Monday, July 19, 2010

Picture Time!!

Words & Wine 2010 in pictures (Part 1):
 And there's so much more....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Wow. So we're only 3 days away from leaving and one week away from the official start of Words & Wine 2010! (The time difference is because Chris and I are spending a few days in Geneva, Switzerland before the "official" part of the trip. More wine. More food.).

We'll be posting photos and comments...but um, over at Facebook. Join the Words & Wine group on Facebook for a near daily update. This blog will be updated most likely when we return. It's so hard to keep up with all this technology!

A Bientot!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Why I Can't Wait to Go Back

I follow this blog by David Lebovitz--Living the Sweet Life in Paris. And I'm not really much of a sweets/ dessert person. But the recent blog post...well, that's why I can't wait to return to France.

Check it out: Great Dining Deals in Paris.

Yeah, we're just about 2 months away from all of this. Let the countdown begin!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

More France Fun

I can't decide what I'm more excited about...Paso Robles and the Forgotten Grapes trip in May, or France and the Words & Wine trip in June. Hmmm...

Here's day 2 of the France trip:

9:30am — Depart for Avignon
11:00am – 4:00pm: Free time to explore Avignon
4:30pm – 6:30pm: A tour of the Chateauneuf du Pape vineyards and a visit to the ruins of the eponymous Chateau followed by a tasting of wines at Ogier Caves des Papes from various appellations, including Chateauneuf du Pape, up and down the Rhone river.
7:00pm: Dinner at La Mere Germaine, a small, family-owned restaurant in Chateauneuf du Pape featuring stunning views of the Rhone river and surrounding countryside.

I'm excited about both.
(By the way, there are 2 spots left on both trips if anybody's interested just email for more information.)

Isn't it gorgeous? Can't wait to go back.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Words & Wine 2010--it's happening!

Words & Wine 2010:  June 20 to the 27th! The itinerary includes many exciting and fun days, like....

Monday, June 21st:
10:15a.m. Tasting at Domaine Gallety
11:30a.m: Special Tour of the Old Viviers Catherdral by Father Georges
12:30pm: Lunch at the Relais du Vivarais
2:00pm: A tour and tasting at Latour winery, a larger winery known for its Chardonnay and Grand Ardeche Wines
3:00pm: A stop a the Roman ruins of Alba La Romaine

3:45pm: Tour and tasting a Mas d'Intras winery (a personal favorite)

5:00pm: Stop a Lavender Museum and gardens as we drive through the Gorges de Ardeche
6:30pm: Return to Notre Dame de Cousignac for aperitifs
6:30pm to 8pm: Winemaker Raphael Pommier will guide us on a tour of the Notre Dame de Cousignac vineyards

and the still-operational 13th century chapel on the property, followed by a tour and overview of the winery's winemaking operations with a private tasting of the wonderful wines of Notre Dame de Cousignac (the rose' is not to be missed!!)
8:00pm:  A very special dinner at the winery; regional specialties prepared by Rachel and Raphael Pommier and paired with both Notre Dame de Cousignac wines and other regional wines. 

And if history repeats itself, much talk and revelry late into the evening. Jet lag? What jet lag??

There are still a couple of spots left on the trip. More info and registration available at --or leave a comment and we'll send you the info.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Exciting News: Notre Dame de Cousginac Wine Now Available in California!

Some exciting semi-Words & Wine related news for you:

Teresa and I got an e-mail from our friend and Words & Wine business partner Raphael Pommier (Rachel's other half and the seventh-generation French winemaker who runs Notre Dame de Cousignac) and let us know that one of his Notre Dame de Cousignac wine was finally available in California, at Bevmo! of all places.

We'd been able to find only one or two Notre Dame de Cousignac wines here in the U.S. for a little while (a wine shop in New York carried his rose, one of our favorite wines) but in the last couple of years, the only way to get Notre Dame de Cousignac wine was to smuggle a few bottles over yourself from one of our Words & Wine trips. Well, not anymore!

Raphael's 2007 Notre Dame de Cousignac Cote du Vivarais red wine (Cote du Vivarais is a smaller AOC appellation within the larger Cote du Rhone AOC appellation) has been picked up by Bevmo! and you can now currently buy it, whether you live in California or not!

All you need to do is go to Bevmo's website and search for "Notre Dame de Cousignac" (or just search for "Notre Dame" if you're lazy like me; it's the only entry under either query). Then, if you live in California, you can select your closest Bevmo store and order it online for pick-up. The site will even show you how many bottles are left at that particular Bevmo! (Teresa and I happened to pick up the last two bottles in the Brea store -- when we asked for more, the assistant manager said it was "flying off the shelves" -- and Brea now shows no more bottles left; sorry folks in the greater Brea area). If you're not in California, you can select to have the wine shipped to you in your particular state, and they will do so. It's like magic, only better, because it involves wine.

