Saturday, December 9, 2017

Episode 32: Caféotheque, Caféologie, Terres de Café by Paris GOOD food+wine

by Paige Donner

Episode 32 of Paris GOODfood+wine is all about coffee. But not just any coffee - these are two of Paris' premier specialty coffee roasters and their passion for coffee transcends the everyday ordinary cup o' joe...



Cafe. Coffee. Cafeotheque. Cafeologie. Terres de Cafe. Terroir du cafe...

These are terms, some of which you've frequently probably already have heard, and a few which might sound new.

NO matter. This episode of Paris GOODfood+wine is all about the coffee renaissance that has taken place here in Paris these past oh, decade or so.

We'll be speaking with the matriarch of this Parisian specialty coffee cult who is, in fact, the former Guatemalan Ambassador to France. She and her daughter run the much loved Caféotheque right on the quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, just across the bridge from Île St. Louis in the center of Paris.

photos by Paige Donner / FoodWine.Photography © 2017


Gloria Montenegro and her lovely daughter, Christina, have just released a book they co-authored together about coffee. It's called Caféologie and they wrote it not just in French but also on a strict deadline that has the book out just in time for holiday gift giving. By the time you're done listening to my conversation with them, all of those coffee terms will sound like old hat.  You can find more information about La Caféotheque by going to their website or facebook page at La Caféotheque. 

We'll also hear from Lionel Pinot who is one of the principal team members of Terres de Cafe. That's a café that has quickly earned its cult status reputation here in Paris for its premium sourced specialty coffees.


Lionel has a background in wine, which serves him perfectly well when it comes to tasting coffee. He'll explain more about that during our interview.

So, as we coast into yet another Parisian winter and Christmas holiday season, snuggle up by the fire( or at least the heater) with your hands cupped around a nice steaming mug o' joe, and listen in on how Paris became the capital of supremely sourced, specialty coffees and micro-roasters.


This episode of Paris GOODfood+wine has been brought to you by Paris Food And Wine. You can find out more about our events and food+wine pairing seminars like Perfect Pairings food+wine by visiting the website,

If you have an event, a restaurant opening, a story to tell in pictures, contact us at FoodWine.Photography We're happy to provide you with a quote for photography services. 

I'm Paige Donner, the host and producer of Paris GOODfood+wine.

Here's wishing all our listeners a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hannukah and Kwanzaa and anything else you and your loved ones celebrate at the end of the year.

See you next in 2018!


Enjoy yet another delicious episode here of Paris GOODfood+wine.

All music free of rights courtesy "Mocha Guitar" by Rick Dickert and Groovy Paris Jazz by for show Intro and Outro.
To contact Paige Donner for speaking/hosting/producing
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Friday, December 8, 2017

French Wines With Soul Château Coutet AOC Barsac and Deux Sauternes

by Paige Donner

Christmastime is the perfect time to enjoy a bottle of AOC Barsac, a French appellation devoted to the production of sweet wine, with a distinguishing accent of freshness. Château Coutet is one of the region's outstanding wine producers and what's more, this French wine has soul. 

Mind you, many French wines do. Have soul that is. But this one is especially solid, and especially for the holidays.  And, by the way, it is a 1ère Grand Cru Classé 1855, too.  AND it (the 2014 vintage) was N° 3 in Wine Spec's Top 10 of 2017. 


chateau coutet with tasting notes 11772562898974

The appellation "Barsac", located on the left bank of the Ciron, is also part of the Sauternes appellation. This means that all Barsacs are Sauternes, but not all Sauternes are entitled to the appellation Barsac. An original soil characteristic justifies the existence of this appellation and the fact that it is being differentiated from other Sauternes... (Microclimate): At the end of summer, the combination of the rivers' cold water and winds creates a thick fog in the morning, covering the vineyards and being retained by the Landes forest, farther south. Thanks to the humidity it brings, this fog promotes the development of the famous fungus, Botrytis cinerea, in the vines and on ripe berries. At midday, the fog evaporates by the action of sunlight and wind, and thus allows for the berries to dry and for their sugar to concentrate. This so-called "Noble Rot" is the result of this peculiar phenomenon occurring in the Sauternes appellation. 



What To Pair?

People often think of sweet wines as the go-to pairing with desserts. But, frankly, that is often a bit too much sweet-on-sweet. Best to pair these stellar wines with the aperitif, while cracking walnuts, Brazil nuts and almonds-in-the-shell while you sit by the fire with friends and family. 

