Friday, July 20, 2007


Just an update on the vines, which are still looking good; on average the bunches are now about halfway through changing from green to black (called véraison).

Weather-wise it’s been a very strange year so far. April was hot and dry, which got the vines off to a record early start. May was wet; June was wetter. It seems close to miraculous that the vines have come through these two months without more problems. The national news is reporting how catastrophic this year will be for wine producers across France, particularly in Bordeaux; with up to 90% crop losses to mildew. Obviously Burgundy has been spared the worst and I can’t find too much to complain about. That said, it’s really the weather from now to harvest that will determine the quality and style of this year’s wines; we want 50 consecutive dry, sunny days please!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Escargots de Bourgogne

July 1st, the official start of the hunting season. Snail hunting that is.I’m not making this up; apparently snails breed in June and there is a local by-law that prohibits collecting them before July 1st. They also need to be a minimum of 32mm in diameter, so these two won't be swimming in garlic butter this year.

I’m told the brown upper snail is an ‘escargot de Bourgogne’ while the lower black snail is a ‘foreign’ invader, which (naturally!) doesn’t taste nearly as good.

To tell the truth I’m quite indifferent to both the flavour (earthy) and texture (rubbery) of snails so I have no plans to supplement my diet with any species of gastropod.


I don’t want to be spreading misinformation so I’m updating this post with newfound knowledge... Apparently BOTH the snails above are impostors, but this one below is a true Escargot de Bourgogne (Helix pomatia). Obviously much more appetising!