That was a few weeks ago in Paris : a few bloggers with a taste for good food, mostly American expats living in Paris, started a new blog named Paris by Mouth, and the inauguration evening took place at the Spring wine shop in Paris. Meg Zimbeck who is the editor along with Barbra Austin, contacted me through Sharon and here we go, good company and good wine to go with. the new website or blog will deal with tips on food, restaurants and other venues in Paris. Most of the contributors of Paris by Mouth are expats, but they include a couple of French like Clotilde Dussolier and Bruno Verjus with a keen knowledge on food and chefs. Expect insider tips, expats know often better than longtime residents in any city.
Lots of people during this evening, are there so many american expats in Paris or did they come from abroad for the good wine and Daniel Roses's mini-dishes ? I loved the wines that Josh filled my glass with, this Melon de Bourgogne, this Breton's Dilettante and a Mercurey that I was happy to discover. The mood of this evening was excellent, some people even came with their baby and it was so crowded that the party took place mostly on the sidewalk, Josh passing through the guests with a bottle to fill the glasses.
Later I sneaked into the restaurant a few meters away with Daniel Rose and a couple of persons, it's still under construction, with a street level and two in the basement. The chef doesn't make any predictions about the opening day, it should be in the next weeks or months.
Coinstot Vino, 26bis Passage des Panoramas, 75002 Paris, phone 01 44 82 08 54.
Georgette, 29 rue Saint Georges, 75009 Paris. phone : 01 42 80 39 13
Note that the shop is next door from Ô Chateau which organizes wine tastings in English.
Spring boutique, 52 rue de l'arbre sec 75001 Paris. Phone 01 58 62 44 30.
I tasted quite a few good things there :
__Eric Morgat's L'Enclos Savennières 2007 with an intense, long mouth and a striking minerality. It's made out three parcelles (vineyards) at yields of 20 hectoliter/hectare. Fermented one year in 400-liter casks, then blended in a vat. 2-year elevage plus one year in bottles. It's dry, he says, no redidual sugar.
__ Alexandre Bain Pouilly Fumé Mademoiselle M 2008, Sauvignon Blanc from near Sancerre. Dark color, vinified in cask. The color comes from the fact it was harvested late. Nice mouth with ripe grapes feel, hay too. Reverberates well in the mouth. Beautiful substance with acidulous ending.
__ Sébastien David (pic on left) Ni Dieu ni Maître 2007, from Cabernet Franc on 50% gravel and 50% on clay/limestone. Complexity with fruit on the nose. Nice texture in the mouth. Also liked his Ke Za Ko 2009 made with grapes put to ferment intact inside a cask, the cask being rolled from time to time to make a semi-carbonic maceration. It makes a differents with the tannins. The grapes are pressed thereafter. New oak. 50 days in the cask. Just bottled. Nice mushroom nose, very chewy with fruits.
__ Also liked Breton's Chinon Saint Louans 2006 and his Perrières 1989 that he brought a magnum of, a real pleasure to sip.
__ Chaussard had nice things too : his Jasnières 2008 bottled last march, a nice Chenin (no notes sorry). Also his Coteaux du Loire red les Mortiens 2008, 100 % Pineau d'Aunis. That's good !
La Bellivière had a nice white Coteaux du Loir Vieilles Vignes Eparses 2008. Intense mouth with notes of honey, wheat. Liked also his red Coteaux du Loir Rouge Gorge 2008, 100 % Pineau d'Aunis. Very nice tannic mouth.
Also liked Jérôme Lenoir's wines(pic on right), always with long élevages : his Chenin 2005, with a nice ripeness. And his red 2002 of which I still have a couple of bottles, a good way to check how the wine goes. The color is the one of an evolved wine, I like the nose with its hard to define complexity. Nice to swallow.
While the planned apéro géant was obviously provocative and was banned by the Prefecture for that reason (it took place near the Champs Elysées instead), it knowingly put in the spotlight the ressented cultural changes taking place in France like in much of Europe in that regard. Islam is hardly a religion like any other, it's been associated with lots of violence and killings commited in its name all over the world and although debating this religion's features is considered a slippery terrain, we may be entitled to ask ourselves about the possible consequences for the countries going through this cultural landslide, including for what matters for us here, wine culture, freedom and tolerant lifestyle. The food and wine aspect seems a secondary issue compared to more alarming issues like for example the many attacks against jews, but a few months ago though, there had been lots of protests about the French fast-food chain Quick going halal and imposing this islamic-sanctionned food to non-muslim customers. It brought to light the topic of the disappearance of pork products under pressure from this part of the society. This saucisson-with-wine apéritif thing was set up as a provocation, but the matter remains, something is going on.
The question is, could wine come next ? Alcohol under any form or strength is considered as a bad thing for the followers of this religion. According to this English-language page listing impure things, animals and people in Islam (the impure people concept already rises a flag), 9 categories are stamped as being impure for the mahommetans. After the three first banned things that shed a Lacanian light on the people who wrote these laws (urine, stool & semen), we find several categories including people considered impure. The good news for us is that fermented beverages (which includes wine) are listed last, at the 9th position. there's bad news alas folks : we, unbelievers and unrepentant wine-drinkers (kafirs) are listed # 8, just after dogs and pigs...
Edit : Incidents like the one listed on this page are beginning to occur and even the non-muslim part of the population are pushed in these areas to follow their lifestyle in the hiding because of potential violence by muslim youth.
Georges Duboeuf is a heavy weight in the wine business in Beaujolais and in the world. He founded his company in 1964, teamed with restaurants, including top chefs like Bocuse to promote his Beaujolais wines, then bought from other vignerons to keep up with the market growth of his brand. He took advantage of the Beaujolais-Nouveau thing to market it as a must drink and export it worldwide, putting the Beaujolais on the table of the world. The craze backfired somehow since it peaked in the 1990s' maybe, but Georges Duboeuf still makes 75 % of his business abroad, which means that the wines from Beaujolais sell well. At 77, he is at the head of a major wine group, his négoce buying wine from about 400 wineries and more than 20 coops for a total output of 30 million bottles. He manages his négoce with his family and with his son Franck.
__I discovered the Hospices de Beaujeu during that tasting, with the cuvée des Sires de Beaujeu Regnié 2009, bottle n° 11536. I liked the nose and the mouth comparatively to most of what I tasted here. It was bottled a month ago. This wine cost only 4 € professional price. The woman on the picture who works at Beaujeu told me that the Hospices de Beaujeu are older than their Beaune famous counterpart. It can be visited on appointment. Most of the wines there are exported from what I understood.
__I also liked the Domaine de la Madonne Vieilles Vignes Fleurie 2009. 70-year old vines. Nice cellar aromas on the nose. Also of small red fruits. Nice mouth. 100% stainless-steel vat. Costs 11 € at the estate public price. This is an early bottling, the resty will be bottled in september. 14° alcohol but not hot in the mouth. Total vineyard surface : 18 hectares. 5 different cuvées are made in this estate.
Here is another short video (on left) of a quiet terrace, and this is in Montmartre. The small terrace of Autour du Moulin has a great view on Paris with the rue Tholozé going down. It's located at 88 rue Lepic at the intersection with rue tholozé, the rue Tholozé ending with a few stairs there. There's very little traffic here too and it's not too much crowded usually, most of the visitors staying on rue des Abbesses which has an impressive number of outdoor terraces. It's a stone throw from le Moulin de la Galette, a historic spot of Montmartte.