Tag Archive for 'france'

Young Burgundian Vignerons Visit World of Pinot Noir 2011

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Rusty Gaffney and Jay Selman have a casual and intimate conversation with Alexandrine Roy and Thomas Bouley, participants in the “Young Turks of Burgundy” tasting at the World of Pinot Noir. We were impressed by their charm and willingness to share their insights into the role of young vignerons in Burgundy today and their impressions of American Pinot Noir. (Please excuse our butchered French)

Sponsor: Pinpoint Tech – Your Mailing List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #286
(29:38 min 21MB)

Distillation – The Birth of Cognac

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Welcome to our video podcast: Cognac Distillation – Video Show #99.

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After fermentation, the white wine is distilled into ‘eau-de-vie.’ To become Cognac, this involves a double distillation, for which only the heart, or middle portion of the second distillation is retained. The heads, too high in alcohol, and the tails, lacking harmony, are carefully removed and distilled over again to perfection.

For its first distillation, the unfiltered wine is brought to boil in the copper pot. Since alcohol evaporates faster than water, alcoholic vapors can be collected in the onion dome shaped cowl and in the swan neck, which slows the rectification process of the flavors, before passing into the long serpentine condenser coil. Vapors condense to the contact of the cooler and turn into a liquid known as ‘brouilli,’ with an alcoholic content of 27 to 30% vol. This is distilled a second time in a process called the ‘bonne chauffe’. The distiller’s key task is then to choose the moment when to isolate the ‘heart’ of this second distillation, extracting the ‘head’ and the ‘tail’ in the process.

This distillation process is a delicate and slow one. It lasts for approximately twenty four hours and requires the constant care of the distiller. It usually begins in November and is conducted day and night for several months. The rule binds it to stop at the latest at the end of March. Distillation is a key factor that gives Cognac its distinctive character. Its secrets are handed over from generation to generation.

Allen Meadows and the Wines of Domaine Fourrier

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Allen Meadows, a.k.a. Burghound, moderated this entertaining Seminar featuring the owner and winemaker of Domaine Fourrier, Jean Marie Fourrier. Domaine Fourrier has a four generation history in Gevrey-Chambertain and was one of the first Domaines in Burgundy to export wine to the United States. The Domaine experienced a revitalization with the arrival of Jean Marie Fourrier in 1994, and the wines, as Allen Meadows noted at the Seminar, “Are built on balance, not concentration.” Jean Marie Fourrier says his wines are only crafted from vines at least 30 years old, and represent “terroir in a glass.”

Join us at this seminar from the 2010 World of Pinot Noir.

For More Information:

The Burghound – www.burghound.com

Domaine Fourrier – domainefourrier.pagesperso-orange.fr

The 2011 World of Pinot Noir – www.worldofpinotnoir.com

Sponsor: Millesima, Fine Wine Merchants: www.millesima-usa.com

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Show #281
(1:20:41 min 70MB)

The Scent of Black

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Welcome to our video podcast: The Scent of Black – Video Show #91.

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In the Cahors region of France, black truffles are almost literally as valuable as gold in the culinary world. Prized for their glorious scent, black truffles are fungi that grow exclusively on the roots of oak trees. Found in late autumn and winter, the truffles cannot be seen since they grow under the ground. Pigs, or specially trained dogs have been used to search for these elusive truffles. About 20% of the French production comes from southwest France, which possesses the limestone soils and dry hot weather that truffles need to grow.

In the late 19th century, an epidemic of phylloxera destroyed many of the vineyards in southern France. Large tracts of land were set free for the cultivation of truffles. Thousands of truffle-producing trees were planted, and production reached the peak of hundreds of tonnes by the end of the 19th century. Wars during the 20th Century decimated the fields. After 1945, the production of truffles plummeted, and prices rose dramatically. In 1900, truffles were used by most French people, and on many occasions. Today, they are a rare delicacy reserved for the wealthy, or used on very special occasions.

Originally a common grape in Bordeaux, Malbec has lost popularity as one of the five varieties in the Bordeaux blends. Meanwhile, Malbec increased its status in the French region of Cahors, an area southeast of Bordeaux, where it creates distinctive wines that now require 70% of the variety.

GrapeRadio is proud to present a look at the Cahors region, as rightly famous for its black truffles as it is for its Malbec, a wine that exemplifies the scent of black.

