Cahors, Hainan Chicken Rice, and The Stories Wine Books Tell

We’re fascinated by how wine regions, young and old, develop reputations. As we prepared to open the bottle of Cahors that had been waiting for this month’s #Winophiles event, we browsed through various wine books to see how the image of Cahors wines has evolved, and where it stands.


A very well-traveled Merlot with Vietnamese bò kho #MerlotMe #WinePW

Back during the year when we lived in Williamstown Massachusetts, we marveled as our neighbor, a fellow economics professor, regularly stood on the porch in the freezing winter to grill steaks. That, with the quaint atmosphere of Williamstown, which felt like the set of the Gilmore Girls, was all part of Pierre’s welcome to the USA. And our dear neighbor didn’t grill just any random piece of meat. He got his Omaha Steaks shipped frozen from Nebraska. They certainly didn’t risk unwanted defrosting on the porch. And sure, even top restaurant chefs don’t hesitate to get the best meat and fish shipped in this way if they’re not locally available. So, what about winemakers?

Celebrating the Revival of Irouléguy #Winophiles

This month the Winophiles group explores the wines of the French Basque country, which really means only one appellation: Irouléguy. This tiny wine region, just 220 hectares total, has experienced quite the revival in the last two decades. In fact, it turned its reputation around big time, and we love that kind of story, which applies to regions and sometimes even entire countries.

New Zealand Chardonnay with a view of the Pyrenees

About two weeks ago, Wednesday 10pm, it was too late when we remembered the Wine Pairing Weekend tasting group on Twitter (#WinePW) had a New Zealand theme planned in August. A few hours later we were off to France. The odds of us joining the #WinePW fun looked slim. Finding quality New Zealand wine in Toulouse France, we thought, would take far more than a quick trip to supermarkets like Carrefour or Casino. Click on picture to read more.

A celebration of wine industry upgrading paired with South African food truck takeout #WinePW

When the #WinePW group announced the theme of this month, South Africa, the first word that popped in our minds was not a region or grape variety, but “upgrading.” That’s one of the big words we ran into at the beginning of our wine research a few years ago. Why? Because our first instinct was to go to… our university libraries’ databases. Oh, college professors. We can’t be saved. Anyway, this month’s #WinePW theme is a good reminder that we are terribly ignorant about South African wine, and South Africa more generally, and don’t drink enough South African wine!

Comfort food and sunny red: Gérard Bertrand Côtes des Roses with Senegalese mafé and fonio #Winophiles

When L.M. Archer announced that this month’s #Winophiles chat would focus on Gérard Bertrand, from the Languedoc, the first thing we thought was… sun, we need sun. And next, our squirrel brains took us back to sunny Senegal memories, and a craving for one of our favorite dishes: mafé. We’re so busy lately that we didn’t have much time for proper wine planning. But the beauty of big brands like Gérard Bertrand is that you can have them any time, no planning required. Gérard Bertrand wines are not only delicious, they’re also easy to find anywhere.

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