Last weekend, Adam and I combined another language exchange meet-up with wine tasting. Having gone to the 'Friends-of-Wine' meet-up just a few days prior, we were informed and given tickets to this huge expo happening at the edge of town where hundreds of independent vintners come to showcase their local 'brews.' We asked Cécile, our new French friend, if she'd like to join.
We first met in a neighboring cafe to talk a bit of french before battling the crowds, and conversation quickly turned towards the recent attacks in Toulouse. This hit close to home with Cécile considering she is a tried and true Toulousian with a mother's who's a school teacher. Ironically, talking with one of the local vintners later that day, we found out that this woman's daughter is a nurse who was there to stitch up one of the militia men who was shot. It's a crazy small world, indeed, and this topic is on everyone's mind right now, especially since it's so close to election time. Apparently the train bombings in Madrid that happened back in 2004 (yep, last time I was here) happened days before the election and completely changed its outcome. France is wondering if it will do the same for them as well.
But anyways, back to happier thoughts....As we sipped our coffees, one of Cécile's friend, Charles, decided to join... So now were were a happy group of four. And more good practice for Adam and I as we tried to decipher the discussions between those two. Mind you, both are simply stellar in their English, and it always surprises me just how much they know. When Charles can spit out quotes from 'Full Metal Jacket', you know he's paid a bit of attention to American culture.
We all then headed to the expo and each received a glass for tasting. We then started wandering down the aisles trying to determine where to stop, but there was honestly soooo many vendors (maybe around 500?) and so many different regions and wine varieties that it was a bit intimidating and overwhelming. It was good to have our Frenchies with us to guide us a bit (we decided to stick to wines made in the south near Toulouse), but I think even they were a bit uncertain of how to approach all this. After a couple of hours of pushing through more and more people, we decided to ditch this, and get outside to enjoy the warm summery day.
Cécile explains the locations of the regions to us.
Be safe, kids. Breathalyze before driving ; )
Too early to really go home and too early to really settle in at a restaurant for grub, we (minus Charles) headed towards the Canal St. Martin near Republic. (If any of you have ever seen 'Amelie,' it's where she goes to skip stones). The banks were PACKED with hundreds of Parisians (unlike this photo I yanked) eating, drinking, and simply enjoying life; we decided to do the same. We bought some food and bubbly for a picnic, reused our tasting glasses, and hung out until after sundown stumbling through conversation both in French and English about life, love, and plans for the future. Definitely a superb French day, indeed.