Food and wine

We arrived in Burgundy on August 14 and by Aug. 17 had yet to see a single grape growing. Given that this is supposed to be France’s main wine region, that seemed very wrong to me. So yesterday, after spending a couple of hours cooling off in the woods to escape the killer heat, we headed deep into wine country. Our destination was Beaune, a sizeable city known for its many wine cellars where, according to Dave’s guidebook, the locals stock up on bulk wine.

One of the gazillion vineyards we passed en route to Beaune

After driving about a half hour south, the landscape turned all green and grapey. I have never seen so many vineyards in my life, not in Italy, not in the Okanagan. Even two years ago, when we were here, in southern Burgundy, I don’t recall having seen miles and miles of vines that stretched all the way to the horizon in every direction.

It is very impressive. It also makes me think, “Wow, take a picture of this, break it into 1,000 pieces, and you’d have one killer puzzle.”

But I digress.

We stopped at a wine cellar that is clearly targeted at locals, because the only other customers were French-speaking. The proprietor didn’t speak any English, either. Our rudimentary French and sign language were sufficient for us to sample three red wines. The first was watery. The second had some flavor. The third had flavor and an aftertaste, so we opted for the second one, Auxey Dupresses 2004.

The tasting “cave”

The wine shop

I have no idea how we’re going to get all this wine home.
(Just kidding, Mr. Customs Agent! We’re only bringing back two bottles.)

After the winery, we picked up some food at a local Casino grocery store and came home to make dinner. This morning, Elizabeth and I were back in food mode, checking out a farmer’s market in Montceau-les-mines, about a half hour south of where we are staying.

The market was at least a half mile long, alongside a canal in the city. But all we saw at first were clothes. And also mattresses. What seemed like acres of clothes, and then mattresses. I’m not sure what is more strange: buying a bra at a farmer’s market, or buying a mattress. But I guess you need both (if you’re a woman, or a cross-dresser), and outdoors is as good a place to shop as in.

The market was very much a local affair; again, no one spoke English. But we managed to buy a roast chicken (there were four roast chicken venders – that’s heaven for us chicken lovers), bread, grapes (from Italy!), strawberries, olives, and some roasted peppers and eggplant. We thought about buying a rolling pin, but Elizabeth pointed out that we already have four at home, so we just fooled around with a nice wooden one and focused on the food.













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