On Wednesday, Earl and I celebrated our 31st anniversary. "Celebrated" is a bit of an overblown statement.
The highlight of the day came in the afternoon, following a few hours of teaching. Jim and Theresa picked us up in their VW Golf with the snazzy red mirrors and we zoomed about 45 minutes south of here to Maury. Well, past Maury and the more heavily visited wineries there to MA, Mas Amiel, another winery, with a difference.
The winery has jugs, known as dame Jeanne, setting outside in the sun. I'd always thought the sun was bad for wine, but apparently this winery has different theories. We would be the judge of that!
|The dame Jeanne wine jugs sitting in the sun.|
|Vineyards and wine jugs and the hills beyond.|
We wandered in and looked around the showroom before walking up to the counter. Most tasting rooms have wine stewards who speak English, and this one did as well, although he got hung up a few times and we encouraged him to say it in French, thinking we would still understand. They usually ask what kind of wine we like. They serve the wine from weakest to strongest taste, so usually whites and rosés, first, followed by reds. Earl and I are red wine drinkers, but we have been won over by a few rosés lately.
|Post tasting. After each wine, we swish the water in our glass and pour it into the bowl.|
He started us with a mellow rosé. I've found that people frequently want a rosé in the summer, so knew we would buy a bottle for 8,90 euros. Then he moved onto fortified wines. Fortified wines are similar to port, they are mixed with other, stronger alcohol. The fortified white would work well as an aperitif.
|The four of us.|
The fortified red we tasted first, although it had Theresa's favorite label, purple and blue, did not win us over. A 2012 fortified wine was so smooth, but pricey.
Then we moved on to the oxidized wines, those that sit out in the sun. They were labeled for their age --20 years old, 30 years old, 69 from grapes grown in the late 60s. The 20 tasted good. The 30 tasted like raisins. But the 69, oh, the 69, tasted like heaven in my mouth.
The wine steward did a good job selling it, pointing out that it's like buying a good bottle of whiskey, you only drink a little and on special occasions. It lasts for years.
As we were checking out, the steward gave us a gift of a bottle of wine since it was our anniversary. I figured it was a throw-away bottle they kept to hand out free, but Jim found it on the list and pointed out it was a 30 euro bottle of wine. That might not be much to spend on wine in the States, but anything over 10 euros seems expensive when you live in the land of free flowing, inexpensive wine.
|Chairs outside the tasting room.|
|Us outside the tasting room|
We drove home through the sunshine, admiring the mountains and the endless undulation of trees around us.
|The lane leading up to the winery.|
We stopped to harass our friend Steve who we saw along the side of the road preparing for a time trial on his bicycle. It's fun to run into friends miles away from home.
Then we walked to a nearby restaurant for a simple meal with Jim and Theresa, sitting inside because the weather had taken a turn to the chilly.
Not a bad way to celebrate living in France and that day 31 years ago we pledged our love in front of our friends and family.