There are many ways to gauge how the U.S. economy is doing. You can check out the Dow Jones Industrial Average, for instance, to see how bluechip companies are performing on the stock market. Or, you can look at the U.S. Consumer Price Index for an idea of how much people are spending on goods and services. Or, you can leave those boring analytics to the bean counters and keep an eye on a much more juicy economic indicator: wine consumption.
Don't call it pre-gaming — the French don't. An apéritif is a spirit drunk before a meal to stoke one's appetite and a digestif (wait for it) is drunk after a meal to calm it all down. Whether you're sipping on a pre-dinner Chartreuse or a post-dinner port, an expertly blended cocktail starring an obscure Alpine liqueur or simply a Campari and soda, raise two glasses tonight and enjoy a tipple like they do in France.
The French poet Victor Hugo once wrote, “life is a flower for which love is the honey.” Well, it seems the French have found a way for you to practically drink those words in liqueur form, via the exquisite génépi, distilled from Alpine mountain flowers. Sound like a good addition to your Old Fashioned? We thought so, too.
The narrow cobblestone streets of the small town of Chablis, its quiet vineyards set upon rolling hills, seem from a more aristocratic and traditional time long-past. Even the fonts on a bottle of wine made by Raveneau or Dauvissat — two of Chablis’ most esteemed producers — denote ornateness and formality.
It wouldn't be France Week without a glass of the bubbly, er, Champagne. As in not sparkling wine or prosecco or lower-case champagne or anything else that isn't from that picturesque town not far from Paris known as — you guessed it — Champagne. Here's a helpful public service announcement timed to reminding holiday drinkers where Champagne comes from.
Known the world over for their prowess in winemaking, the French have been masters at making spirits and liqueurs for centuries. Some of classic mixology’s greatest cocktails wouldn’t even exist without the plethora of French spirits and liqueurs that were available to bartenders in the 19th century. Liquor pro Jeffrey Morgenthaler pours us a stiff dose of knowledge on Gallic booze and its many possibilities.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape brings two things to mind: Very old things and New York City chef Justin Warner’s rap game. An explanation is needed. Plenty of wine knowledge, and a Beastie Boys reference, in this special report.