French Wine Tasting: Tour de France of Wines in NYC

French Wine Tasting in NYC 

This past Saturday we co-hosted a blind wine tasting of fine wines from several fabulous regions of France. This fun event was held at the NYC home of “frequent travelers” Kat & Mark. They graciously opened their lovely home on a perfect day, and stocked the tables with fabulous French and Spanish cheeses and delicious gourmet treats!

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Getting ready for people

2013-04-27 09.16.00Each glass had a name2013-04-27 11.30.25Just before arrival, our hosts and “penny” enjoying the sunshine.

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We tasted 5 wines, all from France.

Wine 1: Laurent Combier Crozes Hermitage white. A beautiful wine with floral notes and a rich bouquet. This wine is from just north of Chateauneuf du Pape. People don’t think of Chateauneuf du Pape as a town or even area that produces whites, but they produce excellent white wines. This is a very small part of production but the top ones are truly special –and hard to find in the US. We regularly highlight these when in Provence.

The area around Chateauneuf du Pape, where our first wines came from

Wine 2: Meursault, Les Narvaux, 2010 David Moret. A great buttery chardonnay. Loved this wine (as I do all Burgundy wines). This wine has a bit more minerality than the Les Charmes, 1er cru, we like to profile on our Burgundy trips.

Typical of Burgundy, wines and quaint towns and villages

Typical of Burgundy, wines and quaint towns and villages

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Our hosts this past September in Burgundy on a private visit to the 14th Century cellars of the winemaker who owns our luxury inn!

Wine 3: Auxey Duresses, 2010, Billard.  A very nice pinot noir from Burgundy. However, Burgundy did not receive its due by comparing and tasting a village wine with the 1er Grand Cru classe from Bordeaux. Next tasting I will showcase wines from Burgundy that are equal in quality and ranking to the ones from Bordeaux. Because this region’s wines have such a “wow” factor  -and the area itself is so stunning –it’s a shame to leave people thinking one region is superior to the other!

The stunning town of Beaun

The stunning town of Beaune

Wine 4: Les Amouriers, Vacqueyras, 2010. This grenache and syrah wine is also from just north of Chateauneuf du Pape, and a very accessible alternative to the big names (and prices) of Chateauneuf du Pape reds. Needs to breath for about 90 minutes to 2 hours as it is young. But is a good wine, full flavored and a great example of what the region can produce.

St Emilion, from Pavie's vineyards

St Emilion, from Pavie’s vineyards

Wine 5: Chateau Pavie Macquin, 2007, her Grand Cru Classe. Predominantly merlot (84%) with 16% cabernet franc, this wine is truly a top wine. It surely overshadowed the other reds. It was smooth, rich and extremely well balanced. Still young, it was opened 2 hours before drinking. Next tasting, we will bring out the big guns in Burgundy to compare with Bordeaux. I think it will be a very tough decision for folks at that point!

Bordeaux France Wines

Thank you to all of your who came. And for those of you who couldn’t make it, we hope to be able to hold “reunions” for other groups and more return travelers!

One final shot of those of us who went out for dinner at a cute French style bistro after the tasting.

Dinner for those who could stay late

2013-04-27 15.35.19Hope to see you in all again very soon!

A Bientot,

Wendy

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Tour France: Food & Wine Vacations are Bliss!

Some places are extraordinary. Some meals are as well. It’s that magical combination of place, ambiance, warm welcome, specialty cuisine and company that makes these places pure Bliss! 

Of course, getting there is also half the fun. 

The wines were all Chateauneuf du Pape. Chateau La Nerthe 2009 white and red. The white was among the best I’ve every had.

An amuse bouche of eggs. The eggs in Provence are different (yes, even if you eat free range, farm eggs in the US. They are not the same.)

A lasagne of vegetables topped with girolles mushrooms was as tasty as it was healthy and beautiful.

An absolutely marvelous variation on the theme of Bouillabaisse. Truly memorable. A saffron fish broth held the freshest poached fish –not overly cooked–and still succulent and tender — with a saffron aioli and a tapenade crouton. This dish was a trip highlight and one we will make at home –that’s a promise. When the recipe is worked out Bliss Travels will share it.
Scallops in a lemongrass and leek broth…another “keeper”.

The requisite chocolate, salted caramel with dark chocolate and hazelnut was as good as it looked, but the real surprise was the Grand Marnier poached pear with orange and a four grain tulle. A truly superlative example of what fresh fruit can become in the hands of a master chef!

Experience Bliss with us. Contact us when you are ready to have this sort of vacation.

Tour France: Wine Tasting in Burgundy with Bliss Travels…A Video!

Tour France: Wine Tasting in Burgundy with Bliss Travels.

 See our video.

Our Trip was remarkable. From the barrel tastings in the private cellars to the 12th century chapel where we tasted 7 Grand Crus Burgundy wines, it was an amazing experience. Michel made us this video where you can share in the experience of the Grand Cru tastings, the special private lunch in the caves, and the barrel tastings with our favorite wine maker!

