London French Lessons

Native French Tutor

I am not a wine connoisseur but have a growing passion for wine and especially wine tasting.
Thanks to one of my students who was so passionate she moved to Porto in Portugal to work for Graham's, Port Wine Producer, I developed my understanding and knowledge of this beautiful drink. In this page, you will see the various wine tastings I have attended in London, the best shops, clubs and websites as well as my favourite wines. I might also give you a few tips on French wines, the different wine regions and where you could go for 'Les vendanges' in France, if you wanted to harvest the grapes for a wine producer...


Possibly the BEST wine shop in London, Berry Brothers and Rudd has a great website if you want to buy wine but also to learn about wine. The website includes a Virtual Wine School of an amazing quality and you can learn so much. I love their videos...

http://www.bbr.com/wine-knowledge/virtualwineschool

If you want to develop your passion for wine, there is now an internet social network to share wine notes and appreciations and follow other wine lovers and their reviews. The site has been created in Portugal and 'Adegga' means cellar in Portuguese. Have a look...

http://www.adegga.com/

Wine as a cultural Product

I was reading an article lately that said that French people now enjoy wine as a cultural product more than just a drink and I completely agree with this. I do not drink often but prefer premium wines you can remember. If I go on a date and the wine is good, I will definitely remember it... And the person who invited me. The sociologist Claude Fischler said: 'Le vin est devenu un produit de consommation culturel au même titre que l'opéra'. People now want to know about the wine and how to understand it. 


A few websites recommended:

chezbordovino.fr, winepassport.fr, winetourinfrance.com, vigneron-independant.com, winery.fr...


One recommended app: Vivino 


If you want to try a vinotherapy, Spa treatment based on grapes and wine:

www.sources-caudalie.com

Le Marathon du Médoc

If you love running and also like red wine, there is a really fun marathon in the South West of France, not far from Bordeaux. 

You have to dress up following the annual theme and you run the usual marathon distance through vineyards of the Medoc wine area and you can stop at the chateaux (wine producers) to taste some shots of the local wines as well as eat some local products like oysters. 

I have heard that it is one of the nicest and most popular marathons to run in France and every year it gets sold out very quickly.


If you want more information, just check their website:

http://www.marathondumedoc.com


I will post more pictures of the Marathon du Médoc on my website, once I have actually run it...


Rosé Piscine 

Rosé wine is great for summer. 

It is light, refreshing and unpretentious. 

The new trend in France is to have it served with ice cubes and it is called... 'Rosé Piscine'.

Do you know what 'piscine' means? 

Les Becs à Vin - Orléans

If you visit Orléans in the Centre of France. Do not forget to visit this wine bar in the town centre. 

They only serve natural and organic wines and they cherry pick what they get in stock. 

The atmosphere is very laid back and you can get some cheese boards to go with your drink .

Highly recommended!

http://www.becsavin.com 




New Application for your smart phone

A friend spoke to me lately about this application dedicated to wine and called 'Vivino'. From what I could understand, you take a picture of the bottle label and you get all the information about the wine. 

If you try it, let me know what you think... 

The best wine tasting I have had so far in London was at the Majestic wine shop on Drury Lane. It was very thorough, detailed, with 7 varieties of wine and included some wine and food pairing tips. The specialists from the shop were young, knowledgeable and unpretentious. The miraculous thing was all this was completely free. Highly  recommended. The shop is good although it only sells a minimum of six bottles at a time... As well as wine tasting events, Majestic also organises Wine Walks around the shop and wine nights and these are available in all the Majestic shops of the chain.

http://www.majestic.co.uk/About/WineEvents

If you want to focus on French Wine, The French Institute in South Kensington sometimes organises Wine Tasting evenings. Last year, the price was around £35 per person and we were possibly around 50 people in the beautiful library of the Institute with one wine specialist giving some detailed information on the wine region of the day and its specificities. He went through the list of wines and gave a good insight into each wine and producer. He was very knowledgeable and some people in the room asked very specific questions so we felt slightly embarrassed to raise our hands... I would recommend this to wine intellectuals.

For more tips, do not hesitate to contact me.


Cheverny Wines 

Cheverny is a castle and village in Central France, in the Loire Valley. During my last trip to France, I discovered a beautiful Red Cheverny Wine (80% Pinot Noir and 20% Gamay) and it was really nice. Not as famous as Bordeaux or Bourgogne wines but definitely worth a try. 

InnTravel

If you want to visit French Wine regions, Why not choose a walking or cycling holiday?

Several of my students and friends recommend the travel agency Inntravel.

Below you can see the example of a walking holiday combining wine, food, sightseeing and walking...


http://www.inntravel.co.uk/holidays/walking-holidays/France/Other-Regions/Chateaux---Vineyards