February 28, 2014

Mustard for one, mustard for all

One of the great guarantees about life in France is that every table will have mustard on it. The average French person consumes 1 kilogram of mustard per year. People use it everywhere and all the time, for sauces, marinades, dressings, and just for dipping. It is the quintessential condiment. In Burgundy, of course, one is especially assaulted by mustard, notably the moutarde de Dijon, that famous spicy yellow goodness. There are not many specialty producers left, however, and the market is dominated by Maille, in Dijon, and Edmond Fallot, in Beaune. The latter offers wonderful tours of its facility as well as of a mustard museum.

Old school
With about 30 employees, La Moutarderie Fallot is a family affair. The business is committed to the ancient artisanal ways of mustard production, namely by using traditional millstones. In its small facility, built so that the neighbors would not find it “to be disagreeable to the eye,” one can nibble on and smell seeds and then see them weighed, soaked, milled, and transformed into mustard. The ingredients are simplicity itself: seeds, wine and/or vinegar, and salt. The process is enjoyable to watch, and your eyes will definitely burn at least once during the tour. 

6 of the forty available

Without giving away the juicy bits, one will know the following facts at the conclusion of the factory tour:

·      When la moutarde de Dijon first appeared on the scene
·      Which country is the largest producer of mustard seeds in the world
·      When the mustard plant flowers and when it is harvested
·      How many mustard makers Fallot employs to churn out 22,000 pots per day
·      How long a new recipe is tested before it is commercialized (during a recent visit, yuzu mustard was the newest flavor among the 40+ on offer by Fallot)
·      The top ten countries for export

Of course, the fun really begins at the end. In the tasting room/shop, you can déguste all the mustards for sale, from the funky cassis to the moutarde de Bourgogne, made with ingredients from the region.

Different pots, different blends, but at the base, always mustard, mustard, mustard

What: Mustard factory tour
Where: 31, rue du Faubourg Bretonnière, Beaune, Côte d’Or, Burgundy
When: About 30,000 visitors come for tours every year, so book ahead. There are eight tours a day in high season (summer) limited to 25 people per tour. Call 1-2 days in advance.
How Much: Tours are 10 euros, mustards are around 2-4 euros each

February 27, 2014

Snails for sale

Just a whisper over the city line from Dijon is La Boutique de l’Escargot, in Chenôve. It is easily accessible by tramline 2 to the Carraz stop. (N.B. “easily accessible” means it is really easy. Less than a three-minute walk from the tram stop, and the tram is simple to figure out.)

Stepping inside, there is no mistaking the king of the store: our old friend Helix Pomatia, the Burgundy snail. Snails on the shelves, snails in the refrigerator, snails in cans, snails in the freezer, snails on knife rests, snails on the sign...snails everywhere. The Grand Maître of the Snail Brotherhood recommends the store for its consistent quality, which is about as good as a recommendation as one can get.

But wait. That looks like jars of confit d’oignons. And that has to be foie gras. Terrines of roe deer, morels, wild boar, and chestnuts sing tempting overtures from glass shelves. 

These products make the Snail Boutique an "épicerie fine"
The shopkeeper responds to a question about the famous regional specialty of pain d’épices by diving into a low cupboard, emerging with a loaf. She explains that, contrary to the industrial breads one finds at supermarkets, which can be hard and dry, this one is moelleux (soft and supple…the French can mix sexy words with food with astounding ease). It is made with 50 percent honey by a man who has his own beehives. She recommends it with the aforementioned confit d’oignons or some foie gras, if not as a little dessert. She keeps it in the cupboard, she explains, because when she has it out in plain view, it sells too quickly.

The French have a funny relationship with capitalism.

That Gold Medal=guaranteed quality
Apparently, even at The Snail Boutique, there is more to life than snails. But don’t leave here without the star of the show. They come ready to cook. Put them in a scorching hot oven until the buttery parsley-garlic mix bubbles over the shells, astonishing your palate.

What: Specialty food store
Where: 41, avenue Roland Carraz, Chenôve, Côte d’Or, Burgundy, France
When: Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00-12:00 and 2:00-7:00.
How Much: Snails are around 4 euros a dozen; pain d’épices is 4 euros; terrines from 3 euros.