 

Our lunch with rabbit terrine, salmon and whitefish terrine, pate, asparagus mousse, beet salad, carrot rapee, cornichons, Burgundy cheeses, gougeres, tarts….and more. This lunch was served with Charmes Chambertin 2009, Clos Vougeot 2009 (Grand Cru), Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru, Meursault Les Charmes…and the list goes on! 

See what we have in store for the Holidays. A rare food and wine experience in Paris. Contact us now!

Burgundy Wine Trip Updates

We are planning our twice annual, super exclusive, insider, trip to Burgundy for April and September. What could be better than Spring and Harvest? We note that Burgundy wines are red hot right now, flying off the shelves. So, if you like Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, this is the region for you!

Here’s a taste of Bliss in Burgundy:

Below is the private lounge we use for our breakfasts, and an afternoon aperitif. There are only 4 rooms in this stunning private property.

Below is the living area  for one of the 4 rooms (2 of which are suites)
One of the baths:And  one of the 2 non suite rooms. Notice the original antiques and art!

After you’ve relaxed, we visit vineyards and taste wines. The tastings are private and custom.

Visit the centuries old cellars of a winemaker for a private barrel tasting.

Have a private wine tasting of premier cru and grand cru Burgundy wines by candle light

Visit the famous villages, markets and winemaker’s of the region.

Then, finish in Paris, the City of Lights for fine dining, custom menus and special experiences

Contact us now to be part of this very small, special trip. wendy@blisstravels.com

A Bientôt,

Wendy Jaeger

Owner, Bliss Travels

609 462 6213

5 Reasons Why Burgundy Once Again Surpasses Bordeaux!

Well, it’s official. Burgundy, the Gold Coast wines of legendary quality, are once again the preferred wines of wine lovers and experts alike.

Need further proof of Burgundy’s prominence in the world? Just look at the below results of the recent auctions, as reported by the Wine Spectator:Move Over Bordeaux: Burgundy Steals the Show at Asia Auctions

Recent sales lead top auctioneers to wonder if Bordeaux may be toppled as the premier blue-chip collectiblePeter D. Meltzer

Posted: November 29, 2011What’s top on the buyers’ wish lists? ….all of which have achieved record prices in recent sales. Vintages in demand include 1985, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2002 and 2005.As a category, the 102 Burgundy listings tracked by the Wine Spectator Auction Index rose 16.42 percent from the third quarter of 2010 to the third quarter of 2011….

There are many reasons behind Burgundy’s escalating popularity. Limited supply contributes to Burgundy’s appeal. “The quantities of great Burgundies on offer are so small that we never get much to sell,” noted Sotheby’s wine CEO Jamie Ritchie. “By value, in 2010, only 17 percent of the wines we auctioned were from Burgundy. The realization that these wines are extremely scarce has created a new-found appetite.”

This is what we’ve been saying for years! That’s why we go to Burgundy. On our most recent trip, we focused on 1999, 2005 and 2009 wines. Yep, that’s right! And they were amazing! The 2007’s and 2008’s needed time and breathing space.

 Harvest in Burgundy. Our annual trip to discover the year’s harvest and tastes wines as they are being made! It’s unique to Bliss Travels !

Springtime in Provence, Paris, and Burgundy Too!

Some photos from last April and May. Our trips to Burgundy, Paris and Provence…A picture is worth 1000 words…or maybe more! I know it was Bliss!

Last May in Provence

We visited a beautiful farm to pick herbs, have a cooking lesson (Provencal cuisine of course) and photograph everything that was in bloom!

Who says you can't have it all?

Anthony Bianciella, our amazing photographer, makes the trip even more fun!

To Market...

And, after the market...in the shadows of a castle

You Here! With a glass of wine, looking at the artists and looking at the sights!

Grand Cru Tastings, by candlelight...It was like a dream!

Charming....what else can we say?

Except…luxurious  original appointments in our private Burgundy property. Only 4 rooms –and our 7 guests adored being spoiled, thoroughly!Murano chandeliers, original antiques…

and specially arranged private wine tours. This was a happy group!
No lines. No buses. We did it all custom and private!

A bientôt! See you all soon….And again! It was Bliss!

Christmas in Paris: It Must be Time for Something…

Christmas in Paris: It Must be Time for Something…

You know –that moment after you’ve had lunch, and walked, and seen “everything”…there must be something else to do or have or see….cause this is so much fun!

So, how do you spend a day in Paris over Christmas week? Well, first you…

1.Find an out of the way, top of the top, Bistrot, with a star chef

2.You walk a mile and take the metro –to get there (and stimulate appetite

3.You order: Oysters Tartare with Cream of Lettuce or some other unfathomable but superb combination of ingredients

4.You walk the Christmas markets all afternoon

buying presents and drinking hot spiced wine!

  1. Enjoy the sights!

    Stay tuned for DAY TWO!