Monthly Archives: April 2010

Open House Alert!!!

I received an email today from one of my very favorite Burgundian winemakers – Claire Naudin of Domaine Naudin Ferrand in MagnylesVillers – about one of my very favorite Burgundian events – their annual Open House.

If your French is good, you can read all about it on their website here.

Otherwise, you can read about it on my blog here and here .

Here are the details for the 2010 edition: It happens on the weekend of May 8th at the Domaine NaudinFerrand in MangnylesVillers (you won’t be able to miss the signs) and the hours are:

Saturday – 10:00am to 10:00pm (the nighttime festivities are very fun)
Sunday – 10:00am to 5:00pm

Let me put it this way – if I was still in Burgundy I would be pitching a tent there for the weekend!

Being Rude Feels So Much More Natural in French

Franck has told me time and time again that we should have known what we had gotten ourselves into when we named our middle daughter Camille; the name of a long line of feisty females from the sculptor Camille Claudel to the alternative French singer also named CAMILLE (in capital letters only, svp).

True to form, our Camille has been going through a particularly feisty phase of late; so fiesty that she often spills over into downright rudeness.

This fiesty / rude phase has coincided with the fact that Camille has really begun to master the English language, and has started to speak to Franck and Charlotte and I in English instead of French. I’m frankly shocked that of all my children, it is Camille whom we have to remind to speak French. But then, one of the (very few) things I have learned as a parent is that our kids are put on earth to surprise us.

Anyway, when Camille starts yammering away in English at home we all remind her to switch over to French (except for Charlotte who is immeasurably annoyed by Camille’s English “persona’ and simply hits her).

But the English is not really the problem. The talking back is the problem.

When we ask her to do something, Camille has begun to favour little chasers to her responses along the lines of “whatever…” and “what do you want from me!?”

The only thing is that while the first part of the sentence comes out in English, the truly offensive bit comes invariably in French. Case in point:

Me: “Camille, please but your boots away.”

Camille: “I’m going to do that right now – qu’estce que tu me veux!?!”

After taking her to task for DARING to talk to me that way (and after the tears had dried), I just had to ask – how was it that the truly rude part of the sentence came out in French?

Camille shrugged. “Being rude in English just doesn’t sound right.”

That Smell of France

Since I bought my tickets and we knew our dates for France, our other home seems to be drawing us slowly, inexorably towards itself (or herself, as houses in France are female and I always imagine La Maison des Chaumes as a stylish, warm French grandmother who makes a mean tarte tatin).

The girls tell me every morning that they have gone to France in their dreams during the night, and played with Alix and Eloi and Gabin and eaten ice cream on Les Chaumes as the sun goes down over the vineyards.

I can’t stop thinking about Burgundy either. It is like all of those French-passport holding cells in my body have suddenly woken up out of a deep slumber and have started crying out, “Go back! You have been away too long!” This morning I meant to call a guest who is staying at Le Relais du Vieux Beaune, and I ended up dialing the number of my friend Charlotte – who I miss terribly – instead.

Today after school Camille was sitting on the couch, staring off into dreamland.

“What are you thinking about?” I asked her.

“The smell of our house in Villers,” she said. “It has such a good smell; I want to smell it again.”

10 K The World Over

Lisa recently allowed John to do a “guest post” on her fabulous blog “Village Vignettes” which is recounting the tales of her family’s sojourn at La Maison des Chaumes in Villers-la-Faye.

He had just completed the fabled Nuits-Saint-Georges 10k race past some of the world’s most valued vineyards and through chateaux that Franck and I did last year. AND he has his bottle of wine to prove it. Bravo John!

Franck and I both wish someone would hurry up and invent that cool transporter thingy like they have on the Starship Enterprise so that we could have atomized over to Burgundy to do it with him (and enjoy a big celebratory dinner afterwards). But until we are able to do that, we have signed up for Victoria’s Times-Colonist 10k on April 24th.

Granted, I don’t have the wine to motivate me this year (or the little pâté on baguette thingies they were handing out in Vosne Romanée last year) but I DO have a two year old who I found sucking on a razor this morning.

All that adrenaline has to go somewhere.

Vin Sensation = Sensational Blog

I’ve talked about Sensation Vin before in my blog. In my opinion, it is a fabulous place to go if you want a fun, low-key and inexpensive crash course on Burgundy wines from people who really know what they’re doing.

It is located just by Notre-Dame in the heart of medieval Beaune, and you can simply drop in and take one of their “essentials” classes which can take as little as an hour.

And now Sensation Vin has started a sensational blog. So far it is only in French, but for those of you who already have some basic knowledge of the language and want to brush up on your oenological vocabulaire, this is the perfect place.

In Vino Veritas!