Whenever I see boxes of wine lying around like that on the street, I know I'm heading in the right direction!
Back in March (yes, sorry, it was back then that I started writing this blog post, then like too many things, it was put aside for a rainy day and because of all the gorgeous weather we've been having, it's now incredibly late) it was the Salon des Vignerons Indépendants (Independent Winemaker's Fayre) in the Espace Champerret, right out in the north-west of Paris.
It was enormous! Every region, city, town and village in France was represented - or at least that's how it seemed - it was certainly the largest wine fayre I've been to. I can't remember off the top of my head how many stalls there were, but I definitely tried upwards of 150 wines that afternoon. Just to give you an idea, the photo below shows just four rows, I to L, but I can assure you, all 26 letters were being used!
Some wines were good, some not so good, some very good. A real mixture but it was nice to see such a variety of winemakers being given the opportunity to get some visibility. However, much as you'd expect from a Salon on such a large scale open to the public, the winemakers were pushing the hard-sell. Maybe it is a successful tactic on the majority of doe-eyed visitors, but given the large numbers of wines to try, after a couple of hours, I'd had enough of it.
Overwhelming favourite of the day:
Special mention to Alex and Julie, the younger generation of the family-run Champagne house, Olivier Salmon. Click here to visit their website. The whole family were exceptionally welcoming. Unfortunately their wines are only available in France, but if you're over here and you can get hold of a bottle or two, they're not half bad!