Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why the Wine?

In a very cultural context, I have posted this month's theme as a typical first course of a summer meal in the region of France we live in. There is a glass of wine. I realize that, for some, this is totally unacceptable in a family blog, and for others, it really should be either red or white. Here is my explanation.

Here in the southwest of France, in les Landes, there is usually, even in the dog days of summer, a part of the night when a breeze comes up and the air cools down. Thus, no air-conditioning, hardly any fans, and you get through the few nights when it is too hot too sleep by eating late, maybe going downtown to a festival and drinking lots of fruit juice and water. You eat melon, and what goes better with melon than a nice rosé? Chilled and waiting in the refrigerator, the only place a sane-minded person would care to be on a day like this. It was 104 degrees today and sunny. The promised thunder-storm for tonight has not yet made itself manifest and it is 11: 39 pm. The children have the fan in their room and even they cannot get to sleep.

The munchkins are delighted, four of them and daddy were at the beach today, finally. The little guy was with his cousin and I, splashing around in her pool all afternoon. They are indulged with extra amounts of "menthe a l'eau" (that green, minty syrup and water), popsicles and about anything else that is cold and full of liquid. Time to try and any case, it's too late for another glass of rosé!


  1. Angela, do you know Mireille Guiliano? She is a French woman living in the U.S. and writing about food. She has a great chapter about wine (including letting children taste it) in "French Women Don't Get Fat." You would probably really enjoy it.


  2. Haha! I don't feel it is either unacceptable nor that it must be red or white! Yesterday it was also over 100* here, and we too had melon, salad and a nice chilled rose, before our main course! The perfect way to start a meal in hot, hot, hot weather! The boys had juice with sparkling water on ice!

    Your descriptions of the foods and wines were one of the things that had me hooked on your blog in the first place!

  3. I sometimes have a glass of wine, cheers Marie

  4. A Chardonnay would have worked so much better. Well, at least it wasn't something as sacrilegious as Zinfandel.

    It's hot in the QCA too, but at least we have the A/C.

    Bon Nuit.

  5. What a totally delightful picture! I learned to enjoy wine at a tender age when my family spent a few years in Europe, including three in the Loire River valley - I still miss it! Such beautiful, peaceful villages and serene, happy people...

    Lovely blog, Angela, and thank you for the lovely article and the beautiful pictures in our current issue of Home Education Magazine! I loved it, and I know our readers will too!

  6. Hi Eva,

    I have heard of Mirielle Guiliano and her famous book! I need to read it, it's on my list for my return.



  7. Thank you, your majesty!

    One vote for the wine and melon. I will renew my recipe a day section, I do so love talking about food, and all that surrounds it, sigh, back to "eat fast and run land," in a few days. We WILL slow down (and lest we forget, jet lag will make us!)



  8. Zinfandel...the very thought of that word on MY blog!

    I have found a really nice Gewurztraminer here, not sweet, just fruity, especially good when cold. I've hustled everyone who's come through the door in the last two days into a glass of it. Makes me wish I imported wine.

    Thanks for writing!

  9. Dear Helen,

    I've long had my suspicions that growing up in more than one place could make one an exceptional person. You have confirmed the notion! (and had to good taste to choose to do so in the Loire Valley too.)

    It is such a delight to have an article published in my very favorite periodical: Home Education Magazine. Thank you, Helen, for the warm reception and kind remarks.

    Homeschoolers or thinking about it, if you are not a subscriber, I highly recommend it! No funds? Ask your local library to subscribe.

    Highlights of the latest issue:


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