We recently spent a month in France (Paris, Amboise, Arles, Nimes, Annecy), and Ted Scheffler is spot-on about their love of Rosé wine [“Rosé ’Round the World,” July 5, City Weekly] as well as white [“Summer Whites,” July 12, City Weekly]. I went to school in France years ago, but on this trip, I actually had the cash to eat in cafes and bars rather than in the student restaurants.
Anyway, we noticed that the locals would invariably order a liter or demi-liter of the local wine, which, in most cases, was cheap and excellent, especially the Loire Valley wines (Vouvrays and Sancerres, I believe) and the wonderful Apremonts and Crépy white wines of the Annecy region—my favorites of the trip. Actually, you could make the case that the best food in France is sold at the farmers markets and on the street. We had incredible paella and fresh strawberries in Arles, black-olive spread in Nimes, and the best roast pork and chicken I’ve ever eaten in Paris.
We didn’t get one piece of wilted lettuce, one stale baguette or anything else that wasn’t completely fresh. Maybe we were just lucky, but they seem to take food pretty seriously. However, I learned that it’s a mistake to compliment the workers in the boulangerie—they know their bread is excellent and don’t need you to tell them, thank you very much. Otherwise, we were treated with great kindness.
I enjoy Scheffler’s column!