Friday, March 30, 2012

Salon des Vins des Vignerons des Independants

Frank takes on the Salon!
 During research for this trip, Anne stumbled onto an outting for us called the "Salon des Vins des Vignerons des Independants", an annual event where independent wine producers from all over France come to Paris to sell their wares. We've been to wine tastings all over the world, so this was definitely our kind of event. 

As we walked from the Metro to the "Espace Champerret", a huge exhibit hall, we happened to meet a man named Ken, who just happened to be headed to the wine event too.  Ken lived n Paris but spoke perfect American-style English having lived in Boston for many years.  A very nice gregarous sort of guy, and when he gave us free passes to get into the wine event, he became our new best friend!  We couldn't believe our luck.

When we entered the exhibit hall, we received a wine tasting glass each (to keep), compliments of the house; we were now on our own to taste wine all day long at any of the literally hundreds of winery booths. We had never seen so much wine and wine tasting under one roof, and this was FRENCH wine with all our favorite regions well-represented.  Names like Paulliac, Pommard, St. Estephe, Grave, and St. Emilion got our adrenalin pumping and our mouths salivating. If there were such a thing as "wine heaven," this would be it!

Like the proverbial kids in a candy shop, we filled our glasses with some of the finest wines in all of France and stuffed our backpacks beyond their intended capacity with as many bottles of wines as we could carry.  And, we couldn't believe the prices either.  These ordinarily super-expensive bottles were being sold for about 1/3 the price in the states!!  Wow!!  That made this whole adverture even more palatable, no pun intended.

These people came prepared to buy!

Some of you may remember that we visited the fabulous Bordeaux region during 2009 when the vintners were going berserk over the "exceptionelle" growing season for grapes.  Well, those 2009 grapes are now bottled and ready for sale, and the wine is indeed as phenomenal as predicted.  Everybody (including the Supsics) were scarfing up the 2009's like crazy -- what a find!  And how wonderful to be able to taste the wine, and talk directly to the proprietieres before buying any of the wines.

We had so much fun here at the wine salon on our 1st day, that we returned on Monday for Round 2.  This really was the best wine tasting event ever we've seen.  That said, we may need to return to Paris in March of next year so that we can attend again (as you can imagine Anne is heartbroken over this "going back to Paris" possibility LOL).

One of many happy Parisians rolling his wine purchases home.

In spite of our wild day of wine drinking (not really so crazy -- we did a lot of spitting), we went to see an Offenbach opera called "La Belle Helene" at one of the small theaters that Paris has in abundance.  We are big Offenbach fans, and this one is seldom performed.  We were disappointed that it was more of a spoof than a serious opera, but the music was lovely, and the cast was very enthusiastic. It is impossible not to enjoy a show when the performers are having so much fun.

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