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 investdrinks.org

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




Friday, 24 March 2017

Off on an adventure: Day 12 – Sébastien Riffault

Sébastien Riffault, Sancerre and a halo


As I suspect there will be limited time to post on Jim's Loire while we are away– there are posts prepared in advance that will feature pics of Loire producers and may be from elsewhere plus some recently enjoyed bottles.   


Thursday, 23 March 2017

Off on an adventure: Day 11 – The Luneau-Papins

Pierre-Marie, Marie, Monique et Pierre Luneau 
(Domaine Pierre Luneau–Papin) with the 2014 Muscadet juice 

Pierre-Marie listening to the 2014.... 


As I suspect there will be limited time to post on Jim's Loire while we are away– there are posts prepared in advance that will feature pics of Loire producers and may be from elsewhere plus some recently enjoyed bottles.   


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Off on an adventure: Day 10 – Dominique Roger




As I suspect there will be limited time to post on Jim's Loire while we are away– there are posts prepared in advance that will feature pics of Loire producers and may be from elsewhere plus some recently enjoyed bottles. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Off on an adventure: Day 9 – The Alliets


 Claude Alliet

Pierre Alliet


As I suspect there will be limited time to post on Jim's Loire while we are away– there are posts prepared in advance that will feature pics of Loire producers and may be from elsewhere plus some recently enjoyed bottles.   

Monday, 20 March 2017

Off on an adventure: Day 8 – Pascal Cailleau, Domaine de Sauveroy

Pascal Cailleau, Domaine de Sauveroy, Anjou


As I suspect there will be limited time to post on Jim's Loire while we are away– there are posts prepared in advance that will feature pics of Loire producers and may be from elsewhere plus some recently enjoyed bottles.  

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Off on an adventure: Day 7 – Emile and Matthias Roblin


Matthias Roblin (above)

Emile Roblin (below)
Domaine Roblin, Sancerre




As I suspect there will be limited time to post on Jim's Loire while we are away– there are posts prepared in advance that will feature pics of Loire producers and may be from elsewhere plus some recently enjoyed bottles.  

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Off on an adventure: Day 6 – Lamé Delisle Boucard


 Philippe Boucard, Domaine Lamé Delisle Boucard, Bourgueil

Stéphanie and Patricia

As I suspect there will be limited time to post on Jim's Loire while we are away– there are posts prepared in advance that will feature pics of Loire producers and may be from elsewhere plus some recently enjoyed bottles.  

Friday, 17 March 2017

Off on an adventure: Day 5 – Emmanuel Ogereau


As I suspect there will be limited time to post on Jim's Loire while we are away– there are posts prepared in advance that will feature pics of Loire producers and may be from elsewhere plus some recently enjoyed bottles.  

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Off on an adventure: Day 4 – Xavier Weisskopf


Montlouis and Touraine 


As I suspect there will be limited time to post on Jim's Loire while we are away– there are posts prepared in advance that will feature pics of Loire producers and may be from elsewhere plus some recently enjoyed bottles.  

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Off on an adventure: Day 3 – Anne and Pierre-Henry Pellé

Menetou-Salon and Sancerre




As I suspect there will be limited time to post on Jim's Loire while we are away– there are posts prepared in advance that will feature pics of Loire producers and may be from elsewhere plus some recently enjoyed bottles.  

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Off on an adventure – Day 2 Carine Serol

Carine Montoya Sérol, Domaine Robert Sérol, 
Côte Roannaise 

As I suspect there will be limited time to post on Jim's Loire while we are away  – there are posts prepared in advance that will feature pics of Loire producers and may be from elsewhere plus some recently enjoyed bottles.   

Monday, 13 March 2017

Off on an adventure – Day 1. Bertrand Minchin


Bertrand Minchin: Menetou-Salon and Valençay


By the time you read this CRM and I will be on our way to Hong Kong. The first stage of a trip that will take us into mainland China after a few days in Hong Kong. After time in China we will catch the train from Beijing to Forest Hill, London SE23 – Trans-Manchurian, Trans-Siberian, Moscow-Paris, Eurostar to Saint Pancras, Metropolitan Line to Whitechapel and Overground to Forest Hill. 

