Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Delightful Detour

Fancy that.   I took a turn off Carmel Valley Road and found myself in France.  So I decided I’d do what MK and I like doing in Carmel Valley—enjoy the beauty of the landscape and the excellence of the wine.
My husband and I started out in Paris, attending a few days of the French Open.  I knew I liked tennis, but I especially liked it in Paris.  Any tournament that has an outdoor garden area that serves champagne and macaroons is my kind of tournament. 
We also loved having a late afternoon “Kir,” just a smidgeon of crème de cassis in the bottom of a glass with chardonnay or sauvignon blanc poured over it.  To step that up a bit, there’s the “Kir Royal,” champagne poured over cassis. 
After our time in Paris, we took the train to the Provence in southern France, a rich agricultural area that is visually reminiscent of Carmel Valley.  Fruit orchards, olive trees, and vineyards line the windy roads and everyone seems to know how to enjoy at least one glass of exceptional local wine over a long lunch.  Or even earlier than that if need be.
A few days ago, around 11 in the morning, we went to a small locals’ café for our café au lait. At a neighboring table, we saw an older man having a glass of wine. He told us that he was 93 years old and had been having two glasses of wine a day for most of his adult life.  Sounds good to me.  At the table to our left was a traveler from Germany who overheard the comment and offered his own wine philosophy, “Life is too short to drink bad wine.”  I couldn’t agree more.  
There is so much to learn about wine, here in France, at home in Carmel Valley, and wherever lovely grapes can grow. Let’s all keep doing our research, and maybe we, too, will live to be 93 or beyond.  A votre sante.

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