So many wineries, so little liver.
Last month I went to the Salon des vins Vignerons Independent on business (business in France is fun). This was the Olympics of wine tastings…seriously. A first, I was a bit overwhelmed and carried around my empty glass for about 15-minutes, not knowing where to start (until I found a Champagne stand).
Here’s my list on how to have a successful trip to the salon:
- 1. Eat a carb-tastic lunch, about 45 minutes before you enter. You’ll be drinking a lot—don’t go on an empty stomach, whatever you do.
- 2. Pack snacks. After being there for 3 hours, your stomach will need more absorption. Unless you want to pay 7euros and up for a few pieces of (amazing) cheese/foie gras/saucisson/jambon and baguette, bring your goûter.
- 3. Take water, the wineries will have water to rinse your glass, but you should hydrate yourself between wineries.
- 4. Bring a suitcase or a chariot. Depending on the winery, some will offer a lower price if you buy in bulk; it’s a good idea to get a few cases…but always ask yourself this question, “can I carry this?”
- a If you have answered no, then you should download the Uber app. And you and your wine should go home via taxi.
5. It’s perfectly acceptable if you don’t finish your glass. You are not rude by doing so. That’s why there are multiple buckets per stand for you to discard your sample. Also, they know you have a lot to taste. Take it slow and appreciate what’s in your glass.
6. Have a conversation with the owners, you’ll better understand their wine.
7. Pay close attention to the region that you are tasting (they are color coded). Each region has a distinct taste, color, and bouquet.
I learned Joura and Corsica wines aren’t my favorite. Graves is a region new to me, which really caught my taste-buds’ attention…but more on that plus tard!