Monday, March 26, 2012

Just wine, cheese and bread

The year was 2006, early May, and we were searching in France for wineries.  What a pleasant surprise to arrive at this sight; the winery of Henri Bourgeois.  We were in the Loire Valley and traveled to the village of Chavignol. Henri Bourgeois largely produces Sauvignon Blanc wines under the Sancerre appellation and has many single vineyard bottlings which are generally rated 90 or above by Wine Spectator.  

Not only is this a beautiful modern building with a fantastic tasting room, but the people who work here are so friendly and welcoming and....they speak perfect English.  That always helps, a lot!!  We bought two bottles of Sancerre for 10.60 Euro each, after sampling a lot of wine.  The kind gentleman guiding us also gave us a corkscrew with the winery name on it.  Always handy while traveling.  (sigh)

This last week we found a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc by this vintner and enjoyed it so much last night with a repeat of the "Vietnamese Caramelized Shrimp".



  If you have French wine, you need French cheese.  Stopped at this fromagerie (cheese store) and bought crottins of cheve.  A crottin is a small round, possibly 2 inches in diameter.  You can buy very fresh and very, very aged.  We picked up a sampler of 6 different aged cheeses.  So delicious.  So now, we have the wine and the cheese....you guessed it.....

BREAD!!  Isn't that the most beautiful bread and pastry window?  Picked up a baguette and a couple of pastries for our evening dessert.

We have never taken a tour in France.  The Trout is the researcher and finds an area to visit and then plots out the places we want to see.  We rent a small apartment or house and eat breakfast in our own kitchen, tour during the morning, eat out lunch at a spectacular restaurant, tour in the afternoon and then head to our rental and have dinner and a bottle of wine at home.  It has worked out so well for us.  The last few years we have used our GPS that has international capacities and it works every time.  What we did realize after the first time, you really need to know the zip codes of the villages you want to visit.  Much easier putting in a zip code than trying to type in the village names.

30 comments:

  1. JUST - its the bestest meal in the world LOL. Cheers Diane

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  2. You're right, Diane. I said "just" meaning it is so simple, but definitely the best! Thanks. Susan

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  3. I have wine, cheese, a bread for dinner all the time...but I'm sure it tastes better in France!

    Thanks for you comments this morning...I really had not even thought about talking about how important your title is...so thanks.

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  4. Love it when you bring us back to France Susn; and is there anything better than wine, bread and cheese? Love your photos.
    Rita

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  5. ....and "thou", don't forget "thou"!! I think that a good wine, a good cheese and a good bread is a wonderful meal especially shared with "thou"!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  6. I am wondering why you wouldn't go out for dinner? Usually that is more "special" in Europe. Well, we also go out for lunches visiting home, but dinners, especially in any southern European countries, are much more spectacular.
    When we went back to France last summer the restaurants are packed at night.

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  7. Kirsten, I am glad you asked. There is absolutely no tolerance to driving under the influence in France. We enjoy a bottle of wine with our dinner, therefore we eat at home. It is also easier if we don't have to drive unfamiliar roads in the dark. We do love our 2 hour lunch and find the meals are priced lower and many times the same food is served. Also, we are much too American. Cannot wait until 8 p.m. to dine.

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  8. How nice to find a wine tasting with people who speak English. I like how you plan your day and it works very similar for us.

    Thanks for the GPS tip. I wonder how hard it is to find the zip codes for the different villages, because typing in some of the long names would be a nightmare. Hmmm
    Sam

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  9. I love your ideas for travel, so fun and so smart! Wish I could be a mouse in your suitcase!

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  10. Sam, most travel books list the villages and a zip code. You just need to plan ahead.

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  11. Susan, I always delight in your travelogues and experiences on the road. There's delight, discovery and good old fashion enthusiasm. At a time when I can't afford a trip to France (or Phoenix for that matter), living vicariously through your words is the next best thing. Cheers, Tom!

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  12. Thanks for the visit to France, always appreciated!

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  13. Good wine, bread and cheese does it for me. I've only been to France once and we stayed in the back country. One of my favorite memories was going to the various shops for the things we needed.

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  14. I think I could live on wine, cheese and bread! I'd still need my coffee in the morning, though ;)

    Now that's the perfect place to get your fill of all 3! Gorgeous!

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  15. Thanks Susan. You have become my tour guide. We will be in the Loire Valley for a week in June and will definitely visit here. How wonderful! Wish you and the Trout could be with us.

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  16. Penny, I wish we could also. I will be compiling an outline for you int he next few days. Promise. Susan

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  17. THE perfect meal as far as I'm concerned - and in such a beautiful place!

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  18. Anonymous7:43 PM

    Oh! Susan, reading your blog today brought back so many good memories. Our daily activities were similar to yours.

    I truly hope that you and Dale can return to France and live that magic again.

    Giny, Montréal

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  19. Thank you, Giny....we will go again, soon!!!

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  20. How beautiful. I have never been to France, but your pictures almost transport me there. Lovely!

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  21. Renting and having a kitchen is a wonderful way to sample the local food and wine - and not having to drive after LOL

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  22. My dream for sure. I could eat bread, cheese and wine every day and be very happy!

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  24. Wine, cheese and bread? In France? Yes, I think I could do that...meal after meal and day after day. Thanks for sharing some of your adventures with us :)

    PS...I think I've found an "excuse" to try the Mounds bars next week!!! Yay!

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  25. You are so right, Susan. It's the perfect meal. I loved this post! I think The Trout has the right travel idea.
    And great tip on the GPS!

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  26. It doesn't get any better than this, Susan. Selecting a chevre sampler is a great choice. There is nothing like a fresh baguette with its crisp crust and lighter than air interior. Gosh, now you have got me craving one and I have to wait months to get it.

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  27. My kind of meal too, mmmm good! Glad you found that wine again, and I just happen to notice that attrative "sign" behind the bottle.

    ;)

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  28. Love this! It all sounds great to me; we had the same meal somewhere in the countryside there years ago. Nice pic of you, Susan!

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  29. This is what I love, when we travel, more than anything else. The restaurant meals are all well and good, but a meal made up of local treats can't be beat!

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