February 21, 2014

Kitchen/baking store in Dijon

In the center of Dijon, at Maillard, aspiring pâtissiers and experienced kitchen jockeys alike will find the tools and raw ingredients needed to succeed in the delicate science of baking. From silicone molds to Iranian pistachios, the store features a wide range of products in a tight space on the Place Bossuet. Expensive fondue sets, copper cookware, and ceramic casseroles mingle with whisks, cinnamon, and icings. Maillard also specializes in dragées, a candy with a hard outer shell. Because of its central location, curious cooks would be wise to take a five-minute detour to this store.

What: Baking/kitchen store
Where: 35, Place Bossuet, Dijon
When: Tuesday-Saturday
How Much: Kitchenware is of the highest quality and quality ain’t free.

February 19, 2014

A Great Epicerie in Beaune

A January issue of the French magazine L’Express featured “Our 60 best gourmand addresses in Beaune.” The quieter winter months provided a peaceful opportunity to explore some of these before the summer tourists arrive from Paris, Europe, USA, and beyond.

A previous trip to Beaune had already yielded an exciting discovery of artisanal yogurts for sale at a specialty shop in the middle of town. And there was L’Épicerie in the middle of the magazine spread, extolled for its “selection of the highest caliber” even though the store is “about as big as a pocket handkerchief.”


Madame Parra, whose son owns the shop, guides customers around the different products. The clientele is a nice mix of local regulars and tourists throughout the year. The goal, she explains, was to reach beyond the Burgundy region, to do something a little different. So, while there are exceptional products from the area (escargots, mustard, jams and jellies), there is also an exciting variety of French and imported products. The Italian risotto is the best she has ever had. Spanish hams make a tempting appearance. There are alluring sardines, anchovies, olive oils, charcuterie, wines, fruit juices, and cheeses.

Check out the pulp

The gold is in the butter, however. L’Épicerie sells butters from Bourdier in St. Malo in Brittany. The products from this Maison du Buerre, though far from Burgundy, are a discovery for the taste buds. Made à l’ancienne, the butter comes in surprising flavors (espelette pepper; yuzu) as well as plain and salted. If you thought you knew butter, think again. And a free hint: when the artisan says it is the butter “of the best chefs and real gourmands,” buy some and eat it. If you have to, lick it plain off a knife. You’ll be glad you did.


The aforementioned thick, sweet yogurts (prune, coconut, and strawberry have proven popular with kids and adults) from Bordier are an equal revelation in quality.

Madame's Favorite
As is so often the case with the proud people of this region, the pull of home is difficult to escape. When pressed as to her favorite product in the store, Mme Parra pays hearty tribute to the products from Marmelure & Confitade, original jams from Semur-en-Auxois, in stunning flavors, from pear-cardamom to strawberry-pineapple.

Madame Parra speaks wonderful English, thanks largely to her time running a fish restaurant with her husband in Melbourne during the 1960s. So, if you don’t speak French, don’t worry. Head to L’Epicerie for a memorable food shopping experience in Beaune.

Diplome is always good news
What: L'Épicerie, a specialty food store
Where: 12, rue Carnot, Beaune
When: Year-round
How Much: Yogurts are 1 euro; butter is 2.50-3.50 euros; jams around 6 euros
Don’t Miss: The butter, the Italian imports, the kindness

February 17, 2014


The first time you drink a Kir in Burgundy will probably be more memorable than your First Time.

Named after Canon Félix Kir, a resistance fighter and longtime mayor of Dijon, it consists of 1/5 crème de cassis de Dijon mixed with 4/5 white wine (aligoté de Bourgogne, if you wish to be authentic).

What is the secret of that purple liquor? Cue the Confrérie du cassis.

The Cassis Brotherhood, founded in 1964, works to defend and protect la véritable crème de cassis de Dijon. My guide is the Vice-President, Madame Decossin, who has been affiliated for more than 30 years. We meet in the center of Dijon and walk to one of the four producers of the sublime nectar. She regales me with stories of the city, cassis, and life. She is the perfect guide.

We arrive at La Maison Briottet, founded in 1836. Upon sitting down with Monsieur Gérard Briottet, I said I wanted to learn about la crème de cassis de Bourgogne.

Horrible mistake!

“Ah, NON!,” he exclaims. “It is la crème de cassis de DIJON.”