To really dazzle, you can serve with a dish of perfectly succulent St. Jacques (scallops) or lobster, basted richly in their juices - at least that is what Philippe Baly, owner and GM of this esteemed estate, assures. I will have to try that pairing one day soon for myself... Or pair with some nice cheese, like a Roquefort or an aged Comté. If you must try pairing with a dessert, go for a less sweet nut tart or lightly sweetened fruit such as a stewed pear in honey for example. For me, this wine is the dessert. So either I enjoy it as an aperitif, while the smells of the roasting, honey basted ham is still wafting from the warm kitchen (every lady know that dessert can and often does come before the meal) , or I sip it instead of dessert, as a sweet finish to my meal. If you do this, try tantalizing the tastebuds even further with a square of dark, minimum 70% cacao, dark chocolate.

Château Coutet



White grape varieties

Sémillon: native to Sauternes, apricot & smoky aromas
Sauvignon blanc: citrus notes
Muscadelle: spiciness for complexity

Château de Fargues harvests their nobly rotted bounty grape by grape. And you can tell instantly in the glass.  Honeyed elixir, candied apricots... this is a classic, beautiful Sauternes.  Château Doisy-Védrines is another example of gold in a glass and also is a Grand Cru Classé en 1855.

For the most part, Sauternes wines have a more intense liquor, a deeper opulence, a richer sweetness (than their Barsac neighbors)  - all largely due to the way their gravel soils catch the heat of the sun and reflect it back up to the grapes.

In France, the classic holiday pairing is Sauternes with foie gras. And when you serve that foie gras on little wedges of spice cake, a breadier form of our gingerbread, well, then you know you are respecting tradition, and all for good reason. Add just a tiny dab of fig confiture and Voilà... you will feel to the manor borne...

These two Sauternes are excellent choices and perfect accompaniment for  holiday meals. And the ever so nice thing about these French wines with soul is that they are even more enjoyable when shared with loved ones (or at least good friends). 

Château de Fargues was first constructed in the 14th c. by Cardinal Raymond-Guilhem de Fargues in the village of Fargues, Sauternes, Bordeaux.


Château Doisy-Védrines  Grand Cru Classé en 1855

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Champagnes William Deutz and J. Pierron Leglise

by Paige Donner

One bottle of Champagne requires the equivalent of all the fruit from a single vine.

A few things these two different champagnes, from very different houses, have in common is that the Chardonnay used in each comes exclusively from the Côte des Blancs, and the best of the Côte des Blancs at that:  Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, and in the case of William Deutz cuvée add to that list Avize, Cramant, Chouilly and Villers-Marmery. Each distinguished champagne presses only 1ère and Grand Cru grapes from the region's harvest and uses only the first pressing or cuvée. 

And the other commonality is that both cuvées are prestige cuvées. Meaning one is lucky to get the chance to taste them, let alone own a bottle or two. 

William Deutz by Deutz

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This extraordinary house, founded in 1838 is, of course, based in Aÿ one of the most attractive villages in Champagne and certainly home to some of the most prized Pinot Noir from the region. 

For this remarkable champagne, only the best years are chosen and only the juice from the first pressing, the cuvée, is used. For the blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay you'll find an exclusive vinification of Aÿ, Bouzy, Ambonnay and Verzenay for the 55% - 65% of Pinot Noir and, as mentioned above, only the Côte des Blancs' most sought after grapes to make up the rest. The technical sheet from the house does suggest a zeste of Pinot Meunier added to lend that varietal's generosity and fruitiness but in the recent tasting it was not mentioned, in fact, by the house. 


This is the champagne to open when you are enjoying caviar, lobster, foie gras and also sushi and, yes, many Asian cuisine dishes that are subtly flavored with the exotic. 

Nose: Characteristic of wines cellared for a good length of time (minimum 5 years and usually much longer) but sort of shy to reveal its age. Hints of mirabelles, white peaches seared, soft hints of spice and flower scents such as aubépine (Russian hawthorn). 

Mouth: A distinguished burst of freshness, complexity tells of its minerality and also that telltale roasted flavor of a great vintage champagne. It washes down tenderly with velvet softness, leaving the sensation of balance and absolute refinement. 

Deutz is one of the great houses of Champagne. It is also one of the great houses of Aÿ, France.  Worth visiting one day, to be sure. 

