Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Be Still, Mon Coeur

When it comes down to it, it isn’t the wine that is getting us through “this,” it’s the sharing of the wine. Whether from 15 feet apart in the back garden, or online via Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype, we still thrive by sharing a glass with friends over a meal, an appetizer, or even a bowl of popcorn. It doesn’t matter how we do it, it matters that we do it: staying connected and staying safe.

Dinners on zoom have become de rigueur in our household. No pandemic is going to stop us from spending quality time with people we love. It took time for some of our friends to get on board, feeling that a virtual experience was just that — virtual. But, in the end, it isn’t. It may be the case for business meetings or even telehealth visits, but when you can sit down and dine with friends something changes.

We dress up. We use nice linens, china, and crystal. For really special occasions, we pull out the sterling silver. It is an event in our generally dull weeks. A reason to create a special meal, open and incredible bottle of wine, and discuss... the food, the wine, the weather, ... and maybe even a little... [...]

Cook, Drink & Learn: A Special Event

Escape the COVID doldrums with "Cook, Drink and Learn with Acquiesce," our inaugural (virtual) food and wine tasting on Sunday, November 15th at 2:00 p.m. PST/5:00 p.m. EST.

Please join Susan Tipton, Winemaker and Co-Owner of Acquiesce Winery, David Scott Allen, Editor of Cocoa & Lavender and wine and food writer for Provence WineZine, and me for an hour of food and wine fun (and a few facts!).  

Beginning with a cook-along with David, we will make Mini Croques... [...]

Diary of a Master of Wine in Provence

Solidarité – “Le coeur des chefs”

Written in Saint Martin Vésubie 18th October 2020.  I am often described as living in Provence – which makes sense being a rosé specialist, but I actually live in the southern Alps, just over 40 miles north of Nice on the Italian border in a small medieval town called Saint Martin Vésubie. Originally on the salt trade route between Nice and Turin, it became a fashionable tourist location from the late 1900s when it was dubbed La Suisse Niçoise. The village was in the news on 30th August when the second day of the Tour de France whizzed through. It felt like fiesta time as we lined the main road, cheering on the cyclists. Just over a month later we were in the news again, for very different reasons.

Over the 30th September to 1st October 2020, Storm Alex swooped down from Brittany in north west France, arriving in the far south eastern corner of France, and my village Saint Martin Vésubie, by the morning of 2nd October. Throughout the day of the 1st we had received weather alerts on phones and email. “Move your car to somewhere safe”, “make sure you are prepared for flooding”. The messages increased, but, living at 1000m, we are used to the water running down the mountain and it is the lower villages which are hit, rarely us. This may sound more familiar to those living in the path of hurricanes, but not here. We have little earthquakes, landslides after rain, but not flood alerts.

On the morning of 2nd October it started to rain. Then thunder and lightning. It rained and rained, increasingly with greater power. Our electricity went on and off. By 4pm our electricity completely went, but the rain had eased a little. The Madone river at the bottom of our garden was swollen and roaring, and was... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Alex’s Wine

Tacos and wine aren’t your average pairing. But Alex wasn’t your average young woman.

This month, my pairing is dedicated to the memory of Susan and Towny’s daughter, Alex, who died from complications from PANDAS (Pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections). October is PANDAS Awareness... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

As Summer Fades…

The construct of time is odd these days. Having been indoors (for the most part) since early March, it has been difficult to conceptualize the change of seasons. Calendars don’t seem to make a difference, and clocks and watches don’t really mean much now, either. The thermostat is at a constant and perfect 76°F; is it summer? Winter? I just ... [...]



New York, New York  August 9, 2020 – During the long, hot days of Augusts past, coveted pink wine from Provence flowed so briskly that the greatest source of anxiety among millennials from the City was that supplies would dry up in The Hamptons, just a short ride on the Jitney from Manhattan where I write now. In 2014, I recall my daughter... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Nobody’s Perfect

You might think that I like any wine that comes my way. I can see why you might think that, because mostly what you see here in this column are positive reviews and pairings.

But it’s not true. For one thing, when creating a pairing, I try to choose carefully so that I have something good to offer you. I certainly have control... [...]

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

A Transcontinental Tasting

A couple of weeks ago, Susan and Towny, along with several other friends, met with me and Mark on Zoom to cook a meal, taste some wine, and dine together — as if nothing about this was unusual. At times, it almost seemed as if we were together in the same room. But, every once in a while, there would be a hiccup in the ... [...]
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