Harvest, drink, cook! Journey to the vineyards of France 🍇🍷

Harvest, drink, cook! Journey to the vineyards of France 🍇🍷

One day I will be in France for les vendanges, the harvest, to enjoy the treat of un verre du vin rouge amongst the vines!

Loulabelle's FrancoFiles episode 58

Guest: Sarah Zwick - Be My Guest Immersions

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I often wonder about the way I view French culture and consider how the things France is famous for might be viewed by the French!

Today I chatted to our fave French correspondent Sarah Zwick from Be My Guest Immersions about the French perspective of wine. Not the expert perspective but how wine is seen culturally by ordinary French citizens.

There are so many varieties in France, approximately 250! I have a set of playing cards at home with a different French wine on the back of each card. I thought the 52 in that pack of cards was a lot!

Now some would say that winemakers in France are artists. To me they definitely are. There is a craft to what they do. It’s not just agriculture or farming, it’s understanding the effects of the terroir, that is the natural elements that make the wine what it is.

I knew that wine making in France is an art that goes back 2000 years, but listening to Sarah talk about the history as she has learned about it was fascinating. I saw in a documentary called “A Year in Burgundy” that it was the Romans who discovered grapes when they came up the Saone river to settle the area south of Dijon, and the Chardonnay and Pinot noir grapes were discovered growing wild there, they’re native to that area! Sarah also explained how the Greeks came to France even earlier and brought vines then too.

When the Romans left the whole art of winemaking would have died out except that the Christian monasteries of the area needed to make wine for the communion ceremony so it was the priests monks and nuns in the abbeys who kept the knowledge alive.

So in France the wines are often known by the name of the area or village where the grapes are grown, such as a sweet wine Sauternes comes from the area surrounding Sauternes in the Bordeaux region. The terroir is so particular to the various regions that the grape variety is named after the region rather than the grape variety being the same regardless of where it is grown.

Some people look upon French wine as just an investment. I have seen a couple of documentaries that showed how French wine is becoming increasingly popular as an investment purchase in China. But for me I love to savour and taste it too much to let it sit in the bottle forever! Somethings are worth more than money to me, and  the memories created with friends in France or even in Australia for that matter whilst sharing a bottle of wine are often in my opinion, priceless.

Regardless of me getting all emotionally connected to the wine, it’s a huge industry in France with wine being enjoyed and sold all over the world and employs loads of people. Sarah has family friends with a vineyard and has worked with them before. I loved hearing her chat about that time and I now plan to be in France for les vendanges, the harvest. After a couple of hours work in the morning the workers have a second breakfast with un verre du vin rouge!

So settle in with a verre du vin rouge ou blanc and join us in our petit papotage de podcast,  for a little journey to the vineyards of France!


Sarah had a few recipes that she loves to cook using French wine. One with vin blanc is

Sauté de veau


Ce qui nous lie est là by Camélia Jordana

Sarah recommended this song from the movie “Ce qui nous lie” or in English “Back to Burgundy“.

The movie trailer shows the photography of the landscape and the changing seasons. It’s visually stunning. The movie is available to purchase or rent on Apple TV in Australia and in a few other formats, but I must admit it’s not as easy to access as some other French films! I imagine it will definitely be worth the effort to find it though!

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