Sunday, 24 June 2012


Football time with Euro 2012.
Not that I am not a real football fan, but when Italy is playing I can't avoid watching it.
Most of the time, in the most recent past, it has been quite painful and depressing but it is my team, I need to watch it. And since a tournament starts all I think is when is going to be next match? (if there is one!)...but also what am I going to drink while watching it?
It is in order to answer to this primary question that I have developed my (quite useless)  personal theory: wine does not match football.

It's easy: football is cheap and simple.It doesn't need to much effort to understand it and appreciate it. It is fun but can create quite a bit of stress and sweating if your team is not playing well. So you can't drink wine while watching football. Wine will overpower it. Or alternatively football will distract you from your glass.
Also wine is too alcoholic and will make you sweat even more.
Beer is the right one. Beer is the perfect match with football. A refreshing, plain, light drink lager. Or a tastier and more intense flavoured Ale.
This depending on the country you are and your personal preferences.

On the other hand, red wine is the perfect match with a good novel or a movie and white wine pairs perfectly a sunny day. That's it, it's easy. Who said that we always need food with wine?
Try it with a John Irving's novel or on a sunny terrace in a Mediterranean village and let me know what do you think!

Now that I have bored you with my theory, it's time to try it in practise.
Italy vs England, Peroni vs Ale. I (and I guess you too) already know my choice....

And while getting ready...I cheer my self up with some good memories...(I know tonight it's not going to be like this!!)...

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

From France with love (and wine)

What's best to avoid the Jubilee celebrations than a bucolic long bank holiday weekend in June exploring the French countryside?
I am not talking about the most touristy areas but those unspoilt regions where life is slow and all about nature, food and wine!
I found the right place in Dordogne, a small county on the South West side of France, just East of Bordeaux.

An area well known for castles, perfectly preserved medieval villages, vineyards, duck breeding and therefore a lot of duck based recipes. Every restaurant will have the confit the canard on their menu as well as a lot of foie gras.

I will leave all my ethical concerns on the foie gras on a side and will concentrate on the relaxing beauty of the Dordogne river valley and the friendly attitude of the local people. It is a place where you feel always welcome and where food and wine have a special place.

Driving in the countryside without direction is pure pleasure.
Stopping to have a walk in the silence of the medieval streets of one of those lovely villages like Montpazier, Tremolat, Cadouin or Limeuil is something really unforgettable.
And there is nothing better to finish the day than a nice dinner in a little bistrot with some rustic, genuinely tasty food.

I perfectly know that repeating your holidays experiences at home will never give you the same sensations and that whatever you drink and eat in a place during your trips will never taste the same when back home.
But this time I couldn't resist...I couldn't stop myself buying cheeses and some wine, so that my suitcase this time was not only full of memories!
Laguiole, Tomme de Savoie, Saint Nectaire, Langres, vin, Monbazillac and Pécharmant.

No real need to say anything about the first one. It speaks for itself, and if any of you doesn't know it, just try it. It is a great sweet wine. But the Pécharmant was instead a surprising find.

The 2004 vintage from Château Champarel that I bought, was still showing a dashing bouquet of fresh red fruit and a hint of undergrowth. A light texture, soft tannins and a medium subtle length. A wine that is ageing very well and still has some lifetime. An elegant wine, and a great value for money especially for Bordeaux blend enthusiasts.

PS: During my wandering around Dordogne I also 'met' Josephine I thought it would have been the best soundtrack for this post!