The next 30-minute Instagram wine tasting Livestream will be this Thursday at 6.00 France time (Noon, EST, 9.00 a.m. PST). I’ll speak with Jorge Alves, winemaker for Herdade Aldeia de Cima winery located in Alentejo, Portugal. We’ll sample red and whites and talk about typical, as well as indigenous, Portuguese grapes.

This Thursday! 30-minute livestream

Now, back to the regular Vino Voices format.


TODAY – June 2nd – is historically pivotal.

After 77 days of full and partial lockdown/confinement, all of France—except for a few segments of Paris—opened again: schools, gyms, restaurants, bars, cafes, theaters. Stadiums are still closed still, but generally as of today France is open for business. On June 15th the country will open borders with the rest of Europe.

Tonight I’ll likely sit on the porch of Hotel Citadelle—overlooking the mighty Gironde estuary—and dig into a restaurant meal and bottle of wine for the first time in months.

But until now we have been restricted (except for takeaway) to confinement cooking.

Three-cheese risotto and peas with a rooftop view of Bordeaux city

1. CHEF.

This past Saturday I ventured into the city of Bordeaux with my friend Lara to enjoy a home cooked lunch prepared by an Italian friend—from the city of Trieste—named Gaia. We sat in her fourth floor apartment overlooking Bordeaux city rooftops eating her magical home cooked Italian food.

Gaia prepared an appetizer and a main dish, both scrumptious.

Gaia Coretti


The appetizer was pizze fritte con burrata e pomodoro fresco. (Fried bread with mozzarella and fresh tomatoes.)

Gaia fried strips of unleavened bread, cut these up and we ate them with cheese and tomatoes.

Pizze fritte and mozzarella cheese

The main course was risotto con piselli, parmigiano, roquefort e burrata. (Risotto with peas and three cheeses.)

The risotto was cooked with Roquefort cheese, as well as chopped onions, curry, parsley, fresh peas, salt and pepper. Two minutes before the risotto stopped cooking, Gaia added Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Once on plates, she topped the dish with mozzarella cheese. Delicious!

Risotto is coated with shaved mozzarella cheese after being served


We began with chilled Prosecco before opening a bottle of 2019 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru from Château Mondou.

The acidity of the Prosecco cut through the creamy mozzarella cheese.

Prosecco in champagne glasses – why not?

The red from Saint-Émilion is a 67/33 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Aromas include a dark robe of rich fruit, including cherries. They also include those of allspice, ginger, and violets. In the mouth there is a plush taste of black cherries, cocoa and licorice. Delicious!

This fruity Merlot wine, not too tannic, complemented the mild curry in the risotto, while the relatively light tannins also matched the structure of the Parmigiano cheese.

67% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Franc


  1. When I visited the Prosecco production region in Italy, a renowned winemaker showed me—at lunch—that you can pour a little Prosecco right into your risotto dish to add creaminess and richness. It’s wonderful!
  2. For good quality restaurant food in Bordeaux city, Gaia recommends Madam Pang.
  3. Roquefort cheese is made from sheep’s milk, and must be aged in the natural Combalou caves in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, located in the south of France mid-way between (and to the north of) a line drawn between the cities of Toulouse and Montpellier.
Lara and Gaia bantering about Italian heritage

Thanks again for tuning in.

Sculpture within Place de la Comédie in Bordeaux city

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