May 17, 2013 |
To me, May will always be goat cheese weather. Walk into any cheese shop, and it's a petting zoo of pretty goodies: goat cheeses wrapped in leaves, rolled in flowers, molded into balls and bells. It's worth a stroll through Reading Terminal Market or your favorite cheese shop just to check out the Loire Valley bling - the most-prized French goat cheeses appear in spring, just after new pastures have been grazed. One of the best ways to celebrate this bounty is to assemble a seasonal goat cheese board.
July 19, 2012 |
Espirito Lagoalva 2011 Tejo, Portugal $7.99 Easy drinking, fruity and aromatic; dark magenta in color. Blend of Syrah and Touriga Nacional from a small region near Lisbon. O ne of the most surprising values in any category I've found this summer. Les Ligeriens Rosé d'Anjou 2011 Loire Valley, France $8.99 Another tremendous value from a classic rosé region. Pale, with a nose of berries and herbs, and a pleasant balance of acidity and just a kiss of sweet.
November 3, 2011
Sharrott Cabernet Franc 2010 Perhaps the finest New Jersey wine I've tasted, suggesting the region's potential for cabernet franc. Fresh, good acidity and attractive herbal, mineral notes notes. Echoes of the fine cabernet francs from the Loire Valley - very faint, but they're there. (12.75 percent alcohol by volume) $24.99
October 26, 2003 |
Vacation travel is, essentially, a selfish act. We're on vacation, after all, so why shouldn't we surround ourselves with pleasantness and beauty? It can be hard to break out of this mold, but it's also well worth it. Last summer, my husband and I and our three young sons found ourselves looking for a stop to break up the long drive from the Dordogne region of France to our hotel in the Loire Valley. We chose to visit the small town of Oradour Sur Glane. Until I read our guidebook, I had never heard of it. I would think the site of one of the most horrific massacres of World War II should have merited a mention in at least one of my school textbooks.
September 29, 2002 |
I peered at the itinerary clipped onto my handlebars and read the name: "Abbaye de Pontleroy. " In front of us, the sign read "Ferm?. " "Strike two," my husband said, getting back onto his bike. We had left Montrichard that morning, planning to tour some of the Loire Valley's lesser-known castles. It was late September, after the high season - still good for biking but not, apparently, for smaller tourist destinations. First a ch?teau and now the abbey: both closed. To make matters worse, after four hours of cycling, we still hadn't found lunch.
November 14, 1999 |
French writer Marguerite Duras won't be present at the literary luncheon being given in her honor Friday at the Spring Mill Cafe in Conshohocken. Chef and owner Michele Haines will be, preparing duck with coconut sauce and papaya and other exotic dishes from Duras' girlhood home in Vietnam. That evening, Haines again will enter Spring Mill's tiny country kitchen to assemble a robust dinner tribute to Honore de Balzac, another of her country's celebrated writers and a longtime resident, like Haines, of the verdant Loire Valley.
November 29, 1998 |
After edging up the steep dirt driveway to the dimly lit medieval fortress at the top of the hill, one half expects to be greeted by Lurch from the Addams family. Instead, the man who swings open the creaky castle door is bespectacled 39-year-old Prince Philippe Maurice de Broglie. Philippe is dressed in a tattered overshirt and rubber-soled work shoes. But never mind. After all, he has baggage to unload and dozens of other chores to tend to around the 120-acre, 14th-century castle, Chateau de La Bourdaisiere, in the Loire Valley, a 2 1/2-hour drive south of Paris.
March 29, 1998 |
This is the tranquil Vilaine, a shimmering ribbon of water flowing through central Brittany and flanked by farmlands, towering willows, bike paths, and ancient stone villages. We are flowing with the river, motoring along in our shiny white canal boat as cyclists wave, grazing cows look up lazily, and swans glide gracefully beside us - France's pastoral version of dolphins greeting ships at sea. We are screaming at one another at the tops of our voices. The cyclists stare in alarm, the swans swoosh quickly away, the cows moo a reproach, and the kindly lockkeeper who has been patiently guiding us through our first chain of multilevel waters shakes her head in dismay.
July 25, 1993 |
Question: My husband and I want to visit the Loire Valley during winemaking season. When's the best time to go, and what are some sources for planning our tour? K.M., Berwyn Answer: The Loire is a long river, 634 miles, embracing dozens of types of wines and dozens of wineries. There are wine festivals throughout the year, with clusters during February and March and the summer months. Besides winemaking, the region is known for its fabulous chateaux, and many trips combine the two. A good planning source is The Wine Roads of Europe: A Connoisseur's Guide to the Best Wine-Growing Districts of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Austria, by Marc and Kim Millon (Simon & Schuster, 1984)
November 8, 1992 |
It was Monday and Jean Claude's favorite local dining spot was closed. No problem. He knew another, just as good, quite nearby. Bonne chance! Today's specialite du maison was a local fish, fresh from the river Herault, and adorned with an unexpected robust, dark sauce. Magnifique! The quiet restaurant, with fresh flowers and an ironed, checkered cloth on every table, was but one more hidden jewel in Languedoc province, in the area that Jean Claude calls (with undisguised pride)