Champagne Deutz  Aÿ, France 


Champagne J. Pierron Leglise 

Vendanges 2010 Millésime (Vintage 2010 Blanc de Blancs) 


This grower champagne is surely one for the connoisseurs. It's the kind of champagne that, nearly impossible to find in certain export markets abroad, makes a trip to France imperative for a certain kind of wine appreciator, if only to get the chance to taste such a rarefied grower champagne. 

This family-run estate is based in Oger, one of the Côte des Blanc's most prized villages when it comes to Chardonnay vines. The estate, now run by the family's 2nd generation, is comprised of a generous 4.5 hectares. For champagne that is a large estate, given that these are some of the world's most expensive vines, and some of the most prized in Champagne itself, too. 

In this connoisseur's bottle of blanc de blancs you'll find only Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger chardonnay from vines averaging a mature 30 years.  Champagne J. Pierron Leglise does not do malolactic fermentation which of course lends his champagnes that slight edge of freshness and heightened acidity as well as the ability to age. For this Vintage 2010 it has been kept in the cellars for a full 5 years before being disgorged. The 8g of sugar softens and offers a touch of roundness to this perfectly fresh and crisp profile. 

Nose: Candied lemon, acacia honey, mimosa, hazelnut, Carensac licorice, pear and marzipan. 

Mouth:  Softness yields to that mineral chalkiness so emblematic of the best champagnes, which then flows into a creamy sensation of great refinement stewed ripe fruit. 

Try this with foie gras accompanied by a mousse de yuzu.  Also lobster with seaweed (Japanese Nori) infused butter. 

The total production of this champagne house is 24K bottles. At time of writing there are 400 bottles of this champagne Millésime 2010 left. 

Champagne J. Pierron Leglise,  51190 Oger, France

If you'd to book your Perfect Pairing wine + food seminar to learn more about French wines and how they pair with food, please go to Paris Food And Wine and click on Events Calendar

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Episode 29: Perfect Pairings food+wine by Paris Food And Wine

by Paige Donner

This episode of Paris GOOD food+wine, our season 4 kick-off, is devoted to my very favorite topic, food+wine pairings.

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When I'm walking my clients through my food+wine pairing seminar, Perfect Pairings food+wine here in Paris, I always tell them that together, when you do a proper food+wine pairing, The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts, to borrow a phrase from Aristotle.

Meaning, in simple English, that the wonderful tastes of both wine and food, when served in the right combination, are amplified, sometimes exponentially.

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However, before we get to the good stuff, namely my interviews with Jaimee Anderson, the newly appointed Wine Director at Paris' La Réserve Palace Hotel followed by my conversation with David Boileau, France's Cognac Bureau's Wine Ambassador, I'd like to start off with some of the Do's and Don'ts, of wine and food pairings....

There are three basic rules of thumb for successful food+wine pairings: 

Those of harmony (where acidities, sugars and weight in the food and wine are equal) and those of opposition (where a wine of high acidity cuts though fatty meat or an off-dry wine goes with spicy food).'

The third thing to remember is, "If it grows together, it goes together."

So join us on this Season 4 kick-off of Paris GOOD food + wine, our September 2017 show, episode 29, as we delve head-long and deep into the world of fine food and wine pairing.

To sign up for one of our Perfect Pairings food+wine 2-Hour seminars here in Paris held 7/7,  late afternoons and early evenings, please Contact Us HERE or use the form below:


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All music  - Jazz Bolero  - used is free of rights and royalty-free courtesy Show Intro/ Outro Theme Jazzy Paris background courtesy of BenSound Music.
This episode has been generously brought to you by Paris Food And Wine@ParisFoodWine and also Bordeaux Food & Wine @bordeauxfoodvin

For sponsorship and advertising, contact Paige. Also for hosting, events, and speaking engagements and for media collaborations:

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Episode 28 : Branding Out of The Box - Paris GOOD food + wine

by Paige Donner

Host-Producer  Paris GOOD food + wine 

Looking to inspire the next generation of food+wine entrepreneurs, Paris GOOD food + wine takes a closer look at French and European food + wine companies that began as single-visionary entrepreneurs.

