Paris, Bistrot de Sommelier (Monday, June 10) A blind tasting and dinner put together by one of the world's top sommeliers, Philippe Faure-Brac.
|The Côtes du Rhône, seen from the village of Suze-la-Rousse.|
This is the travel and tasting diary of our seven-day journey through the southern Rhone Valley and Provence, which I led with French Wine Explorers - an American tour company that specializes in wine tours of France - and a dozen wine lovers who chose to join us.
During the process of setting up this tour, I was consistently impressed with the quality and care that French Wine Explorers takes in setting up all its wine trips, and the credit for this goes to its principals, sommeliers-conseils Lauriann Greene and Jean-Pierre Sollin, who during the course of the week evolved from colleagues to friends.
As I do, Lauriann and Jean-Pierre take a down-to-earth, plain-talk approach to wine, sharing my commitment to make the often daunting world of wine simple and to take the mystery out of it in a friendly, non-snob environment that's equally welcoming to wine novices and advanced experts.
The trip was orchestrated perfectly, with glitches so minor and rare as to deserve no notice. And as you can see from the diary entries, it was a real wine lovers' tour, chock full of visits with the region's top wineries and wine makers, memorable meals at well-reputed restaurants, and comfortable accommodations in quality hotels.
It was a pleasure to meet and get to know the wine enthusiasts who joined us, and we look forward to continued contact with them all. Thanks to Jane Hermansen, Sandy Weiss, Clay and Vida Robertson, Peg Terhar and Don Gregory, Jay and Lavon Barnes and Charlie and Paige Fiedler, not to mention Lauriann and Jean-Pierre (and of course my wife Mary) for your enjoyable company through the week.
I'm pleased to announce that I'll join with French Wine Explorers again to co-host a tour of Champagne and Burgundy in May 2004. For more information about that tour, and to get your name on the list before it fills up, click to http://www.wine-tours-france.com/BurgundyWineTours.htm.