Buying Wine for Valentine’s Day

The 2nd Annual Salon des Vins des Vignerons Indépendents (Wine Expo for Independent Wine Producers) was held this past weekend at the Nice Acropolis Parc des Expositions.  Over 200 independent wine producers from across the country were in attendance.

We had checked online to see which, if any, of our favourite wine producers would be in attendance.  Through the website we found we could select the producers in question and print of a floor plan/guide de visite to make finding them a lot easier.  After a filling lunch we headed out to the Parc des Expositions, with our guide de visite in hand, to sample — et bien sûr to buy — some wine.  Here are the vignerons we visited with on Saturday.

Château Petit Sonnailler (Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence) – This naturally was our first stop as the vigneron had sent us an invitation to the salon.  We sampled the rosés from 2011 and found it to be fuller in fruit flavour — peaches and nectarines — than the 2010 without giving up on the crispness we enjoy.  (I may not be bikini ready but I’m definitely summer-dining ready!)  We also sampled their crémant, both the blanc des blanc and the rosé, as well as their white wines.  They were all very pleasing and the challenge was deciding which wines to select.

Domaine Serge Laporte (Sancerre) – We opted to sample the Sancerre blanc and the blanc cuvée des M.a.g.e.s.  It really only took the magical words “goes well with chèvre” for me to snap it up.  Both wines were delightful and crisp and had me planning summer dinners of fish, asparagus, and salads with goat cheese.

Domaine Leccia (Corsica, Patrimonio) – We were first introduced to the muscat from Cap Corse via Le Petit Champerret restaurant in Paris.  It’s our apéritif of choice at our Paris restaurant of choice.  Although we were also familiar with Mme Leccia’s wines we sampled away.  To cap it off we finished on a sweet note with the muscat we’ve grown to love.

Vignoble Michel Coudroy (Bordeaux, Pomerol) – D was on the hunt for a Pomerol and we found just that courtesy of Vignoble Michel Coudroy. We had a good chat at this stand and tasted the 2006 Lalande-de-Pomerol and the 2006 Pomerol offered.  Our plan is to keep a few of the bottles for a couple of years.

Domaine Giudicelli (Corsica, Patrimonio) – At Domaine Giudicelli we revisited their 2009 red wine, a wine we had purchased last year during our trip to the island.  One of the reasons we love Giudicelli wines centres on the fact that they do not add yeast to their wines.  We sampled everything they had to offer: red, rosé, white, and two types of muscat.  It was the muscat sec that surprised me as it was fruity and sweet on the nose but dry on the palate.  Completely, yet pleasingly, unexpected.

Château Pont de Brion (Graves) – I was more interested in tasting the white wines from this vineyard.  D and I have sampled and purchased wine from this region of Bordeaux but I’d never had their white wines.  Oh how delicious!  Again, it was hard not to start planning summer meals, to dream about dining al fresco.

Château La Borie (Côtes du Rhône) – Being the wine drinker connoisseur that I am I had spotted this label a few months ago at the Carrefour.  D and I had purchased a few bottles to enjoy with les parents, and the wine proved to be a real treat with the rabbit stew that la mamie had prepared.  So, coming across them at the salon was just pure luck.  And I was planning on making rabbit on Sunday.  The timing was perfect.  We sampled some wine while chatting about the wine industry in Canada as it compares to France.

Lest you think this was just about wine, let me mention the booth courtesy of Real Chocolate.  Of course, free dégustations of nougat and chocolate were possible and something I couldn’t pass up.  I haven’t had nougat in about 2 years and was happy to sample the blueberry nougat.  When the gentleman serving us learned that I was Jamaican he instantly chopped off a piece of the dark chocolate with piment d’espelette.  A little spice, yes?  Yes indeed!  Ditto for the spicy nougat too.

By the end, after 2.5 hours of wine tasting, surprisingly I had reached my limit.  We managed to cart our purchases home and piled the cases up outside the kitchen.

Whether you get roses, jewelry, or cases of wine I wish you all a sweet and love-filled Valentine’s Day!  Bisous.

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Categories: dégustations/tastings, Nice, salon des vins, wine, wine producers

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and France!

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2 Comments on “Buying Wine for Valentine’s Day”

  1. February 28, 2012 at 4:21 PM #

    Wow, that’s a Lot of wine! I usually top out after about 4 during wine tastings but this sounds like an adventure. Of course the highlight of the post for me was the chocolate and nougat. Spicy nougat sounds like heaven!

    • February 29, 2012 at 1:10 PM #

      Well, it wasn’t normal serving size…but yes, it ended up being a lot. My only regret was not stopping at one of the champagne producers. I love champagne so that was a little bummer.

      The chocolate and the nougat were great. A little bit each day was like a sweet/savoury treat.

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