Fountain in Caunes-Minervois in the evening


My latest Forbes pieces are here, including one on a local truffle market in southern France.


For the third time in five years I opted not to drink alcohol during January (except on one day).

Previous experience helped—because during this past month I had Zero inclination to drink wine.

Together with pre-dawn runs (by headlamp and sometimes by moonlight), I managed to drop several pounds.

The result? I feel lighter and better.

Morning felt best for exercise—with silence, the feel of cobbled alleys, the scent of woodsmoke, moonlight and chilly air.

Time for a repeat for the month of February (except for a few dinners in Paris mid month during VinExpo).

Full moonlight 6:00 am runs on both roads and rocky trails
Cobbled Caunes-Minervois

Benefits Included:

  • Clearer thinking
  • Fewer costly restaurant meals
  • No carrying bottles to the recycling bin
  • No excuses for not exercising
  • No dancing in public
  • No drinking / dialing
  • Less procrastination
  • Skipping alcohol section / stores when shopping
  • No deleting odd Instagram posts
  • Less feeling winded when walking up hills
  • No wincing at mediocre wine
  • Full memory of books read & videos watched
  • No need to eat before having a drink
  • Better mental clarity for visualizing future realities
  • Reduced susceptibility to con artists
  • Better memory for longer sequences in telling stories
  • Appreciation for moderation
Morning scene in Caunes-Minervois


I did go to wine tasting. All sip and spit and no swallowing. Which is important for taking notes.

The Minervois is a large wine appellation in the Languedoc (Occitanie region) of southern France. It was formed in 1985, and now includes two sub-appelations. One is Saint-Jean-de-Minervois (formed in 1948), renowed for sweet wines made from the Muscat grape. The other is Cru La Livinière, which was formed in 1999 and includes five separate communes (Azillanet, Cesseras, Félines-Minervois, La Livinière and Siran).

In late January, on Saint-Vincent festival day, multiple producers from this appellation gave a tasting in the town of Felines-Minervois. Below are some photos. I’ll provide tasting notes later in another article.

Various wine producers from Cru La Livinière
La Livinière wines
Various La Livinière wines and scene from the tasting

Coming soon:

  • VinExpo wines and Paris dinners.
  • Tasting of Bordeaux 2021 wines.

Thanks for tuning in!

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