Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Les Grandes Tablées du Saumur Champigny: 5th and 6th August

2005 Grandes Tablées du Saumur-Champigny 

In 2005 the producers of Saumur-Champigny invited a group of British press and other friends of the Loire, like Nigel Wilkinson (RSJ Restaurant) to Les Grands Tablées. The visit was truly memorable and included a a cricket match as well as a boules forts competition. The British contingent was ungracious enough to win both contests. 

Now 10 years later we have been invited back. Not sure where they will find bowler hats as I haven't seen anyone wearing one for many years. One of the last great bowler hatted gentlemen – Trad Jazzman Acker Bilk – died last November.

Les Grandes Tablées du Saumur Champigny:  
 “So British”, August 5th and 6th 2015 

Saumur Champigny’s winegrowers have promised to sport bowler hats as they greet their British friends on August 5th and 6th this year. Last year, the focus for this great event was Belgium and the dominion of King Philippe; this year the spotlight falls on the loyal subjects of Queen Elizabeth II. The British are no strangers to this part of the world, and will no doubt make time to visit Eleanor of Aquitaine and Richard the Lionheart who are buried nearby in the Abbey at Fontevraud. 

Now in its 15th year – 6,000 meals served in the centre of town!
6,000 meals served to 3,000 guests per day over 2 evenings, with another 2,000 strolling by just to have a look – this event has really struck a chord with the public. Every summer, Saumur becomes a huge open-air restaurant full of good humour and festive spirit. Long rows of tables are set out in the town square for visitors to enjoy local foods and Saumur Champigny wines in the company of the winegrowers themselves. On Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th August, a full 2 km of tables will be in position outside the town hall, ready to welcome this year’s guests. 

Yes, there really is such a thing as good British food…
To dispel the myths, organisers are going out of their way to prove that British gastronomy is alive and well. Alongside local Saumur products, they will be serving mushroom pies, pork pies, fresh seasonal vegetables, goat’s cheese, blueberry chutney, red berry crumble…all the traditional English favourites revisited. 

Pop Music
Unfortunately the current British Pop Idols can’t join us on this occasion, but the 5 bands we have lined up to entertain us in the Place de la République are sure to pay them fitting tribute. Programme to be confirmed. 

La Cuvée de 100 Vignerons 
There will, of course, be unlimited wine to accompany your meal, with  20 stands around the Place de la République serving 4,000 bottles of Saumur Champigny Cuvée de 100 Vignerons. This is a wine made especially for the occasion: around 100 vignerons contribute 15 kg of grapes each to make a wine which ‘reflects the vintage’.  Every year, 4 of these cuvées are served during the evenings, young wines as well as older ones.  

An international attraction
Les Grandes Tablées de Saumur Champigny was the first event of its kind, and the first to win the Ministry of Agriculture’s “Grande Tablée – les Rabelaisiennes” seal of approval, spearheading their drive to create a series of similar gourmet events in towns and cities all over France. Together with FESTIVINI, a wine festival held in September, Les Grandes Tablées de Saumur Champigny won the Prix René Renou in 2013, a prize awarded by ANEV, the National Association of Official Vine and Wine Representatives and FIJEV, the International Federation of Wine and Spirits writers.

Details: Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th August 2015 from 7pm, Place de la République in Saumur. Prices: Meal and an engraved tasting glass - €12.00. Tasting glass only - €5.00
To book your place:
Saumur Tourist Office, quai Carnot, 49400 Saumur – Tel: 0033 2 41 40 20 60

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