People who know us well know that we are a big fan of good cooking and dining, preferably in combination with matching wines. When we cook for ourselves or for friends and family, we often choose a nice bottle out of the cabinet. While Ralf gives a brief explanation of the wine that will follow, I serve the plates.
In the Netherlands we regularly visited a wine tasting, such as Hosman Vins, Wijnhaven Wijnimport, Peeters or Lekkers uit Hongarije. We also made often wine holidays to Champagne, Elzas, the Mosel and various wine regions in Italy. With a full loaded car we returned back home. And because we like to select the wines by ourselves and enjoy the charm of the wine at the source even more, we like to continue the tradition.
For example last week, when we visited the largest traveling wine fair in France: Salon des Vins des Vignerons Indépendants, which took place from the 17th till 20th of November in Lille Grand Palais.
We decided to leave the car in the parking garage for the whole weekend, so that we could immediately load our wines after the end of the day. In addition, they would also be kept safe, dark and cool there.
Time to start the big wine tasting. Immediately upon entering the big hall, we were warmly welcomed and both were given a trial glass. Let’s do this: have a nice time and score good wines! Ralf was as happy as a child in a candy store.
Luckily we had already prepared a few things at home and were able to work in a goal-oriented way. It is a very big event. In total there were about 600 wineries present, spread over various paths. Each path was marked with a letter, so that you could easily look up the winery in the information guide. Each winery had its own stand with a matching sign with the name, region and grape on it.
The first day we visited the fair we tasted and bought the Champagne. The second day was marked by white and red wine, dessert wine and digestif.
What an experience. Full of good courage, we let ourselves be submerged and we tasted one wine after the other. Of course we also spit something out. Meanwhile we slurped some oysters, had some cheese and ate a delicious baguette with Foie Gras. Wine tasting makes you hungry. And a well-filled stomach also goes a little bit better with all alcoholic refreshments. What a conviviality, as if you are walking around a big local market in France.
When it’s almost closing time we take off the balance. Time to pick up the wines that we ordered from the various wineries. We rent a trolly for an hour and go through the route that we have made during the day at a high pace. After we put the last box with bottles on the trolly, we soon move to the parking garage to load our car. Mission accomplished.
As we walk back to the entrance hall, we fantasize about our next visit to this event. Paris, March 2018 maybe?
But for now it’s time to explore Lille by night, mom and dad are not tired yet.
Wondering when the next events will take place? Take a look at the website of Salon des Vins des Vignerons Indépendants.