Anyway, please do your part to help support Rachel & Raphael and Notre Dame de Cousignac by buying up as many bottles of Notre Dame de Cousignac as you can find. If we can show Bevmo! that there's a demand out here for Notre Dame de Cousignac wine, they'll buy more from Raphael's distributor and potentially bring out more of Cousignac wines (including hopefully their outstanding and delicious rose). And that will make everyone happy.

Speaking of roses, for those of you who came on our 2006 Words & Wine trip, you'll remember one of our winery stops was at Gassier in the Coteaux de Provence region, where we met their winemaker Julian and he gave us some flip-flop stickers they were planning on using on one of their wines. You may also remember that we commented that they absolutely needed to call the rose "Flip-Flop wine" and Julian hemmed and hawed about that. Well, take a look at what we found at Bevmo! one shelf away from the Notre Dame de Cousginac wines:

Yep, that's a 2008 Gassier Flip-Flops Rose right there. Just like we named it. Apparently they decided to go with that name AND bring it to America, just like we told them to do (we must have been the ideal focus group for them). But we're still waiting for our royalties from our work naming the wine (we'd be happy to take them in Flip-Flop Rose) and expect to hear from them any day now.

In the meantime, we picked up a couple of bottles of that and recommend that you do as well, as it's super tasty and you'll really enjoy it, even as the weather gets colder and we move further and further away from rose season (do yourself a favor and pick up a case for next spring and summer; you won't be disappointed. Trust us). Same drill as before: go to and search "Gassier" and select whether you want to pick it up or have it delivered to you.

So that's your wine update for now, but we'll have another update later this week, some big, big news about our upcoming Words & Wine/Forgotten Grapes wine tasting weekend to Santa Barbara and Paso Robles in April. Be prepared, because we'll have all the information you need about the itinerary, pricing, and how you can join us on this can't-miss Forgotten Grape weekend.

Until then, don't forget to pick up your Cousignac wine!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Dates for our 2010 Words & Wine Trips!

Good evening all!

Chris here with a few quick announcements to all those of you interested in our 2010 slate of Words & Wine trips to France. We're very pleased to inform you that we now have the dates for all three of our Summer 2010 trips and can pass them along to you so that you can mark your calendars now.

The trip dates will be as follows:

2010 Whisks & Wine Gourmet Cooking & Wine Tour of France (8 days & 7 nights):
Sunday, June 20th, 2010 - Sunday, June 27th, 2010

2010 Vine & Wine Luxury Wine Tour of France (8 days & 7 nights):
Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 - Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

2010 Words & Wine Writer's Retreat & Wine Tour of France (8 days & 7 nights):
Sunday, August 29th, 2010 - Sunday, September 5th, 2010

We're very excited to announce these dates and hope to not only have pricing within the next few weeks, but to also have re-formatted to accept your deposits for any of these trips. Space is limited on each one, so be sure to make your reservation and send in your deposit as early as possible to guarantee yourself and spot and avoid ending up on the waitlist.

To entice you event further, here's just a few of the activities we are currently planning for each of these trips:

  • Whisks & Wine: Cooking lessons and wine tasting (of course) at the Universite du Vin in the Rhone Valley; a goat cheese (Picodan and Chevre) tasting; an olive oil tasting; lessons on how to make bread the French way from a real French boulanger; cooking lessons from several of southern France's hottest up-and-coming chefs.
  • Vine & Wine: A visit to the one-million-square-foot wine cave of Domaine Jaboulet, carved into the side of a cliff and once used as an aircraft hangar during World War II, a tour of the famed Hermitage hill and slopes of the Cote Rotie wine appellations, including a visit to the actual 13th century chapel that gave Jaboulet's famed "La Chapelle" Hermitage its name; a day of tastings at the wine cabanas of Die, trying the sparkling Clairette de Die wines of numerous independent producers; a comparative tasting of Rhone wines in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
  • Words & Wine: Lots of free time in the gorgeous and inspiring countryside to write and brainstorm creatively; two visits to local wineries to try out their wares; several gourmet French dinners, both home-cooked and at local bistros and fine dining restaurants.
If you've never been on a Vine & Wine or Words & Wine trip before, you have no idea what you are missing and definitely need to come along with us this summer, as these trips are lining up to be our most spectacular yet. And of course, if you love wine and love to eat and cook, then you absolutely must join us on our inaugural Whisks & Wine trip we're launching this year.

We'll have more information on all three trips -- including all pricing and full itineraries -- in the next few weeks, so until then, mark down these dates in your calendar and continue to visit this blog for all the latests Words & Wine news and information.

Until the next post, a bientot!