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A rural English potato farmer who turned his potato chips into a global brand (Tyrrell's); a Bordeaux wine company started by a few brothers in the late 1940s that has gone on to be Europe's biggest wine-selling brand and whose market is 80% French (Castel Frères) ; a cookie and snacks company whose founders got their pastry-making degrees while in business school (Michel & Augustin); a cabaret and restaurant that has been resurrected from the ashes of its 1930's glorious past (Le Bal Blomet); and a fine foods grocery shop that retains its Mom & Pop Provençal feel (Maison Brémond 1830).

June 28 Podcast Event Paris GOOD food+wine

This episode has been brought to you by the generous support of Paris Food And Wine. Follow us on Twitter @parisfoodwineFacebook @ParisFoodAndWine and you can find me on Instagram@PaigeFoodWine

Find this and more episodes of Paris GOOD food + wine on Soundcloud,Stitcher, YouTube, Tune IN Radio and also on iTunes.

Paris GOOD food + wine is the first (and still only) English language radio program and podcast about food and wine produced in Paris, France. This episode, Branding Out of The Box, seeks to inspire budding, next-generation entrepreneurs who might have an idea or a dream and simply require the confidence to pursue it. In an era where big companies are only getting bigger and fast becoming monoliths, the entrepreneurial, small-business dream is still real and still scalable.

Sprouts is a weekly program that features local radio production and stories from many radio stations and local media groups around the world. It is produced in collaboration with community radio stations and independent producers across the country.

All music used is free of rights and royalty-free courtesy This episode features Attacked by Cherubs and also the Sprouts soundtrack Torpedoes on Tuesday by Poison Control. Show Intro/ Outro Theme Jazzy Paris background courtesy of BenSound Music.
This episode has been generously brought to you by Paris Food And Wine@ParisFoodWine and also Bordeaux Food & Wine @bordeauxfoodvin

For sponsorship and advertising, contact Paige. Also for hosting and speaking engagements and for media collaborations:

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

a flask of Chateau Haut-Brion wine

by Paige Donner (all photos copyright 2017 Paige Donner)

As Bordeaux's very first wine château, is it any wonder that Haut-Brion still ranks with such stature in the world's profile of wines and wine estates? Well, a measured answer would be both yes, and no. 

It's not a given that a wine or a wine estate with such deep-roots and a glorious past would be sheparded forward through the centuries in a fashion that continues to uphold what is best of the property and best for the wine. 

On a recent visit to Château Haut-Brion, my first visit, in fact, I was told by the lovely Turid, the château's press relations manager who has been with the property for 17 years, that Château Haut-Brion is rightfully considered the very first Bordelais wine-producing château as they have come to be known through the ages. Meaning: vineyards, wine production area, chai, vat room, cellars and in Haut-Brion's case, even a cooperage. 

As many French, and it's said the Bordelais in particular, tend to wax eloquent about the history and cultural significance of their properties, I had always taken this singular claim as the original Bordeaux Château with a grain of salt. BUT, I stand to be corrected. As the charming Turid pointed out, and later I was able to verify through my own research, indeed, it was as far back as 1533 that Jean de Pontac bought what was then considered to be a mansion that sat on the locality known as Haut-Brion in the commune of Pessac and united it with his surrounding vineyard land-holdings. 

Thus, it can rightfully be claimed, through historical land records, that Château (& vineyards) Haut-Brion came into existence in 1533

But that is not all that Jean de Pontac did. By 1549 he started building and enlarging on the very site that is still the château today and in fact the north-eastern part of the current château still constitutes this edifice. 

Fast-forward a century or so and the château, always owned by illustrious men of power and King's servants, has gained immeasurable repute for its terroir and its resulting wines. So much so that in 1677 a (famous) philosopher by the name of John Locke, on a visit to the estate, is quoted as saying, 

"The wine of Pontac, so revered in England, is made on a little rise of ground, lieing open most to the west. It is noe thing but pure white sand, mixed with a little gravel.  One wold imagin it scarce fit to beare anything...."

That is probably one of the most remarkable things about Haut-Brion, a Gascon name that derives from its ancient Celtic origins of "Briga," meaning rise or mount, that traces of wine production here date back to the 1st c. AD. Hence as far back as Pax Romana times, this little hillock with its characteristic small white stone gravel soils has been recognized as being especially conducive to growing grape vines. 

First Growth, Bordeaux Grand Cru

On the 25th of May, 1787, America's great lover of wine, Thomas Jefferson, who at the time was the 2nd American Ambassador to France, visited Haut-Brion during a tour of Bordeaux.  According to historical record, this is what Mr. Jefferson had to say about Haut-Brion: 


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