The education continues. There are two types of cassis grown in France, le noir de Bourgogne and le blackdown. Objectively, they both sound kind of sexy, but from a taste standpoint, Monsieur B. is quite quick to point out that le blackdown “smells like nothing and tastes like nothing.” That is why he only uses le noir de Bourgogne in his products. “C’est le ‘top.’” His eight-employee business sells la crème de cassis as its hallmark product. It is high-quality stuff, good for presents and every day use.

Serve yourself
M. Briottet gives a quick clinic in his product. Cassis is a berry growing on bushes, harvested by machine in early summer. Decades ago, the harvest of cassis was always around Bastille Day, July 14, but last year’s harvest was completed on June 30. Climate change? Peut être.

Now, the berries are frozen so that crème de cassis can be made year-round. Before refrigeration, M. Briotet explains, the crème become oxidized, and turn brownish. People waited with great excitement for le cassis de septembre, which had its fresh, violet color.

Since 2012, la crème de cassis de Dijon has benefitted from an indication géographique. Madame Decossin celebrates the work of the confrérie in this achievement. Producers determined that their cassis needed protection from imposters outside of Dijon, and even outside of France, including Brazil. As M. Briottet put it, “One does not have the right to steal our history.”

One might wonder what the difference is between indication géographique (IG) and appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOP). The latter uses ingredients exclusively from the region of production (wines only use grapes from a specific terroir; cheeses use only milk produced in a specific region), whereas an IG may use products from elsewhere (crème de cassis de Dijon is made with sugar and beet alcohol from elsewhere [and sometimes cassis from elsewhere, although M. Briottet uses berries harvested exclusively in Côte d’Or]). The IG in this instance means that if the label on the bottle says “crème de cassis de Dijon” the final product was made within the city limits of Dijon.

A brochure appears, detailing the incredible density of vitamins and other nutrients in cassis (twice as much vitamin C as a kiwi, four times as much as an orange; loads of zinc; wheelbarrows of antioxidants); its benefits to fight aging; and its strength as an antiviral. M. Briottet warns me that, of course, we need to be careful talking about the health benefits of the alcoholic crème de cassis de Dijon…no government likes to hear a company bragging about how drinking booze makes you healthy. Nonetheless, the little berry presents a compelling résumé.

Cassis is also used in perfumes, syrups, and countless recipes, from chutneys to sauces to crumbles.

M. Briottet gave a wonderful tour of his facilities, and concluded with some tastings of cassis as well as his many other products, from pêche de vigne to marc de Bourgogne. The maison offers more than a dozen bottle shapes and volumes, and one can place special orders for any of their products by calling ahead.

Labels for the different products chez Briottet
But there is no need to go to the “factory.” Crème de cassis de Dijon is widely available in wine stores, supermarkets, and bistros throughout the region and the country. Aside from M. Briottet, the maisons Lejay-Lagoute, L’Heritier Guyot, and Gabriel Boudier all make the authentic product. And as M. Briottet pointed out, “every person has his own tastes.” There is no “best,” just what you like.

As the marvelous Madame Decossin walked with me back to the center of town, she confessed that even she had learned some things during our visit. Membership in the brotherhood does not necessarily mean omniscience. 

So what is the key to finding and enjoying good crème de cassis de Dijon?

First, it needs to be 20 proof. Bam. None of that 16 proof, OK?

Second, while it is wonderful in a Kir or a Cardinal (sub red wine for white), it can surprise even the most astute gourmand as a digestif, enjoyed with an ice cube.

When the head of a business that is nearly 180 years old that has been in the family for five generations tells you to drink his product with an ice cube at the conclusion of a meal, do it.

It will be a new First Time, and those are worth collecting.

What: Cassis
Where: Burgundy
When: Always
How Much: A good bottle costs around 13 euros; a kir is 4-5 euros

February 16, 2014


Mention Burgundy to any Frenchman and he will talk about wine. Mention eating in Burgundy to any Frenchman, the first word will be “escargots.”

Snails are the dominant gastronomic treat of Burgundy. They are featured on postcards, revered in poetry, and cherished in kitchens throughout the region. Chefs and home cooks play with them, putting them in risotto, baking them in a crust, or putting them in a quiche. The classic preparation -- butter, parsley, and garlic, eaten hot as hell -- remains the measuring stick, however. Like many foods (pizza, popcorn, hamburgers), you can mess with it, but it is tough to beat the original. Eat a dozen escargots made this way. New culinary horizons appear before you.

