Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Carefree, vinous weekend

I have to change speeds a little. Went away for a four-day weekend, helping Arnaud's parents move their small seafront apartment in La Baule to a large ranch-style house they'd purchased lower down on the Atlantic coast, south of La Rochelle near Fouras. Because of the move, we didn't have time to explore the vinous offerings of the region (largely squeezed into the southern tip of the Muscadet region and the Fiefs Vendéens, modest outposts of seaside quaffers, but perhaps hiding gems).

On the other hand, they're now a stone's throw from the cognac area. We drank Pineau des Charentes and a delicious XO Cognac, Saturday night, by the fireside in a mostly empty house, where the only furniture had come from their small secondary apartment. (The big move from the real house will take place in July.)

Sunday afternoon we took bikes and went for a tour through the flatlands and marshes. Stopped in Fouras and ate oysters with Muscadet. Arnaud is a meat-eater and feasted on jambon de Vendée, a local specialty that's half-aged and interestingly cured proscuitto, only softer.

We had wine with lunch and wine with dinner, apéros and a glass of cider in the afternoon.

Now, it's time to get back to reality. Alas...

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