Why Champagne is champagne, Part II: Demystifying from vine to label

In my last post, I dissected the cultural icon that is champagne. Not all sparkling wines are created equal. For many of us, champagne is a bit of an enigma, elitist even. The terminology may seem a bit foreign. Like an exclusive club created it like a secret handshake: a means to determine who really…

Why Champagne is champagne, Part I

Champagne. Is any other beverage so widely equated with “the good life,” social status celebrations, and special events around the world? “Champagne” has become so well-known in popular culture and yet so misunderstood. The term has become so synonymous with sparkling wine that it is easy to forget that it is really a brand, a…

The best plat I ever ate: Parisian seared foie gras ravioletti

It is a rare moment in life when you experience something so spectacular you know you’re going to remember the rest of your life. Whether it’s people, a natural wonder, a concert, a work of art, or food, you typically know soon that the moment will remain with you for years – if not a…

Profile: Bordeaux’s Glouton, Le Bistrot

If I were to conceive the quintessential French bistro, it would look very much like Bistrot Glouton in Bordeaux, France. On a recent trip to Bordeaux, I had the pleasure of a lovely Saturday lunch there. A small, simple, and modern interior houses small wooden tables that place one in close proximity to fellow patrons,…

Two days in Bordeaux

If you have been looking to plan – or just dreamed about – a trip that includes hops around Europe or France, make sure to add Bordeaux to your bucket list. Wine is only a starting point.  Whether or not you are an oenophile (wine lover), Bordeaux has a lot to offer visitors. A cosmopolitan…

Redefining the salade chèvre chaud

I crave salads.  I adore cheese.  So for me, few salads – or entrees for that matter – can top the contrasting, yet complementary mix of flavors in a salade chevre chaud (hot goat cheese salad), ubiquitous in France and, actually, much of Europe.   The traditional French salad typically consists of large-leaf lettuce (like…