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Château du Cèdre Marcel Malbec

This Wine & Dine Wednesday is a yummy red we had the other evening with a tasty filet mignon & scallops I made for Sunday supper out on the island. Full disclosure, I was absolutely smitten with the label! I was rushing around the grocery store and it was my last purchase before heading to the checkout line. Was completely taken by the images and fonts. Good news, what was in the bottle was every bit as good as what was on the outside. At under 15 bucks a bottle, we would try it again and again.

A little history and wine speak: Pascal Verhaeghe and his brother, Jean-Marc, bring a welcome refinement to the wines of picturesque Cahors, located about an hour and a half east of Bordeaux. Their father began making wines at Château du Cèdre in the 1970s, and the fun-loving sons took over in the 1990s, banning all herbicides and chemicals, and adopting a domaine motto: “Move forward, experience new ways.”

Fragrant & tasty on the palate with damson plum and blackberry fruit. Full, fresh, and engaging, this Malbec is a hidden gem and the fruit is super clean!



 

 

Domaine Magellan Le Fruit Défendu

I spent most of yesterday at the showrooms ordering goods for the shops. That always makes me work up an appetite! I knew I wanted to make Parmesan/Panko chicken breasts with a big heaping Meyer lemon vinaigrette arugula salad atop it for supper. A quick stop into our fab neighbor next to the First & Spring shop, Cone & Steiner, produced this easy French table wine that would be perfect with the meal. And indeed it was.

From the maker: 6 hectares of old Cinsault vines on our beautiful sandstone sites. The vines come from field selections conducted in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region at the start of the 1960s. 90% Cinsault, 10% Syrah Red Fruit Défendu comes from a part of the vineyard where the grapes are smaller and more concentrated. The fruit is entirely destemmed and fermented in concrete tanks with pumping over and punching of the cap. Vatting duration is short, at 10-12 days, and all the grapes are picked by hand. The perfect complement to all grilled foods as well as white meats such as roast guinea fowl, rabbit with mustard and Normandy-style poultry or veal.



 

 

Roger & Gallet, Back at WK

SO happy to report our Market shop shelves are re-stocked with boxes of Roger & Gallet soaps and Eau de Toilette sprays. We have carried these for close to 20 years and we were unable to get them for over a year now. This iconic French brand from Paris is a winner for both men and women. Most of the scents enjoyed by all. I personally love the detail of the tissue paper, each bar wrapped just so. The boxes make for easy, stylish gift giving.



 

 

Mont Gravet Rosé

We enjoy rosé all year round, while I know some treat it like white shoes after Labor Day as a strict no-no. Pure silliness in my book as I think one misses out on some yummy pink throughout the year. Mont Gravet rosé is a bottle I turn to time and again because we really like it and the price is crazy good. At 10 bucks a bottle, this is wine to reach for when serving a crowd or large party. It works splendidly with food as well as enjoying a glass all by itself. A double winner!

From some web searching: Mont Gravet rosé comes from specially selected Cinsault vineyards in the Languedoc region, located near the warm Mediterranean shoreline in Southern France. The Cinsault variety is also one of the main varietals used in the production of Provence rosé and some of the best reds of the Southern Rhone Valley.

This rosé is a wonderful ‘anytime’ wine and a delicious aperitif. It pairs well with a wide variety of foods, is refreshing, savory and well-balanced.

Mont Gravet rosé is a wonderfully fresh and fruit forward dry rosé wine. It has lovely aromas of raspberry and blackberry and is full body and long on the palate.



 

 

2017 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé

Always a happy day when I get the call from Pike & Western Wine that the latest Domaine Tempier Bandol rosé has arrived. A Summer Wine Wednesday would not be complete without a mention of my all-time favorite rosé. It the benchmark which I hold all other rosé. A Kermit Lynch import, this wine is so sought after that it gets snatched up quite quickly. It is distributed quite widely, so it is available in most regions. Double the price of most bottles of rosé I typically write about, it is always a huge treat when we enjoy a bottle, so worth every penny. My tip for special bottles you savor–buy 6 bottles or a case. Almost always the price drops as most wine merchants give you a volume discount when you buy 6 or more bottles. If you see this on a wine list menu or on your wine shop shelves, I promise you are in for a treat.