As I suspect there will be limited time to post on Jim's Loire – there are posts prepared in advance that will feature pics of Loire producers and may be from elsewhere plus some recently enjoyed bottles.  

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Proof that Forest Hill, London SE23 is at the centre of the universe

 SE23 with much of London spread out in the distance 
– looking towards the Horniman Museum, 
Honor Oak and Canary Wharf

 Towards Catford and the Thames Estuary

Saturday, 11 March 2017

La Petite Bouchée – private dining room at Witheridge, near Tiverton, Devon opens 5th May 2017






'Grand Opening Announcement !

March 10, 2017
Anita-Clare Field

Since moving to Devon, just two weeks ago, it’s been all systems go, trying to ensure that we can open our fabulous French restaurant as soon as possible. We have been overwhelmed by the brilliant people we’ve met so far – both online, and in person! We’ve been visiting local suppliers, getting to know the area and of course, sampling and tasting all the beautiful produce that Devon has to offer.

We are delighted to announce that La Petite Bouchée and the all new La Petite Bouchée private dining room will open on 5th May in Witheridge, near Tiverton, Devon.

We are able to seat 20 people in the dining room and four in our beloved vintage Citroen HY Van. Initially we’re going to be open on Friday and Saturday evenings each week. We’ll be taking bookings via email and also through the restaurant booking website Open Table  (They are still updating the menu.)

To ensure that there is zero food wastage everyone who dines with us book in advance and chooses their food 72 hours before they come. Sadly, this does means that we can’t cater for ‘walk-ins’. For further information on how to book, click here.

If we are completely booked up on your preferred date, then we will offer to add you to the waiting list which will operate on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. If anybody cancels, you’ll be contacted immediately.

We’ll be revealing a new menu every month to reflect the best in Devon's seasonal produce. We work hard with our suppliers to ensure that quality is top of the list and pride ourselves on being able to give you information on the provenance of each of our ingredients.

And of course, the menu....there will be a couple of specials too.... 
 


Anita and glass


Friday, 10 March 2017

Coming soon: 15th Fête des Vins de Bourgueil à Tours – 25th March 2017

 

 

This annual Fête des Vins de Bourgueil is highly recommended if you are in the Tours area on Saturday 25th March. It's a great opportunity to discover not only the latest vintage but also previous vintages. Unfortunately because of the severe April frost last year supplies of the 2016 vintage will be in short supply for many Bourgueil producers. Luckily 2014 and 2015 are both good vintages, so this is a very good opportunity to taste and buy these wines while they are still available. 

Details:
À la découverte d’un terroir


Pour la 15ème année consécutive, les vignerons de Bourgueil investissent le centre-ville de Tours pour célébrer la fête des vins de Bourgueil sur le boulevard Heurteloup. Après avoir acheté un verre de dégustation (2 €), les amateurs découvriront le millésime 2016, pourront rencontrer 50 vignerons, et remplir leur cave des meilleurs vins rouges et rosés de l’appellation.

En présence de la Commanderie de la Dive Bouteille de Bourgueil et Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil et de métiers de bouche qui proposeront une restauration sur place, cette quinzième édition de la Fête des Vins de Bourgueil à Tours proposera également des animations pour les enfants autour du goût et de la dégustation.

Informations pratiques

15ème fête des vins de Bourgueil à Tours
Samedi 25 mars 2017, de 10h à 19h – Boulevard Heurteloup, Tours centre.
Plus d’infos sur vinbourgueil.com


Photos from the 2016 edition:

 A halo for Emmanuel Caslot 











Frites et saucisse 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Forest Hill, London SE23 – new initiative to persuade speeding motorists to slow down









Many of the roads in Forest Hill (London SE23) and in the rest of Lewisham are now 20mph. This move is certainly very welcome as the risk of serious injury and death increases dramatically as traffic speeds approach 30 mph and above.

