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Tagged: France

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Champagne History and a Mild Rant

The Champagne region of France was the first to make very serious bubblies, and is still considered to be the best producer of fine sparkling wines.

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Putting the Bubbles in Bubbly Wines

When we pop the cork of a sparkling wine at a party or for a celebratory moment, we release a flurry of bubbles. How do those bubbles get in there? There are several ways that it can happen.

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Poilâne Bread: Classic, Delicious and Absolutely Parisian

If you love good bread, chances are you will be familiar with the name Poilâne. We started working with Lionel Poilâne in the mid-90s, flying his bread in each week to supply a small, but growing group of customers who had developed a taste for his bread while traveling abroad.

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Millésime Bio 2013: Staying Attuned to Inspiring Growers

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Millésime Bio which has arguably become France’s most compelling organic wine exposition. As in previous years, it once again convened in Languedoc’s Montpellier and I had the opportunity to experience the show for the fourth consecutive year.

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Joseph Paccard’s Traditional Cheeses from the Savoie

We recently began working with Joseph Paccard, a new affineur from Savoie, France. Located in the village of Manigod, Paccard carefully selects the farms he works with and develops close relationships with cheesemakers. This means the cheeses we receive are of an exceptionally high standard. All of the cheese Paccard sells and ages is “fermier,” Continue Reading »

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Affineur Profile: Pascal Beillevaire

Following a formal introduction to affineur Pascal Beillevaire, Ihsan selected a variety of Pascal’s cheeses for import to the US. He had a good feeling because Pascal had deep roots in the farming world but was also a clear-headed businessman. That first import was a way to test the waters of a new relationship to Continue Reading »

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Lo Brusc: Varietal Honey at Its Best

What is so lovely about Lo Brusc is that the selection of flavor profiles that their honey offer ranges from super subtle and delicate to bitter, funky and pungent. Their honey is very true to the flower source and I always turn to Lo Brusc as the example for what a particular single source honey should taste like.

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Crème de Cassis de Dijon: The Secret to “Kir”

This week we’re highlighting one of our favorite French liqueurs, the inky black currant flavored Crème de Cassis de Dijon. These sweet little bottles of crème de cassis are made in Burgundy by Briottet, a company run by the Briottet family in the town of Dijon since 1836.

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Piment d’Espelette: Harvesting in the Basque Pyrenees

This time last year, while traveling through the Pyrenees mountains, Valerie, Ihsan and I stopped for a few days to pay a visit to the small farm that produces one of our favorite products: Piment d’Espelette. Piment d’Espelette A.O.C. (translation: peppers from Espelette) are bright red peppers grown in the town of Espelette and 9 surrounding communes.

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A Classic Goat Cheese: Sainte-Maure

Sainte-Maures have been made for over 1,000 years and the cheeses made in the Touraine region (known as Sainte-Maure de Touraine) are particularly well known and were granted AOC status in 1990. Touraine was broken up across different communes when French government departments were reorganized and, as a result, the geographical area of the appellation includes the department of Indre-et-Loire and the neighboring cantons of Loir-et-Cher, Indre and Vienne.

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Vermouth de Chambéry: Dolin’s Rouge, Blanc and Dry

Dolin has been making vermouth in Chambéry, France since 1821. Vermouth de Chambéry is actually the only A.O.C. for vermouth in France, and Dolin is the last remaining independent Vermouth de Chambéry producer.