 

 

A French Rosé Tasting

A shout-out to our friend Jeanne for snapping the above photo as I had put my phone away and did not take a single image last Sunday supper. Wine Wednesday is about doing a little tasting at your next dinner party. In this case, I chose some of our very favorite French rosé. We are super casual about it and just have guests taste which ones they would like. You can certainly be more regimented and taste one at a time and chat about each as you go. You could also choose wines from a certain region, or all from one vineyard. 3 is fine, 5 is what we prefer. Tons of possibilities. My number one rule is it must be fun!



 

 

Fresh Snow, Another Hyacinth and Sardines

I find it fascinating and comforting knowing what makes up a day, when reflecting on it the following day–all the little bits & bobs that occur, all the interactions, the food eaten, the conversations. One other way in this modern age is looking back at images. I woke up yesterday to this image in an e-mail from caretaker Bill. He knows how much we love the snow and a fresh dusting occurred. The lions looking regal standing at attention keeping watch with a coat of snow.

The day was full of meeting folks for interviews for the new position we have opening up at Watson Kennedy. But I snapped the above image right before I left the apartment as one of the hyacinth from the image I posted yesterday had grown so tall and fallen over, so I clipped it and the bloom now lives by the bathtub. White flowers against the black walls are a soothing contrast I find super visually appealing.

Not only were interviews taking place, but lots and lots of new product is arriving from lines I found last week at The Fancy Food Show, so there has been a flurry of unpacking activity taking place. I could not resist snapping these French sardine tins from Brittany. Each filled with two cans of olive oil packed sardines. That was my day in images. A full, fun day filled with tons of variety and entertaining to see what ended up being documented in photos. Hope your Saturday is grand!



 

 

Rigaud Candles, Happily Once Again at WK

We are pleased to announce that we will once again be stocking the renowned French candles, Rigaud, at Watson Kennedy. When we first opened our doors in 1998 in the Market, we carried the line, but then the importer went away and we could no longer get the candles. Fast forward to today and they are once again on my radar, with our new shipment arriving yesterday. These are a true ‘Classic’ with a cap C. 

A little history from a little web searching: Riguad was the first luxury candle ever created. Rigaud candles began in the 1850’s when the Rigaud family started a perfumery. They gathered rare plant essences from around the world to create unique, exquisite perfumes. In the 1960’s, Madame Rigaud had the Cypres candle created for her to burn in her fashion boutique on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France. Customers raved over the fragrance and the Riguad candle line was born.

President Charles de Gaulle gave the Rigaud Cypres candle to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. She loved the candle so much she had the line brought over to the states and the rooms of the White House were filled with Rigaud candles while the Kennedy’s were in office.



 

 

Just In, Our 2018 LJF Calendar Towels

Just In, our beloved towels arrived from France the other day. Box after box filled with our Le Jacquard Francais 2018 calendar towels. Each year they arrive a bit earlier and each year I order more & more and each year we sell these beauties out earlier. I love how many have started a collection over the years. They make stellar gifts too. We had the great pleasure of watching LJF towels being made at the factory in France years back. What an amazing process. Might just be the best $26 value we have in the shops, as these dishtowels are workhorses, while looking pretty darn swell in the process.

Happy Wednesday all. Hope everything is grand in your world! X, T



 

 

France: Inspiration du Jour by Rae Dunn

I have been so excited to get my hands on this book since I first started hearing/reading about it a few months ago. Yesterday was the release date and happy to report we have a lovely stack of them at the shops. France: Inspiration du Jour by the ever talented Rae Dunn. The tag line is ‘An Artist’s Sketchbook’ which it really looks & feels like, which I quite love. It is what makes this book so special. I have long been a fan of Rae and her work in clay, carrying her original work at the Fine Home shop when we first opened and later her produced works for the last many, many years. Inspired by her time in France, this book is filled with her drawings, notes, thoughts, photos. From her foreword: “I feel particularly connected to France because I share the sensibilities, aesthetics, and quality of life of the French.” I could not agree with her more, feeling very much the same way. For those of you who share in this, her new book will be a happy respite whenever you need a little sojourn without the jet lag.