A Brief History of Champagne

52 B.C.   Rome conquers Gaul. A short time later, vineyards are planted. Name “champagne” derives from “compagna”, Latin word for “countryside” or “field”. 79 A.D.   Mount Vesuvius erupts, destroying local fields and vineyards. Emperor Domitian orders vineyards in Champagne uprooted and replanted with wheat to address Rome’s bread shortage. c. 278 A.D.  Roman Emperor Probus… Continue reading A Brief History of Champagne

Virtual Trip: Christmas Market at La Tuffiere Vineyard

A Christmas market held at a winery will feature wine products, as well as other local specialties for celebrating the holidays. These are some of the treats Mary Pochez found when she and her husband visited Domaine La Tuffiére, a vineyard in the countryside near Angers, last week. A selection of the region’s wines. Jams made… Continue reading Virtual Trip: Christmas Market at La Tuffiere Vineyard

Escape the Holidays with a Breton Fish Stew

The stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a period dedicated to adding pounds and elevating our blood sugar levels with platters of game and ham, casseroles filled with cheesy anything, and trays of cookies, tarts, and cakes swimming in cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. It is a happy, festive time. But every once in a while… Continue reading Escape the Holidays with a Breton Fish Stew

Cooking School Test Drive

The culinary vacation program Mary Pochez and I are collaborating on had its first test drive this week at her château, La Barbée, in the Pays Loire. Several Paris-based food and travel writers arrived on Tuesday for a friendly overnight taste of the program—and a real-life taste of Mary’s delicious cooking. On Wednesday morning they… Continue reading Cooking School Test Drive