Thursday, April 1, 2010
Back in Annecy, France
We flew from Boston on Monday, arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday morning, then immediately took a bus to Annecy in France, where we spent our first night. Since we spent a week there last year and took loads of pictures, I only took a few in Annecy this time. Above and below are a few photos of the lake and canal, plus a chocolate shop window with decorated Easter eggs.
We found an outstanding restaurant in the center of Annecy overlooking a canal - Le Lilas Rose (Red Lilac). Ann had been waiting for years to try a petite friture somewhere in France, and she found it here: a plate of very small fried fresh water fish, a specialty in the Savoie region. And I had another local specialty: sauteed lake perch with a butter/lemon/chive sauce. Both were outstanding.
For those interested in the wine aspect of our trip, here is what we drank that first day. All wines are from the Savoie region.
1. A glass of Rousette at an outdoor café during the brief period of sunshine yesterday. Rousette is a white grape variety that may be unique to the Savoie.
2. Glasses of Mondeuse and Chignin-Bergeron. Mondeuse is a red grape variety with some similarities to Gamay, and is grown almost exclusively in the Savoie and surrounding regions. Chignin-Bergeron is from the Bergeron grape in the Chignin sub-appellation of the Savoie; the grape is the same as the Roussanne grape of the Rhone; very aromatic and flavorful.
3. With dinner, a bottle of Savoie white wine from the Chasselas grape variety. Chasselas is grown extensively in Alsace, where it is considered an inferior variety, but it does quite well in the Savoie. The wine was a perfect match with the fish dishes
We also bought a few bottles of Savoie wine the next morning, to bring to our next stop - Lyon. There was another Mondeuse, from Domaine Jean Vullien, and a Chignin from Denis and Didier Berthollier; these are two of the top producers in the Savoie. The Chignin was 100% Jacquere, one the principal white grapes of the Savoie. As an aside, all of these Savoie wines were between 11-12% alcohol; the shorter growing season in the Savoie is undoubtedly responsible for the low alcohol level of the wines. Quite a change from the 14-15% level that have become common in much of the wine producing world.