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

Monday, 29 February 2016

A few forthcoming 2016 Loire dates for your diary: Bourgueil, Petit Thouars, VitiLoire

 Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March 2016: 
Salon des Vins et du terroir @Romoratin
30 exhibitors from across France 
including Lamé Delisle Boucard (Bourgueil)
3€ entry

19th March: 14th Fête des vins de Bourgueil
Boulevard Heurteloup, Tours  
Some 50 Bourgueil producers showing their wines 

Château Petit Thouars: Portes Ouvertes 
Easter weekend: 26th to 28th March 2016

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Café de la Promenade: great memories of Ludo, Sophie et al

 Café de la Promenade, Bourgueil

Ludo's message on Facebook: 27th February 2016

Ludo's boss – Sophie

 Ludo as master of ceremonies, 
2012 Bourgueillothérapie  

Ludo and Sophie Ragot's Café de la Promenade in Bourgueil will have new owners on 1st April with Nora and Samuel taking over. Sophie and Ludo will be a very hard act to follow after seven memorable years running Café de la Promenade – a very far cry from a traditional French café and hotel. We will keep many great memories of times at the Ragot's Café. At the same time best wishes to Nora and Samuel for keeping the spirit going with their own touches, of course. 

Some memories:

Dorothée: you lookin' for trouble!? 

Local producer delivering wine for morning session ......

 Eddy Oosterlinck wearing a rather tame shirt pouring...

 Seeking inspiration 
 The late and greatly missed Pierre Caslot 
– a prime mover behind Bourgueillothérapie
 Pierre's impeccable tasting technique

 Art from Bourgueillothérapie

 A very special auctioneer...: Bourgueillothérapie

Epeigné-les-Bois (37150): work progressing on the church

 View of the church at crossroads D81 and road to Luzillé
(foto: Michel Mergot)

 Timbers and the church bell (foto: Michel Mergot)

The church before repairs started 

News on the progress of repairing Epeigné-les-Bois' church, which dates back to the 11th Century:
'La couverture de la nef a été enlevée et maintenant la charpente va être déposée pour que le maçon intervienne sur le haut des murs.
La charpente sera alors remontée avec quelques renforcements.
La cloche est partie en Allemagne pour être réparée.'

The slates have been removed from above the nave. Now the roof timbers will be removed so that the mason can start work on the top of the walls. Once the mason's work is complete the roof timbers will be put back suitably reinforced. The church clock has been sent to Germany to be repaired. 

 Le siège social: SCI Les Huîtres Pétillantes 
see from the top of the church 
(foto: Michel Mergot)



Saturday, 27 February 2016

A cold showery morning in Alvalade (Lisbon) + a gracious space

 The inside of Maria Granel – health food shop 

Today was unseasonably cold in Lisbon with temperatures down at 5˚ C and feeling colder than that in the piercing wind, especially during the frequent, sharp showers. We headed northwards to the suburb of Alvalade, which is close to Lisbon's airport. Here we visited a health food shop, the Alvalade market (Mercado de Alvalade) and a organic supermarket.   

 Plenty of fish in the Mercado: fresh, piles of dried cod and frozen

 Some salt cod...
 Attractive vegetables

 Early strawberries

 Grilling chicken in a local Alvalade shop

Bio chicken nuggets anyone....?

 Coffee and tea making apparatus – packets of tea

We chose a popular restaurant close to the market for lunch. Although the  food was excellent – both fish and meat – the wine offered was limited and of little interest. Happily the restaurant allowed us to head off to a fine nearby delicatessen where we bought this very good 2011 Valle Pradinhos Reserva from Transmontano region – very close to the Douro Valley – for 10€.   

Seeking warmth and some comfort we then headed south across town to the Pestana Palace Lisboa in the Santa Amaro district.   

 Place for a formal dinner with a few friends .....

 A more informal dining area ...
with a view over the garden 

 Stained glass and an elegant staircase

 The annexe....
View across to the stables