On arriving in Avignon our first activity was the essential dancing on the bridge singing the children’s French lesson song ‘Sur Le Pont d’Avignon.’ Once we got this out of our system, we carried on in search of food and wine which we found in the form of a wine shop (Le Vin Devant Soi) with a very practical tasting system. We retrieved our card which we then topped up with some euros and ambled along the line of wine and tasted our chosen labels. We were lucky that the shop was otherwise empty, so that we could take full advantage of the owner, Laurent Mersier’s, expertise.
Over the last few months on this food and wine tour, we have learnt plenty about the production and composition of wine, so we were looking for a bit of advice on tasting, so that we could discover our preferred Côte du Rhone. We were informed about the difference between the Southern and Northern Crus, the latter being more spicy due to the pure Syrah grape content. After tasting a Chateau Neuf du Pape, a Cote Rotie and a Crozes Hermitage, we decided that the spiciness of the latter was more our cup of tea. The tasting was very successful as after all the most important wine to discover and learn about is not the most expensive neither that which has the greater reputation, however the one that you would most prefer to drink!
For lunch we delighted in dips, all Provençal and delicious. After browsing the local speciality shop for a good half hour sampling dips, picking on olives and sniffing and drinking various infused olive oils; we chose our favourites and headed to a local square. I happened to be wearing a beret that day and we were in need of a baguette. Safe to say that upon leaving the boulangerie, I was a complete walking cliché: beret, baguette and all! We were even stopped by a lady who asked us for a picture. Of course, we said, thinking that she wanted us to take one of here and her husband. But no, it was us whom she wanted her picture with… she thought we were French… Oh I can only wish!