Unfortunately, although some adhere to the new speed limit, too many drivers don't and at the same time some, a minority, drive recklessly putting both themselves and other road users in danger. 

Given stretched resources for the Police, this new initiative – Lewisham Community Road Watch scheme – looks to be well worth supporting. 

Letter from Michael Hill of the Forest Hill section of the Met outlining the new scheme:   
    

'PL - Lewisham Borough PL - Forest Hill SNT

Catford Hill Police Station
128 Catford Hill
Catford
London SE6 4PS
Tel; 0208 721 2723


7th March 2017

 

Dear Resident,



I am writing to inform you of a new initiative that I feel you may wish to participate in. This is the Lewisham Community Road Watch scheme, a joint initiative between Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police. It is designed to address community concerns of speeding in the local area. It allows volunteers from the community to work with the police using speed monitoring equipment to identify and educate drivers found exceeding the speed limit.



How it works:



·      Volunteer(s) join a Safer Transport Police Community Support officer at a specified location.



·      The volunteer uses the speed detection device to check the speed of vehicles. · Any vehicle exceeding the speed limit has its Vehicle Registration Mark and speed recorded and a warning letter is sent to the registered keeper by Transport for London. · Volunteers are provided with a high visibility vest and are required to sign a disclaimer which will be explained fully to those wishing to participate.



·      All sites are risk assessed in advance.



·      The sessions would run for one to two hours.



The events are run by a Safer Transport Police Community Support Officer. A Police Officer cannot be present as they would be expected to stop the vehicles and report offences at the scene. Volunteers cannot participate on the road they live on as this could lead to a dispute with neighbours. However, you can suggest locations where these actions will take place. The speed gun can not be loaned out to residents without the attendance of a Safer Transport PCSO as the equipment is supplied to the Safer Transport Teams to run the events for Transport for London.



If you wish to take part in this scheme, know of a suitable location or require further information then please go to; Lewishamcommunityroadwatch@met.pnn.police.uk.



Yours sincerely,



Michael 195PL, Michael Hill PC 195PL (DWPC)

Follow us on Twitter at - @MPSForestHill MetSec' 


 


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

2014 Cuvée André, Reuilly (Rouge), Claude Lafond

2014 Cuvée André, Reuilly (100% Pinot Noir)
Claude Lafond 

Cuvée André commemorates André Lafond, the father of the late Claude Lafond and grandfather of Nathalie who now runs the domaine. In the 1960s André, who worked in the vineyards, saved up and bought a few hectares in Reuilly. At that time Reuilly, like nearby Quincy, was close to disappearing entirely. 

Due to the efforts and vision of Claude, who took over when his father died in 1977, the fortunes of Reuilly were turned around. From around 48 hectares then, when Claude was instrumental in transforming Reuilly, to today with 225 hectares in production with a much more vibrant and optimistic appellation – albeit still small in the grand scheme of things. 

Sadly Claude died suddenly of a heart attack in October 2015. 

Cuvée André is mid-weight with the typical Pinot Noir red fruits and characteristic Loire freshness in the finish.    


The late Claude Lafond 
 


 Natalie Lafond

The Claude Lafond winery in Reuilly    

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Lunch in the footsteps of Henry James

bonlaboureurcloseup
Le Bon Laboureur – long established and easily 
the best restaurant and hotel 
in the popular village of Chenonceaux 
On our last Monday at the end of our recent stay in the Loire we spoiled ourselves by lunching at Le Bon Laboureur in Chenonceaux. Here we were following in the footsteps of the writer Henry James, who was born in America but who spent much of the latter part of his life in Europe. In his Little Tour in France James describes a very comfortable and congenial meal, in his case dinner, he and his companions enjoyed at Le Bon Laboureur:

A Little Tour in France by Henry James
(originally published as a serial in 1883-1884)