All About Comté – Part 2

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Welcome to our video podcast: Comte – The Art of Cheese – Part 2 – Video Show #89.


If you like cheese, you’re probably familiar with Comté. This French semi-hard cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk has been produced for hundreds of years, and is still traditionally made in more than 190 cheese dairies, known as the “fruitières” in the Jura region of eastern France. The Jura plateau of the Franche-Comté is the most mountainous (and coldest) region of France stretching from the eastern edge of Burgundy through the foothills of the Jura Alps to the Alps along the border with Switzerland.

It is the first French AOC (label of origin) cheese, guaranteeing the quality of the cheese. Each 40 kilo (about 88 pound) wheel of Comté is made from the milk of many different small farms. The milk is collected at a fruitière, where it is manipulated and transformed under strictly controlled conditions. After its fabrication, the huge wheels of cheese are transferred to a limited number of cellars spread across the region, where they will age anywhere from 4 – 18 months. The taste is variable depending on the age and the season of the milk. It’s typically described as salty, mild, and fruity. Some cheese have strong hazelnut flavors, while others have subtle hints of nutmeg. Wine pairings? Dry whites and lighter reds work beautifully with Comté.

Join us for this first of two episodes covering this fascinating region. We’ll learn some of the history of this region, and what makes this part of France special, but more importantly, how this translates to Comté itself.

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All About Comté – Part 1

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Welcome to our video podcast: Comte – The Art of Cheese – Part 1 – Video Show #88.

If you like cheese, you’re probably familiar with Comté. This French semi-hard cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk has been produced for hundreds of years, and is still traditionally made in more than 190 cheese dairies, known as the “fruitières” in the Jura region of eastern France. The Jura plateau of the Franche-Comté is the most mountainous (and coldest) region of France stretching from the eastern edge of Burgundy through the foothills of the Jura Alps to the Alps along the border with Switzerland.

It is the first French AOC (label of origin) cheese, guaranteeing the quality of the cheese. Each 40 kilo (about 88 pound) wheel of Comté is made from the milk of many different small farms. The milk is collected at a fruitière, where it is manipulated and transformed under strictly controlled conditions. After its fabrication, the huge wheels of cheese are transferred to a limited number of cellars spread across the region, where they will age anywhere from 4 – 18 months. The taste is variable depending on the age and the season of the milk. It’s typically described as salty, mild, and fruity. Some cheese have strong hazelnut flavors, while others have subtle hints of nutmeg. Wine pairings? Dry whites and lighter reds work beautifully with Comté.

Join us for this first of two episodes covering this fascinating region. We’ll learn some of the history of this region, and what makes this part of France special, but more importantly, how this translates to Comté itself.

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The Wine of Alsace

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Wines from Alsace – are they more German or more French? Well, they’re a little of both, owing not the least to its geographical location on France’s eastern border and on the west bank of the upper Rhine adjacent to Germany. Vines have been cultivated in Alsace for more than 2,000 years, thanks to the nearby Rhine river, and was an important wine producing region in the Germanic Holy Roman Empire. The Thirty Years War (1618 – 1648), the French Revolution (1789), the Napoleonic Wars and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 caused the steady decline of the Alsace wine region. In fact, over the past few centuries several Franco-German conflicts have managed to relocate the border, making Alsace variously German then French. Thus, it’s no wonder the wines reflect so much of both countries.

Justly famous for its white wines, grape varieties here include: Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Gris, and Sylvaner. The terroir is varied, with mostly chalky soils as well as a heavier clay soil that nurtures Gewurztraminer best.

Join us as we talk with Etienne Hugel, whose family ties to the vineyards of Alsace extends back to 1639. We’ll hear a bit of history, vineyard and winemaking practices, and Etienne’s “noble mission” to continue to produce some of the world’s finest white wines.

For more information on the wines of Hugel & Fils: www.hugel.com/

Sponsor: 7th Annual Celebration of Food and Wine : www.balboabayclub.com

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Show #268
(1:17:12 min 55MB)

The Wines of Domaine Bouchard

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The name Bouchard Pere et Fils should be a familiar one to all fans of the wines from Burgundy. Tracing their wine roots back to the Eighteenth Century, the Bouchard family began as wine merchants in Beaune, purchasing their first vineyard in 1731. Over the course of time, Bouchard Père et Fils would become the largest owner of premier and grand cru vineyards in the Côte d’Or. All together, they produce eighty crus from each vintage.

