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Random thoughts from 35,000 feet and several thousand miles...

It was a wonderful couple of weeks in Burgundy and Champagne, as always. Great friends, food, wines, and amazing hospitality from what I’ve found to be some of the kindest and most generous people on the planet. I’m excited that we’ll soon be adding a few new producers to our portfolio family. There will be lots of great new wines coming your way in the new year, along with more of all your existing faves as well.

A few observations of note -

After decades of deriding “le hamburger”, the burger, and American comfort food in general, is now of course the hottest thing since baguettes in France. Go figure. (And of course the food-truck culture has made it France too, even in little ‘ol Burgundy!)

The Hamburger truck in Beaune (get the one with melted Époisses!)

The Hamburger truck in Beaune (get the one with melted Époisses!)

Every restaurant and shop in France that is open on Sundays (and there are only a handful) is packed to the rafters. There is obviously desire on the part of the consumer to eat out and shop on Sunday, but apparently less of a desire on the part of the business owners to cater to and profit from that desire…

A few thoughts regarding running marathons and semi-marathons in France –

  • ·      There are no porta-potties at the beginning, end, or anywhere on the course. This seems to be no problem for the French. The men just whip it out wherever, and the women find a bush (or not).
  • ·      If you’re going to have 5,000+ runners in a race, don’t start them all at the same time when there’s a narrow alley that barely accommodates two abreast about a quarter-mile into the race. I suppose that even if they tried starting in waves it wouldn’t go over, as the French are culturally incapable of waiting in line for anything (they gave up boarding airplanes by rows in France many years ago, as everyone just plows right to the front no matter what.)
  • ·      It would help immensely if the water at the water stations was already in the cups when the runners approach – what a concept! Inexplicably, they pour the water after the runners arrive at the table. On the other hand, France is the only place I know of where you get madeleine cookies and fresh gingerbread at the water stops, so there’s that.
The start of the Beaune half-marathon. That's me in the 373rd row...

The start of the Beaune half-marathon. That's me in the 373rd row...

Seriously, though, the most important development I’m seeing is the hugely important focus on terroir that is happening in Champagne (and to a lesser degree in Beaujolais, but that’s moving rapidly as well.) This will be the subject of another Blog post shortly, so stay close…

It's great to be back home in Portland, and I'm looking forward to a nice holiday weekend with family (and no winery open-house event to host!) I have so much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to all!