This post includes two events—a dinner in Minervois, and a visit to Alsace to see friends and a mountain trail run, as well as to sample local food and wines.

1. Moon & Stars Minervois Dinner.

Below are images from a special dinner at the wonderful L’Atelier Restaurant in Caunes-Minervois in the Minervois wine region of southern France, with stupendous wines provided by Clos du Gravillas and served by winery co-owner John Bojanowski.

Stunning evening! Fantastic food & wines & company.

L’Atelier in Caunes-Minervois

Dish 1 & Wine 1.

Gamba / Ali / Risotto au Safron [Shrimp / Garlic / Saffron Risotto]

2023 Emmenez-Moi ou Bout du Terret [Terret]

Dish 2 & Wine 2.

Faux Filet d’Icher Confits / Légumes [Sirloin Steak from Icher Butcher / Vegetables]

2022 Rendez-Vous sur La Lune [Carignan/Syrah/Cinsault]

Dish 3 & Wine 3.

Fromage de Chèvre Pélardon [Goat cheese from Pélardon producers]

2023 Muscat de macération [orange wine from Muscat]

Dish 4 & Wine 4.

Dessert au Citron [Lemon based dessert]

2023 Douce Providence [Muscat natural sweet wine]

Spring kicks in

Scene & Insider Angles.

The Minervois wine appellations includes great value wines, beautiful mountains, excellent food and ample open space.

Caunes-Minervois is a listed historical town located a 20 minute drive from the ancient city of Carcassonne in southern France. It has an ancient abbey, cobbled alleys and sits at the base of the Montagnes Noires, or Black Mountains.

It is also my new home.

2. Alsace Escape.

On a recent trip to the Alsace region in eastern France I watched hundreds of runners enter a 100 mile mountain trail run, as well as other runs that included 100 kilometers and 34 kilometers. Stunning countryside!

My Forbes pieces covering the Alsace events are here:

Experience Trail Running from Your Phone

Why Trail Running Can Be An Excellent Vacation For Couples

Below are some photos of dinner and drinks with allies and runners, as well as scenes from the trail and images of the Alsace countryside (including a canal in the beautiful city of Colmar).

Allies, trail runners, castle and Colmar canal
Château du Haut Koenigsbourg, Alsace, France
Sanctuaire du Mont Sainte Odile, Alsace, France

Scene & Insider Angles.

Alsace has oscillated in between French and German control over a long period. It’s a mountainous region inundated with dark forests, massive castles and includes excellent food and local wines. The people are proud, organized and fiercely protective of their natural beauty and heritage. There are ample small towns to visit and stay in, including Colmar, Obernai and Kintzheim. If you enjoy hiking and history, or attractive small villages and vineyards—consider Alsace when you next visit France. Fly into Strasbourg.

Wines are predominantly white due to the cool climate. Try the cremant and Muscat. But many of the Pinot Noir wines have improved dramatically since I visited nine years ago.

Alsace wines include Muscat, Cremant and Pinot Noir

Thanks for tuning in again!

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