Chapter 7

Chenonceaux
Here are two extracts that feature Le Bon Laboureur as it was towards the end of the 19th Century
Extract 1:
'In going from Tours you leave the valley of the Loire and enter that of the Cher, and at the end of about an hour you see the turrets of the castle on your right, among the trees, down in the meadows, beside the quiet little river. The station and the village are about ten minutes’ walk from the château, and the village contains a very tidy inn, where, if you are not in too great a hurry to commune with the shades of the royal favourite and the jealous queen, you will perhaps stop and order a dinner to be ready for you in the evening.'
In between this extract and the one below Henry James describes his visit the Château de Chenonceaux. He spells both the village and the château ending in an x. Today the château is written without an x. Although one might be inclined to think that James made an error in adding an x to the château this may not be the case as some of the pictures showing the château in the past use an x in the spelling.
Wikipedia, as opposed to Wikileaks, suggests that it was Louise Dupin de Francueil, the château's owner during the French Revolution, who dropped the x in order to show that the château was royal. Apparently there are no official papers to confirm this story. However, James was writing years after the Revolution.
Anyway it strikes me as rather strange that in revolutionary times you would want to stress a building's royal pedigree. Instead it seems to me much more logical and more prudent not to draw attention to your splendid château spanning the Cher in case marauding revolutionaries either set up camp there or razed the building to the ground. Anyway what do I know for Chenonceau, however it was spelled, survived the Revolution unscathed. 
 
IMG_1721
Eglise-Francueil1s
The church in neighbouring Francueil

Extract 2:
'Venice a year and a half before. We took our way back to the Bon Laboureur, and waited in the little inn-parlour for a late train to Tours. We were not impatient, for we had an excellent dinner to occupy us; and even after we had dined we were still content to sit awhile and exchange remarks upon the superior civilisation of France. Where else, at a village inn, should we have fared so well? Where else should we have sat down to our refreshment without condescension? There were a couple of countries in which it would not have been happy for us to arrive hungry, on a Sunday evening, at so modest an hostelry. At the little inn at Chenonceaux the cuisine was not only excellent, but the service was graceful. We were waited on by mademoiselle and her mamma; it was so that mademoiselle alluded to the elder lady as she uncorked for us a bottle of Vouvray mousseux. We were very comfortable, very genial; we even went so far as to say to each other that Vouvray mousseux was a delightful wine. From this opinion indeed one of our trio differed; but this member of the party had already exposed herself to the charge of being too fastidious by declining to descend from the carriage at Chaumont and take that back-stairs view of the castle.'
•••
Back in February we three were certainly 'very comfortable', 'very genial' and 'the cuisine was not only excellent, but the service (led by Fabrice and his team) was graceful'. I'm not sure that James' 'so modest an hostelry' is still apt. The 21st century Le Bon Laboureur is very comfortable with an airy and light dining room. There was a time was it was a little dark and gloomy but that has long gone. It is true, however, the building is modest in comparison to Touraine's grand châteaux hotels like Artigny and La Rochecotte  but Le Laboureur has a Michelin star and they don't.
We chose the Menu du Marché, which is available only at lunchtime and not on Sunday. At 32€ for three fine listed courses it is excellent value, especially by the time you add in all the extra treats – canapés, mise en bouche, pre-dessert et mignardises – it is more like eight or nine courses!
IMG_3290   Excellent 2010 100% Côt (outside Touraine sometimes called Malbec)
from Domaine de la Chapinière, AC Touraine

First courses:
IMG_3308
Tartine de légumes, magret fumé, faisselle de chèvre
IMG_3311
Velouté de lentilles, champignons & lardons
Main course:
IMG_3312
Epaule d'agneau confite 72 heures, jus d'agneau et crème d'ail
Desserts:
IMG_3316Praliné-chocolat, crème Amaretto
IMG_3319
Gratin aux agrumes & ananas, sorbet orange sanguine


jbglassescrps
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