Corkscrewed Takes "Delicious" Journey Through French Countryside

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corkscrewed.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

When American journalist Robert Camuto moved to the south of France with his family several years ago (I know, I know, cue the Peter Mayle comparisons), it was in search of adventure unlike any the seasoned writer had experienced thus far. Indeed, it wasn't long before the New York native found himself squarely in the land of the vine, where - surprise! - the erstwhile political reporter began an adventure decidedly different from anything he'd known before.
Rebel With a Château
And though this vinous adventure does involve an enchanted-foreigner-in-France theme à la Mayle, wine lovers will be happy to hear that Camuto's tale lingers far longer on his visits with other vignerons than it does on gratuitous descriptions of his own Gallic nest building. Though he does indeed tell of renovating a centuries-old olive mill to serve as his family's new abode (cue oohs and ahhs from envious readership overwrought by travel lust), and cultivate his own vines, the real story where Camuto's tale is concerned is in his quest to discover the best local wines in France - the kind of wines shepherded by kindly and philosophical vignerons who reject the one-size-fits-all mantra of new world winemaking in favor of a far more finely-hewn vision of wine.

As such, Camuto's discoveries are wines that enchant on the palate and pair effortlessly with locale cuisine but don't make their makers a ton of money (because, after all, that's far from the point chez eux).   Instead, these are the real country wines of France, wines made without a commercial agenda and described with care, candor and humor in a book that's often as entertaining as anything written by that other French import, and far more wine-centric to boot.

And anyway, who wouldn't want to pick up a book with a first chapter called "Rebel With a Château"?

Find Corkscrewed: Adventures In the New French Wine Country at Amazon.

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3 Comments

Probably best to leave the French language to someone who knows it. Chez eux is clearly not right here, perhaps you meant "n'est ce pas", or "is it not?"

Guitarguy,

I actually DO know a good amount of French, with a minor in the language from UCLA and two foreign exchange programs under my belt. And though my usage of "chez eux" here may not exactly seem normale to a native speaker (how could it? it's interspersed with English), I am fairly sure the usage is correct and the meaning what I intended. Chez eux means "their place" - as in "at their place, or in their home:" http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060804125946AAC1V1Z

And so my meaning is - paraphrased, so it's really clear - "making a ton of money is hardly the point to these wine makers in their home i.e. region, where they make wine in this way."

Seems pretty clear to me, albeit with a little linguistic flair, n'est ce pas?

Courtney

Thanks for the review. I know that there's a lot of hype around natural wine lately (and a lot of different definitions of "natural wine" as well) although there many producers in France and probably other European countries that have been making wines for hundreds of years according to some definition of "natural wine". And I love them. I just hope that more of them make it to our shores... and then to my cellar!

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