Wine Tasting

Whispers of Violets 5

  Whispers of Violets   They said you couldn’t be done That you were capricious, disdainful, coy A slow starter and rarely-ender   For years we listened to them For years I warily pondered you From the corner of a mistrustful eye A June flower An August berry An October Lady in her violet drape Beckoning from the palm of my hand   And then one day A tentative crush beneath the teeth An astonishing burst of tart mystery And a fragrance…  elusive, impossible to name Out of reach in a dim bank of dusty neurons A fragrance of other […]

Friends and Family 2

Not that long ago, when we were naive and fearless, the prospect of making wine seemed something a mere mortal might attempt. Obviously, between the quirks of Nature and quirks in the winery, we quickly found out that this next-life endeavour was hardly a shoe in.   But nothing in our enthusiastic mindset prepared us for a different hurdle:   several thousand bottles of wine – how in the world to sell it?   We sought advice.  I asked successful friends how they got started.  The most established said their ancestors set it up.  Even Cheval Blanc began with people […]

La Tourbeille in London – 2017 3

In the envelope:  plane tickets to London, passes for the Gatwick Express, Oyster cards for the Underground and keys to a beautiful apartment in Pimlico.   When one of our dear nephews said, “Come to London and tell your story,” we never expected such a very red carpet.   I remember this particular nephew at age seven, dividing his time between reclusive hours reading “The Philosopher’s Stone” long before Harry became a household word, and running with the raucous herd of franco-british-american cousins stampeding through an indulgent Grandmére’s house.    He is now an apparition in suit and tie, carrying […]

La Tourbeille in Paris – 2017 5

We have lived and loved many cities – but dare I say, we have a particular weakness for Paris, city of brave St Geneviève and brave St Elizabeth, city of erudition, of romance, of high standards for all that encompasses gastronomy, wine and pleasure. So joy it was indeed to be back in Paris last week when dear friends Dominique and Jacques hosted a Vertical Tasting of our wines in their home. To spoil our tasters we went to one of the finest cheese shops in Paris, as only the Parisians can boast, for they take first pick of the […]

Wine Tasting London – March 2015 2

Many years ago we lived in London.  It was a time of young children, young careers, budding friendships.  We could never have predicted we’d be back on such different terms. Thanks to the generosity of old friends, we found ourselves in corporate offices at Canary Wharf last week, presenting our wine.  We hadn’t expected that it would turn into something of a party, but our friends created such an ambiance, it was hard to leave. Generosity. You never know when you’ll suddenly be the beneficiary or you’ll be called up as donor.  And then, there’s a bewilderment sometimes in receiving, […]

Wine Tasting – La Tourbeille in Paris, December 2014 4

A huge thank you to our friends Dominique and Jacques de Taisne and their family for hosting the launch of our 2012 La Tourbeille.  What a delight to open the wine in the setting of their beautiful Paris home, buoyed up by their hospitality. Huge thanks as well to the dear friends and their friends who dropped by to taste vintages 2011 and 2012.  It was wonderful to catch up and wonderful to find that all the cases of both vintages we had brought direct from our winery – were snatched up by the end of evening.  Thank you all, for […]

Words for Our New Girl

My first taste of wine was poured from a picturesque bottle of Mateus Rose. Two points off for the plastic cup, but it was the best my college roommate could rustle up for French Club Night in our favorite professor’s garret office.  A little wine (even Portuguese, I suppose) was supposed to liberate our tongues so we’d opine about Literature like natives.  As it turned out, my French was still rubbish, but the wine had turned a 1st trick – flowing ideas despite bad grammar.  Then a further challenge: describe this novel beverage as it rolls through your mouth.  But […]

Tastes of New Wine

6 months ago it was a stroll through the vineyard munching on grapes after a hot bike ride through the hills. 3 months ago we were in the rows checking sugar levels with a spectometre, biting the grapes carefully to explore the pink pulp.  11 weeks ago was harvest, juice so sweet it hurt our teeth. Talk about learning curves.  A custom wine tasting crash course not offered on the night class circuit – daily dipping into infant wine, childhood wine, adolescent wine… You taste each day but she’s a girl in motion who fools you at every turn. Big wardrobe, […]