Lyon, France: Accept no substitute. The pastry shops alone are enough to make me want to retire here. If it's true that "you are what you eat," then I'm a crêpe. A great big petit four–, custard pie–, cream puff–, espresso mousse–stuffed crèpe. I have no idea what the majority of Lyon looks like because I never made it out of Vieux or "Old" Lyon. How dare they hold me captive in pastry paradise? Regarding my lack of self-control when confronted with chocolate-covered baked goods, can I sue someone?
We scheduled our end-of-tour dinner here. And as a little educational bonus, I gathered together a few of the wine geeks in the crew for a blind tasting just prior to that. We'd spent the previous few days in eastern Germany, so assembling a mixed case of quality international juice was a bit of a challenge. But I managed to grab three bottles each of various Pinots, Cabs, Tempranillos and Sangioveses—three flights with a representative from each grape. That's a great exercise for a novice such as myself. The contrast is very revealing and helps to establish a sense memory.
Although quality wasn't the point of the exercise, the standouts were the 2001 Teófilo Reyes from Ribera del Duero, the 1999 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 707 and the 1994 Léoville Las Cases. As far as grapes go, the overall favorite for the event was the Tempranillo.
(For photos of the trip, check out the journal section of my winery/vineyard website, www.caduceus.org.)
Robert Caruana Jr — East Islip, NY — January 5, 2007 2:34pm ET
James Peterson — San Antonio, Texas — January 5, 2007 3:02pm ET
John Jorgenson — Seattle, — January 5, 2007 10:39pm ET
Brad Kanipe — Atlanta — January 7, 2007 10:51am ET
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