Searching for wine fair dates, and some of the non wine purchases that I make when shopping in French supermarkets. Plus an update on my lettings. More wine reviews coming next month.
Wine fair dates 2020
I am hoping to go back to France late September or early October, but not sure if I will be able to with the current situation.
One reason for this is to go to wine fairs at the supermarkets there, that I know are on around this time of year.
If you remember last year, I did a post about trying to find online a simple list of all the supermarket dates in one place. (Read it here). I eventually found a link to a site ‘Le Figaro’ that had this listed under a heading Foires aux vins 2019’. So, I go to the site again, and search there for ‘Foires aux vins 2020’, hoping to find a similar list. No such luck this time.
Onto internet searching again. I won’t detail my search this time.
On one level I hope that there is not a site with a single list, and I will have to go to each supermarket’s website to get their dates, and then put all this information in one list myself. If my site is the only place with a list of all the supermarket wine fair dates, then that could help drive traffic to this site.
But then again, if I can find a single list online, it saves me a lot of work. And much quicker than last year, I found this list from a site called Rayon Boissons.
Here is an image of the list (slightly re-arrange for better viewing).
I will keep you posted if I do manage to go over for any of these wine fairs. Depending on the quarantine situation you may also want to take a trip over there. Please let me know if you plan on going. (Although not looking likely at the moment).
I don’t just buy wine
When I first started regularly going to France, I would only drive there once a year, so would cram in all my wine buying into that one trip. And I would not just buy wine. I was working full time in a new job, and wanted to bring my new team lots of goodies from France. So I would buy patés, cheeses, jams, delicate chocolate biscuits. I would bring these in, and also have a lot for myself and some as gifts. As I go more often, I do buy less. And some things I have gone right off. Paté is one. I would open a jar, have a bit, and then not eat anymore for a while. And after a while, it had gone off. I do like some of the cheeses. No point in buying Camembert and brie, as you can buy these in the UK. One I like that is not often sold in the UK is Coulommiers. It is stronger that the other soft French cheeses. But I have not decided not to take any French cheese back with me. It really can stink the car out. I still buy some of the delicate style chocolate biscuits as they make nice presents for people who don’t really drink wine.
But what I do like to buy is Soupe de Poissons (fish soup) and coffee.
I had never had fish soup until I first went to a restaurant in Rue de Lille in Boulogne. It is an option as a starter in most of the restaurants there. First time I tried it, I absolutely loved it. And cartons are available in the supermarkets. As I don’t see this in UK supermarkets (correct me if I am wrong) I always buy a few of these. They last a long time until you open them, then you must consume withing 2 days.
Add some grated cheese to make it feel like a restaurant soup.
And they have some very nice coffees in the French supermarkets too. (The ground coffee, that you use with a cafetiere). When I am buying in the UK, I am a fan of Taylors of Harrogate, Rich Italian Roast. I think this is very good. But I do also like this coffee that I buy in the French supermarkets.
It is Carte Noir, not expensive and very nice. I would agree with their label and say that it does have an ‘intense aroma and unique taste (arome intense et gout unique)’ And a double pack was €5.75, so a single pack is around £2.60. Looking at the Asda online shopping site, the Taylors of Harrogate coffee that I also like is £3.79. Not the same as saving up to £5 on a bottle of wine, but still just over a £1 saving.
And I gave one of these (as well as a wine) to an old friend Julia. Her wine comments coming soon, but here is what she said about the coffee.
“Coffee delicious, flavour strong and velvety“
Airbnb lettings update and some wine feedback
In my post last month, I mentioned that I was getting the house ready for my first lettings on Airbnb. Much to my amazement, I had a very good August via Airbnb. (Do I need to promote my house through this site? Probably not but I will keep doing it because I love doing it so much.)
With one exception, all my guests were French. August is the month that the French go on holiday, but I assumed that they went further south to the Mediterranean coast. But enough wanted to come to Boulogne and I am now over half way to making enough to pay my two French taxes on the house, just from August lettings (none yet for September). The one English booking was from someone doing a wine purchase trip. Maybe they will join the site to comment on what they bought, but the guest (Gus) did send me some information in his review about wine
“Always visit Auchan for wine. Selection is great and prices good. Also called in at Calais wine warehouse – bought 10l boxes of the Sauvignon Blanc. At £27.99 it’s a great deal for a basic crisp Sauvignon.”
(Note: I cannot find ‘The Calais Wine Warehouse’ online, maybe he means ‘The Calais Wine Superstore’).
Hopefully Gus will come again. His comments remind me that at some point, I will review wine boxes. Stay tuned.