Purchased by Champagne’s Henriot family in 1995, the domaine seemed to up the ante in quality, while still retaining its independence. Henriot’s further acquisition in 1998 of the William Fèvre label from Chablis created an impressive portfolio of wines, and it was a tribute to the Bouchard winemaking team that they were assigned responsibility for production of the William Fèvre wines as well.

Join us as we talk with export manager Luc Bouchard about the nine generations of his family’s history in Burgundy as both wine growers and négociants. We’ll discuss everything from Bouchard to Fèvre, from the Henriot acquisition to their many different bottlings, and from their winemaking processes to the current hot topic of premature oxidation in white Burgundies.

For more information on Domaine Bouchard: www.bouchard-pereetfils.com/

Sponsor: Millesima, Fine Wine Merchant: www.millesima-usa.com

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Show #265
(1:10:05min 50MB)

Henri Gouges and the 2009 World of Pinot Noir

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Henri Gouges is an important figure in the history of Burgundy. Along with Marquis D’Angerville, he waged war against fraud in Burgundy in the 1920s, in the 1930s he helped delineate the crus in Burgundy for the Institut National d’Appellation d’Origine, and in 1933 challenged the negociants by bottling his wine at the Domaine and selling it directly to the public.

The Domaine Henri Gouges dates to 1919 and the third generation is now in control, specifically Henri Gouges’ two grandsons, Pierre and Christian. The Domaine’s 35-acre vineyard holdings are entirely within the commune of Nuits-St-Georges and include both Village appellation land and six Premier Crus. The average age of the vines is 35 years. One Premier Cru, the 2.5-acre Les Saint-Georges, is considered by many to be the equivalent of a Grand Cru.

Join us as we sit in on a tasting seminar at the 2009 World of Pinot Noir with noted Burgundy authority, “Burghound” Allen Meadows, and Pierre Gouges of Domaine Henri Gouges

To find out more information and to buy tickets:

World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com

Burghound: www.burghound.com

Sponsor: Millesima, Fine Wine Merchants: www.millesima-usa.com

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Show #249
(1:54:45 min 82MB)

For the Love of Food and Wine

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What distinguishes a fine restaurant? Most certainly, it takes an equal amount of desire and talent. But, it also takes an enormous passion for both food and wine – one that translates to the creation of inspired dishes as well as food and wine pairings that marvel the senses and keep customers returning for more.

Motivated by their interest for market-inspired ingredients (Marché Moderne translates as “modern market”) and classic French cooking techniques, Florent and Amelia Marneau have created a charming French bistro in the heart of Orange County, California. The Marneaus seem to relish integrating the urban and the rustic, the simple and the sophisticated, while creating dishes that are at once both modern and traditional. For decades, the couple has worked separately in some of the best kitchens in France and Orange County. Now, with Marché Moderne, they have followed their natural evolution by combining their culinary careers as independent restaurateurs.

Join us as we visit with Chef-owners Florent and Amelia Marneau of Marché Moderne restaurant. We’ll discuss their early influences, some of their kitchen techniques, and the important aspects of running a classic French bistro in Southern California.

To find out more information: Mache Moderne: www.marchemoderne.net

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Show #248
(57:54 min 37MB)

The Versatility of Cognac

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As the saying goes, all Cognac is brandy – but not all brandy is Cognac. Cognac is distilled wine, or brandy, and often referred to as eau de vie. Of course, in order to be called Cognac, the brandy must be made according to strictly-defined regulations, and it must also come from the Cognac region in France. Located about a hundred miles north of Bordeaux, this twenty-mile area is called the “golden circle,” encompassing Cognac and the second distilling town of Jarnac.

During our recent visit to the Cognac region, we had the opportunity to visit with a number of producers to learn much more than we ever imagined about this fascinating beverage. Join us as we talk with Jérôme Durand, Director of Marketing and Communications for the BNIC, or Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac, to get a better sense of Cognac’s historical place in the world of wine.

To find out more information:

Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac: www.cognac.fr

If you like this interview check out our previous show:

All About Cognac: Show #172

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Show #245
(25:23 min 18MB)

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GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

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