Last week, when France played Germany in the UEFA semifinals, I went with three neighbours, new friends Bill, Taffy and Mardi, all Canadians, to watch the match and cheer on Les Bleus. Our first choice, our local taverna, didn’t have a TV outside, and it was such a beautiful evening, we decided on a restaurant around the corner with a TV on the terrace. Since it was 21:00 (9:00 PM to most of you), the restaurant allowed us to take a table and watch while sipping from a bottle of wine, though the rest of the terrace was occupied by tables of folks enjoying dinner.
While the rest of the terrace ate their dinner and rather sedately applauded when Les Bleus scored (nothing interrupts the French at dinner time!) , Bill ordered a very local bottle of rosé for our group to share. A label unknown to all of us, it was not only from our local AOC (Appellation d’origins contrôlée) of Buzet, it was from a château right here in our commune of Nérac. Light in taste and colour, crisp and just slightly acidic, we unanimously decided it was perfect for a summer evening drink.
I snapped a picture of the label in my Delectable app and tried searching for information on the winery and the wine, but, alas, nothing matched. As we finished the bottle, we all pledged to find the wine, post haste, so we could enjoy it over the summer. Over the next few days, I searched a few different sources here in town, but Bill, slightly more clever than I, took to the internet and was able to find the producer’s website.
And, so it was that, on our ride back from a Sunday lunch and Brocate shopping in the nearby town of Fourcès, Bill said he thought we were close to the winery. Moments later, Voila!, a less than imposing sign announcing the Château-Pierron. Though they advertised tastings, like most everything else here in Gascony, they were closed on Sunday, so we made plans to return during the window between 2:00 and 6:00 the next afternoon.
Bill and Taffy have just purchased a car for their long (or longer) term stay here in France, but it won’t be ready until the 22nd of July, so we loaded into Simone and headed just a few kilometres outside of town until we reached the sign to the château. We then traveled down a long allée with vines growing on each side until we reached the château- not the stately, centuries old manse that we expected, but rather a recently (within two or three decades, which is considered new construction in France) built family home with play toys in the front which rather matched that less than imposing signage out on the road.
To the right were some barn-like structures, and, looking closer, an office where we found a the mistress of the chateau, a secretary/administrator/owner/carpooler/who-knows-what-other-jobs, who greeted us, in French, of course. I listened as Taf took the lead, since her French surpasses Bill’s and, certainly, mine. The woman pointed to a sign with a picture of the label we were after which said it was on special, two cartons for the price of one. Soon, Taf and Bill were agreeing to a purchase and the woman was off to get two cartons. After confirming that they meant for me to get one of those two cartons, I asked how much it was per carton. This is when they admitted that they were so excited by the 2-for-1 promotion that they hadn’t thought to ask the price.
Ah, yes, life en France.
And, then, we had two cartons and were presented with a bill of trente Euros ( 30 Euros, roughly $34.00). As we got into Simone, after loading the cartons into her trunk, having done the math in my head (2 cartons of 6 @ 30 euros= 2 euros, 50 per bottle) I asked “Why didn’t we get more?”. So, we went back in and got two more cases…
And, soon thereafter, and for the rest of the summer:
Oh- and we are going back today to get cases for Mardi Michels and for Kate de Camont.