A Grape Day, Geneva’s Wine Festival

Last weekend was Geneva‘s Caves Ouverts.  This translates to “Open Cellars.”  All of the area’s wineries were open for visits and to taste the latest wines.  Wines produced for consumption within a few years are usually bottled in March or April.  As a result, they are first released for sale in May.  Since it started in 1987, it has grown into a huge event.

Buy your tasting glass and we will gladly serve you. The glass is 5 CHF. Taste moderately. Love passionately.

We bought special wine glasses for five Swiss Francs ($6) each.  With these glasses, we could taste any wine at all the wineries.  The proprietors were great an were happy to talk about their wines.  I was glad that we’d done the wine tour of Burgundy and learned how to taste wine so that I knew how to tell them what I liked.

As a result of the tasting, we are now a bit more knowledgeable about Geneva’s wines and wineries.  We didn’t buy any since we didn’t have a backpack with us (rookie mistake), but will be heading back to buy our favorites.

I like that you can see my reflection in the bottle.

Most of the wineries provide tasty food at reasonable prices.   We opted for the sausage.  They had a choice of white or red and asked which I would like.  I asked for the red sausage please.

Others in our group had the Tomme, a wonderful goat cheese.  They served it grilled on bread.  We also saw: Tartiflette, hearty meat dishes, wonderful pastries and pies.  Many wineries also provide entertainment.   Accordion music anyone?

If you are thinking about visiting Geneva, Caves Ouvertes is the weekend to do it.  The countryside is beautiful.  So are the vineyards.  I love that you can always see the mountains in the distance around here. Even the towns are picturesque.  These old villages consist of stone farmhouses and massive wood barns in which people gather around barrels or picnic tables.

As the day progressed the crowds grew, spilling out into the courtyards and the streets.  It was a wonderful atmosphere.  Everyone was very friendly.  Even the usually reserved Swiss were wonderfully chatty. We went with a group; it was great to share the day with people from all over the world.

As the crowds increased, the weather deteriorated.  Being the idiots that we are, we dressed for the morning’s weather (another rookie mistake).  In Switzerland, the weather is changeable and the temperature dropped drastically over the course of the day.  He wore shorts and flip-flops (not very Swiss).  I wore a skirt and wells (also not very Swiss).  At least he remembered to bring a jacket.

Yep, the wind was blowing so hard that it turned the umbrella below inside out.  We had umbrellas too.  Unfortunately, they didn’t do a lot of good when the wind was blowing sideways and we called it a day.

I have grumbled discontentedly about Geneva’s public transport (TPG) since they drastically changed their routes in December.  After they provided free shuttle buses that loop around the wine villages, I feel much more kindly disposed towards them.  Thanks TPG!

Crepes, American Style

We had visitors and made a typically French food for them…Crepes. Yum!  Being American, the finer points of crepes escape us and we used whatever we had in the fridge/pantry to fill them.  We started out with Gruyere cheese, which is pretty typical.  Next, we tried goat cheese, which doesn’t seem too odd here in the land of cheese.
Of course, we had to break out the chocolate.
That made us think of peanut butter.  What goes really well with peanut butter?  Apples and cinnamon.  I’m guessing by this point we have done something that would make many French foodofiles shout “sacre bleu!”
Clearly, we were on a roll and there was no turning back.  Since we had the peanut butter out, what else could we use?  Jelly.   The French food gods might throw a lightning bolt for that one.  As Americans, we loved them and cannot recommend them highly enough.
P.S. We also made, goat cheese and berry. And yes, they were from a mix.  Don’t judge.  Besides, you can’t be all that surprised, we’re American.

Glad We Aren’t Lactose Intolerant

I am so glad that we are not lactose intolerant.  This is a country of dairy where the cow is practically a national symbol (not to discount the goat and sheep’s milk products you see everywhere).  The Swiss do dairy.  They do it a lot.  They do it very, very well.  As a result, we find ourselves constantly trying new, wonderful dairy products.  Delightful (and tasty).  If you are lactose intolerant, you can still easily enjoy the good food here. It is of high quality and very fresh. You will just miss out on some of the abundant dairy yumminess.

To prove my point that the Swiss do a lot of dairy, I took photos of just some of the dairy in one grocery store.  Mind you there is another one across the street.  Enjoy!

P.S. I pounded not one, but two delicious youghrts for breakfast this morning and having mountian milk in my coffee. Excessive? No, just a delightful, darylicious way to start your day.