Ch 1: D’oenologie

I’ve been a little neglectful- my apologies.

The big things that have happened recently are as follows:

Tuesday we had our first wine tasting and education class. I am one more step closer to becoming a wine snob. Except not really because I didn’t really like them all that much. My palate is more accustomed to the least expensive wines Aix can provide- not the fancy expensive wines from Provence that we tasted. We did however learn all about la robe (appearance), le nez (smell), and la saveur (taste) while sampling two red wines and two white wines native to Provence. I also now know the three things you should look at first when choosing a wine:

#1 the year it was produced- 2009 and 2010 were “excellent” years in france for wine production apparently

#2 Appellation d’orgine controlée (AOC)= the name of the chateau, the region, and the village it is produced in

#3 Appellation: what kind of wine it is

Three of the four Provencal wines we taste

There are also at least three “phases” a wine goes through when you taste it. Because at first you don’t drink it, you have to hold it in your mouth for about a minute to experience the attack, the evolution, and the finale (all while breathing in little pockets of air to help the wine “breathe”). And then the really good wines have a fourth stage called persistence. Needless to say, I prefer to sip my wine, otherwise I risk choking on it and spitting it all over myself…like I said, I am not yet refined when it comes to this whole wine business…

D’accord, Wednesday was my first day of community service! I chose to work at a retirement center for two hours wednesday afternoon that is on my way home from school. Basically I just hang out with a group of about 6 old ladies and the host mom of my friend Alex (she runs the program) and play games. I didn’t really do much Wednesday because I didn’t know what to expect, but hopefully this week I can be more involved and really talk to the ladies- they seem really nice, but the French are slow to trust you and let you be friends, so hopefully they will like me…

Thursday: I did homework. And drank a few espressos. Nothing big.

Saturday: We had our first excursion!! We visited three villages to the north of Aix in an area called le Lubéron: Lourmarin, Bonnieux, and Roussillon. This is another one of those things where I think the pictures explain better than I can…so my advanced apologies for the plethora of photos.

the view from the chateau at Lourmarin

Lourmarin

Escargot!!

view from the cathedral at Bonnieux

my new home

the Pont Julien

me climbing the pont-

le sentir des ocres in Roussillon (nature park/hike)

I have a presentation to prepare for my European Union class tomorrow, but soon I hope to share pictures I have of my school and my neighborhood!

Bises! Bonne soire!

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