Forever Dreaming of France
How mind-blowing to think that it's already been 7 months since our return home from our honeymoon, and an entire week in France?!
Not a day has gone by that I haven't dreamt about going back. Once you fall in love with Paris, it has an iron grip on your heart. Lesson learned.
Like we've mentioned in the past, throughout our many travels, we collect unique ornaments to bring home and remind us of the special memories we've made along the way. It's easy to bring home small items in your suitcase, and always a treat to unwrap and rediscover them months later while decorating your Christmas tree.
This year, as we unwrapped the baubles, carefully tucked away inside our "Xmas" marked boxes, we started to rediscover handfuls of sparkling trinkets - each triggering a million memories of extraordinary moments. Plenty of those were semi-recently acquired from our time abroad, triggering lots of "oh my goodness, remember this?" and "Wasn't it hilarious when..." conversation.
This inspired us to revisit our honeymoon photos, and retrace our journey through gorgeous Paris, France.
Who could get through these hundreds of snaps without some authentic French wine and real french cheese assortment?! Definitely not us, so we organized a beautiful spread of a cheeseboard to aid us on our photo-lead journey.
First things first, we poured ourselves a few glasses of a gorgeous red blend from Bordeaux, Légende Rouge. Already being red wine lovers, this vintage caught us completely off guard. We knew we would love it, but we just didn't realize how much we would love it. The taste was fruity but quite intense with a very smooth finish. A wine like this tastes wonderful with It has all the essence of sophistication with a wonderful price point. I guarantee we'll be revisiting this wine again in the future.
What a perfect wine to start our evening with (we have 4 bottles on deck) because this wine was reminiscent of the wine we sipped during our first meal in Paris. We sat facing the Seine, watching the sun go down as we dug into a cheeseburger and escargot. It's hard not to immediately start giggling when we revisit this memory. My darling husband had one heck of a time getting the snails out of the shells and nearly flung a few across the road on accident. Good thing I happen to have a talent for using those particular utensils! Our French cheeseburger was massive in size, but truly tasted divine!
With cheeseburgers on the brain while we sifted through photos from Paris, I'll make a point mention that two of the cheeses in our cheeseboard selection paired swimmingly with our glasses of Légende Rouge. First comes one of my favorites, Ile de France Plain Goat Cheese which is fantastic on crackers fresh or even slightly melted. This particular goat cheese is created using only the freshest goat’s milk in the region. You just can't beat cheese of this authenticity and quality!
The second cheese pairing with our Légende Rouge is a bold-tasting Saint Agur Blue Cheese. This cheese is considered to be mild in flavor and not too salty compared to many other blue cheeses, thusly appealing to more palettes than bleu normally might. Nick and I are normally not huge fans of blue cheese but we did enjoy this one! It's creamy and rich, as it's made from cow's' milk instead of sheep or goat's milk. Yum!
On to our next taste of the wine selection, a second red - George Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2015. What a wonderful, somehow familiar taste! With hints of cherry and raspberry, this vin has slight similarities to a Pinot Noir (mon préféré!) with just a touch of cinnamon upon the finish! Delicious, to say the least. Both cheeses previously mentioned go swimmingly with this red wine, as well!
Back to retracing our journey through France, Nick and I reflected upon photos of us atop the Eiffel Tower. It was a slightly windy, chill day and we nearly missed the meeting of our tour group to visit the Tower! Thank goodness for my terrible French, barely saving us from missing the tour. I had to inform our Uber driver that we were supposed to be meeting a party at a specific street corner, and were running slightly behind schedule! He was kind enough to race us there via a few shortcuts around traffic, and beyond kind to deal with my rough French-speaking skills. I'm pretty sure Nick and I high-fived one another upon our timely drop off.
Nick mentioned his favorite part of our time spent at the Eiffel Tower was my reaction when we go to the very top - squatting. It's hard to explain why my body thought this was a good idea. All I know is that it made sense at first because oh my goodness - we were up very high! Although unintentional, it feels good to know that I can make my husband laugh. Best sound in the world.
Setting our cheeseboard aside for a moment, we thought we'd indulge in some sweet treats as well by baking cookies! Still snacking away as we baked, we reflecting upon the art, the buildings, the rain, the pastries - you know, the important stuff. That always includes the wine! It honestly wasn't until our honeymoon abroad that I really fell in love with wine. Real, authentic, flavorful and gorgeous wine.
Onto our cookies and sweet treats, paired with a wonderful white - Légende Blanc. This vin comes from the bordeaux region in France and exhibits strong citrus notes and is very aromatic. I personally don't love overly sweet dessert wines, but this one stole the show entirely! It was enjoyable with our two personal favorite types of cheese; Ile de France Brie and Saint André. This particular brie is buttery and smooth, giving subtle tastes of mushroom and hazelnut. It went nicely with the figs and petiíte toast, obviously alongside a white wine. As for the Saint André, Nick is in love. I don't expect this one to last long in our household because the two of us are devouring it at a rapid rate. It's no surprise that Saint André is known as the "heavenly cheese", being soft ripened triple cream cheese that's and creamy and smooth as butter. This cheese would fit well with champagne, white wines or white beers. It even has a salty tang that comes from the ocean air that blows through Normandy’s coastal pastures. HEA-VEN-LY.
I haven't even mentioned that it's perfect to go along with chocolate or gingerbread... and guess what we just baked!
Last but not least, our final taste of France for the evening, Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuissé 2015. This wine is 100% chardonnay from the southern part of Burgundy, France. It has flavors of almonds, peach and pear in each sip. I'm a sucker for almond, so this one hit the stop for me! This white wine was another fantastic fit for our fresh baked cookies, brie and cream cheese.
Wrapping up our evening of reminiscing and dreaming about our return to France, we talked about what we would want to do on our next trip to my favorite country. I would love to go back to the Musée d'Orsay. There is so much more I wanted to see within it's walls and it calls my name - I've got to go back! The Louvre also falls into the same category for us. There's so much more to see and experience there. Nick and I are both art lovers, so we cherish these opportunities to see magnificent, historical art. Nick was quick to point out that we must experience more of the cuisine based culture (ie. eat more authentic French food!).
I wouldn't. *wink wink* I dream about going back to France every day. Not only do I miss the delicious wines paired with stunning views, but I miss the people, the culture and the magical parisian air. There are so many more parts of the country we have yet to explore. I'd love to see more of the countryside, and also the beaches and coastal regions. I guess what I'm trying to say is "France, we just can't get enough of you". I can absolutely see Nick and I, years from now being that old couple taking wine tours through the country, building our days around where and what we're eating or drinking along the way. If that doesn't sound blissful, I don't know what does!
We hope you enjoyed our little trip down Memory Lane. If you've been to France and have any recommendations of where we should go next or what we should be sure to do, please leave them in the comments below! We'd love to hear from you!