As you may know, I’ve just returned from an amazing winter trip. Three weeks in Europe—from a balmy wine-tasting on the banks of the Bosporus, to a week of Languedoc vineyarding in the south of France, to luscious Chenin Blanc discoveries in the Loire Valley, to a wild snow-covered jaunt through five German wine regions—ending with a supra-luxe gastro-weekend in Paris. The good life, for sure.
SPECIAL REPORT: GETAWAY DAY—TODAY—PARIS TO NEW YORK
It has been a long, hard road trip—Turkey, France, Germany. But in a few months you will see the fruits in the form of breathtaking wines at good prices that I dug out and slurped up. One interesting note from Sunday lunch, yesterday, in Paris: On this trip everyone is telling me how popular “le hamburger” is, in France!
Go to any posh tasting in the U.S. of wines from the south of France, and the first description you’re sure to hear is “ah! the aroma of garrigue!” Everyone is into it because Robert Parker started including it in his southern French notes years ago—and because, let’s face it, it’s a catchy word that makes you sound smart.
But there’s a lot of dumb garrigue usage out there. For starters, it is not a single herb, as some believe. It is a group of Mediterranean herbs—some familiar, like thyme and rosemary, some not so familiar—collectively referred to as “garrigue.”
Who is not seduced by the south of France? And we’re not talking simply Riviera, here: the whole damned southern stretch from the Atlantic Ocean on the west to the Alps on the east is bewitched. And delicious. Now, I haven’t been to every restaurant in the south of France, of course…..but these five extraordinary experiences are the ones to beat right now!