passport weekend in avignon…

30/3/2008

today was one of my favorite days this entire trip! we went to the rhone exaltation which is like passport weekend in avignon but better! imagine hundreds of wineries in one central location – the popes palace! to guide us through the lists of whites, roses, and reds were the vintners themselves along with some of the world’s greatest sommeliers. even better was the fact that most of them spoke english and the tickets were only 20 euros!

dad went to church in the morning then we headed to the wine spectacular where we tasted wine after wine for over 2 hours. in the afternoon we watched chef demonstrations and were able to taste the delicious dishes when they were done, which was good because at the point i needed some food! we had little meatballs, a tomato and eggplant puree topped with cream, a cheese biscuit on a stick, and then a cone stuffed with a guacamole sauce and topped with baby shrimp.

after the demonstration we had more wine… chocolate… shortbread cookies… then we had a 12 person private seating with a local chef who had paired 4 wines and 4 dishes. he was trying to emphasize the way the wines could complement the spices in his dishes: foie gras with pepper, curry lamb, a spicy tomato sauce, and tuna laid on a piece of bread with a red pepper spread. since he explained everything in french i asked him to talk to dad in english afterwards.

we went back to the wine bar – notice a trend? and when we got there two of the people pouring say “oh it’s you again… which one do you want to try now?” and dad says “when they know you at the wine bar in a foreign country that’s gotta mean something!” if dad is saying that to me then it’s really gotta mean something!

for dinner we ate at the place recommended by another guy at the hotel, who is coincedentally from bastrop! he answered a lot of dads questions about france’s tax system – which is very strange by the way.

i ate an entree that was a crumble with chevre and zucchini, and dad had some kind of pig’s pie. then for our main courses i had an eggplant/beef dish with tomato sauce and cheese, which was delicious. dad had lamb with a side of potatoes au gratin. i thought about getting a crepe on the way home, but this was the first day this past week i haven’t been stuffed since we just snacked all afternoon instead of having a real meal. tomorrow we’ll take a day trip to marseille then it’s back to the states!

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