Rhône Wines

Musings of a Wine Maven

A Postcard from the Foire aux Vins

How could it be in the twenty-two years since I returned to the States after a six-year career segment based in Lyon, that I could have overlooked the huge deal the fall wine sales still are in France? I guess for one thing, we have always gone back for our annual holiday in the summer, where to the delight of my wife Benedicte the summer clothes sales are in full swing. Both wine and clothing sales are semi-annual events in France, legislated at the national level. They are eagerly anticipated and, from what I have seen, produce the desired sales activity.

Of all places, I was reminded of [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Le Vin de Table

Vin de Table. Table wine. We all have our favorites. You know, the wine you drink every day. The one you buy when it's just you, or you and your family. A good, reasonably priced, and readily available table wine. Vin de Table.

Today's wine is just that. La Vieille Ferme rosé can be found in most grocery stores, big box wine stores, and even the occasional boutique [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Tasting Tavel

Four years ago, almost to the day, I was at a dinner party for which each of the eight guests was asked to bring a rosé to include in a blind tasting. The wines came from all around the world, and no one wine was duplicated. One of the wines presented was a Tavel; its dark hue was unfamiliar to us and assumptions of sugar content and [...]

Musings of a Wine Maven


I arrived at No. 35 Rue Joseph Ducos just in time to watch five men, led by son Marcel Bonneau, carry the casket of legendary winemaker Henri Bonneau (1938 - 2016) from his long-time home to the 11th-century church Nôtre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, across the street. In moments, it seemed, the casket had been carefully placed in the center aisle in front of the altar. That was March 26th.

Just five days earlier, I had been in Châteauneuf-du-Pape with business associate Jacques Navarre; it was one of the stops on our ten-day visit to wine producers in Burgundy and the Rhône Valley. I had not anticipated returning to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, yet when I heard the news that Monsieur Bonneau had died, I immediately [...]


2015 was a good year. Brilliant clarity and great depth. Intense bouquets segueing into a well-balanced product with layers of complexity. A lingering finish, imploring the reader, we hope, to return for more in 2016. Provence WineZine is still young but we have great promise [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Muscat Love

It's been twelve months of Provençal wine and food pairings now, and I imagine you have seen some patterns. I love pairing special meals with special wines, and sharing the experiences with special people. Which makes me chuckle when I think of how the French use the descriptor "special" in not so nice a way. «Ouai, ça c'est très SPECIAL...» But, I digress... [...]

Musings of a Wine Maven


It’s funny how one can misconstrue history, imagining the raison d’être of certain events to be one thing, and then being surprised to learn that reality is quite different. Such was the case when I moved to France in 1988. At that time, I was vaguely aware of some sort of official agreement between the French and the English termed the Entente Cordiale. At the time I did not realize it was originally a alliance pertaining to political and military relations, rather assuming the document was drafted and accepted (in 1904) to signal a new era of conviviality between two nations that shared a 1,000 year history of dislike, bordering [...]
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