. Another national survey being released next month will report that cohabiting Frenchwomen over 50 are having more sex now than they did in the early 1990s.” So, women over the age of 40…go out and buy some sexy lingerie because here you’re likely going to actually get some use out of it!

4. “Parisiennes” dress! By that I mean they dress provocatively on a daily basis and love it, without anyone thinking they are…what’s that awful word?…”slutty?” Being “seduisante” simply means “attractive” and that’s exactly what they are. At 80 years old they’re still wearing fishnet stockings and high heeled shoes. You’ll see more skirts on their hips than pants so they can show off their shapely legs. And I’ll bet you’ll notice more older women braless than you’ll ever see on the other side of the Atlantic. “Quelle horreur!” Sure, they aren’t as ‘perky’ as they used to be, but who cares?…Not the men who are enjoying them!

5. Paris gives you self-confidence. With all these positive aspects on your side, you’re sure to feel more independent and more self-confident about who you are, both as a woman and as a person. And let me tell you something: that’s sexy as hell. Nothing is less attractive than neediness. So, even if you wanted to be ‘alone,’ you’re not likely going to be that way…at least for long! And you can live that way happily the rest of your life…single and happy to be that way.”

(Source/credit:  Adrian Leeds Group)

A Look Inside a French Emergency Room

Featured Image -- 16172

24/7 in France:

An interesting post that highlights ER medical costs in France!

Originally posted on Barefoot Blogger:

Before friends and family freak out …

The emergency visit to the hospital in the small town of Bagnol-sur-Ceze was not for me. One of my dear friends, Sue, fell backwards off a 2-foot garden wall while trimming a tree. She had to be rushed to the hospital. She was quite upset and, not knowing what to expect, she called to ask me to go along with her. I thought it was a good idea for both of us. I could help keep her calm and, at the same time, check out the experience …  just in case something ever happened to me.

It’s been one of my only fears living in a country where I don’t speak the language.  “What if there is an emergency?” 

Now I know the first thing to do is to dial “15” for an emergency. In less than 10 minutes, an ambulance with three attendants…

View original 387 more words