it will be a terrific vintage in the likes of 2005 and 2009. Great harvest conditions and ideal weather throughout the Summer. A heat wave in August burnt part of the fruit though. Most châteaux in Saint-Emilion had to go through their vineyard twice in order to sort through the grapes. The sugar content was so high on some lots, that it will be chemistry 101 to try and bring the overall harvest down to the usual 13 or 14° (alcohol).
My Ricard flambées prawns
Every Mediterranean country has its own anise based alcoholic beverage. In Greece it’s Uzo, in France it’s Ricard. We call this type of drink “anisette”… It is very popular everywhere in France, but it is an absolute star in Provence! It is also perfect to “flambé” seafood. You can find it almost anywhere in the world.
The fat Hipster takes a leisurely stroll along the river
I don’t know about you, but I have this terrible habit of always wanting to rush through things; and for a perfectionist, it is the definition of hell itself, because I want to get many things done all at once while expecting them to be done well. So basically, I am the French guy preaching the importance of joie de vivre and the importance of slowing down while rushing through my life like the mad hatter from Alice in Wonderland.
Why did the hats have to go?!
Last week, as we celebrated Pentecost (not me, you guys know that although I respect everyone’s beliefs, I don’t care much for organized religion), it reminded me of how special that day used to be in my hometown of Libourne. You see, although Libourne is quite a small town with its 30 000 souls, we used to pride ourselves with a small but very active race track. Of all the races, the one everyone used to attend was the one that took place every year on Pentecost day.
Imperfect = perfect
Whether it’s in my photography or in the way I welcome people here for our culinary adventures, I always try to create the best possible sensory experience, but I also make it a point to keep things as casual (OK, casual chic) and authentic as possible.
The thanks I want to keep giving
You know I’m a big fan of friends and family reunions. Sadly Easter and Christmas are the last ones we really celebrate in France anymore. No one really cares about Bastille Day and we never even had Thanksgiving. Obviously. Oh how I wish we had Thanksgiving!!! I’d be planning and cooking for days…
Amira Willighagen and the red cabbage salad
So, like only she would have the guts to do, Corrine contacted Amira Willighagen’s agent to get her to come down and sing. Amira is a 12 year old opera singer who won Holland’s got talent 2 years ago. Quite the little star in Europe right now!
Queen Eleanor – The most powerful woman on the face of the earth
Eleanor of Aquitaine was the ruler of my region of France for part of the middle ages. She was the most powerful woman of her time. Since, in 1137, Eleanor of Aquitaine was the most eligible heiress in Europe, she was able to marry the future king of France Louis VII (in a cathedral in Bordeaux actually)….
A lovely Summer tradition of the French countryside
On or around the date of the Summer Solstice, every year, in the French countryside, villagers light up a big fire in a field and dance around it until the last flame has gone. We call this « Fête de la Saint Jean » or « Saint John’s Feast” in reference to Saint John the Baptiste.
Chateau Lynch-Bages: the genuine care, vision and legacy of a very special family
Mr. Cazes joined us for dessert. He is the owner of Lynch Bages and he is Kinou and Marina’s dad. He owns 3 châteaux in Bordeaux (including Ormes de Pez pictured somewhere here as well) and several other properties including one in Provence where he produces his own olive oil.
From Cap Ferret to the Dordogne – Mimi and Gabriella’s visit to My French Heaven
As you all already know, my greatest pleasure in life is to share everything I love about France with my guests and my friends.
My dear friend Mimi (Chef Mimi Blog) came back to visit me last week and brought along one of her dearest friends, Gabriella.
All we did for a week was eat and drink and laugh. Oh we laughed so hard… When people ask me what I do for work, I just tell them I don’t actually work… They always look at me and smile (you know, the “oh poor thing” smile. The suckers think I’l kidding. The joke’s on them ;0)
A late celebration of Spring
It seems a little late to celebrate a season that will be over in a matter of days, but I found some photos of my first picnic of the year and thought I would share them with you.
Martin and the invisible moon
We had a four day weekend this past week and my friends Quitterie and Laurent invited me to join them at their beach house in Cap Ferret. Cap Ferret is located on the coast, West of Bordeaux. It feels a lot like the Hamptons without the crazy ass mansions…
My French Heaven can be hell… but chocolate always helps!
Cadiot-Badie in Bordeaux. Best chocolate for chocolate therapy!
What if you were your own guest for the day?
The most perfect day in Saint-Emilio between vintage cars, lunch at le tertre and a stroll through the vineyard…
The last market of Summer…
I visited my aunt Nicole the weekend before last. We went to the market together and got everything we needed for the most amazing omelette with chanterelles and herbs. For our main course, Nicole bought a few pigeons from a 90 year old gentleman. We found out how old he was during our conversation with him (it lasted for EVER). We also bought the sweetest prunes and mirabelles for a pie. Aunt Nicole is a fabulous cook!
Late wedding by the lake
My dear dear friends, so much has happened around here over the past month or so. I feel really bad because I wanted to share it all with you as it was happening and never got around to it (obviously). You know me: analysis paralysis… But never mind all that. I am back with a…
Thomas Jefferson’s favorite wine… and mine!
Thomas Jefferson was a big fan of Yquem, and although I can’t afford it, it is my favorite wine too! But if, like me, you love dessert wines in general and Sauternes in particular, I suggest you find some Château Guiraud. The property neighbors Yquem and it is a very special wine indeed. And much much cheaper too ;0)