With this popularity and commercialization, of course, come sneaky tricks, shoddy preparation, and even fraud. (If you’ve ever tried “New England clam chowder” in Sioux Falls or “Authentic Texas barbecue” in Wilkes-Barre, you know what I mean. It’s just not the same.)

The Grand Maître of the Confrérie de l’Escargot de Bourgogne (the Snail Brotherhood), Monsieur Rosa, offered some tips, observations, and a brief seminar on snails while horizontal rain reigned outside (which explains the total lack of photos).

First, and most important, the genuine article is “l’escargot de Bourgogne” (singular) or “les escargots de Bourgogne” (plural). These exact words refer to the species of snail, Helix Pomatia. If you see “escargots à la bourgigonne” or some variation, you are not eating the real thing.    

Second, l’escargot de Bourgogne doesn’t survive in the wild in any meaningful way in France anymore. It is a protected species with very specific harvest regulations. Its habitat has been largely destroyed by the double-barreled realties of heavy pesticide use and a shift towards farming grains and cereals where once there were woods. Now, snails come from Poland, Hungary, Romania, and elsewhere in Europe. Helix Pomatia takes about 2.5 years to reach maturity and, thus far, attempts to raise it in captivity have been unsuccessful. As farmers and winemakers shift to cleaner, healthier ways of raising and producing food, however, escargots are beginning to return to vineyards and woodlands in France.

Third, when preparing snails for consumption, it is extremely important, according to the Snail Pope (seriously), that it be done using French ingredients. Some exporting countries have experimented with preparing the snails for consumption and then shipping them to France. “Et ce n’était pas bon.” One wonders, “Who could screw up butter, parsley, and garlic?” The Frenchman responds that the ingredients were not French, and therefore were not good. (Take a minute and think about the average American saying that something wasn’t good because the parsley used in the dish wasn’t American.)

While M. Rosa is a master of the snail (he informed me that snail slime/drool is used in cosmetics), he is also a diplomat. He extolled the virtues of many snail-preparers in Dijon and the region. He did mention that one could find dependable escargots to prepare at home at La Boutique de l’Escargot in Dijon. If you would like to dine out, the Grand Maître indicated that one would not be disappointed at L’Escargot. But he stressed there are many great places to buy and enjoy escargots, so experiment and enjoy. Also, keep an eye out for a brand new Maison de l’Escargot, coming to Dijon on the rue des Forges in 2014 or 2015.

If you are part of a group of snail enthusiasts interested in becoming a member of the Confrérie de l'Escargot during your trip in France, send me an email.

What: Snails
Where: Burgundy
When: Year-round
How much: Up to you.

February 12, 2014

Sunday Market

Sunday Market
Chagny, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France

Just 20 minutes south of Beaune, the Sunday market is Chagny is billed as “one of the biggest markets of the Saône-et-Loire department.” Anywhere within a 30-minute drive of here, people mention it as a quality market. Arriving in town on this Holy Day, one notices the signs indicating reduced parking, closed roads, and lots of men and women walking with their baskets and carts towards obvious commerce.

Like most good markets, there are several different access points. Depending on the direction you choose, you could walk right into the heart of the food bazaar or find yourself in a sort of cheap clothing Siberia, wondering what all the fuss is about. However you come, make your way to the middle of town. Generally, it is a safe bet in French towns that the Hotel de Ville (town hall) and the market will be close to each other. 

Over here is a man selling nothing but beef, with a sign “Mothers! Feed your children beef! It’s good for them!” Astute advertising, as kids are everywhere: in strollers, in backpacks, on and underfoot. The man selling pink garlic and purple garlic explains that the purple has a little more bite to it than the pink. If appetite conquers common sense, a huge wedge of the tomme de brebis (sheep’s milk) cheese may end up in your basket.

If it gets a "diplôme" for being the best, buy it.

Larger markets like this also show how important markets are to local artisans and producers. Recently, enjoying my anonymity, I was startled out of my reverie when I saw the artisan baker from whom I had bought a rye bread (at his workshop) two days prior. He tells me the Chagny market is something to behold in the summer, when crowds spill out on terrasses and the streets are jammed. As Burgundy is not terribly vast and has only a dozen or so big markets like this one, the olive merchant you bought from on Wednesday in Beaune may wink at you on Sunday in Chagny. It keeps vendors honest and shoppers coming back if they both know they are likely to see each other again.

Imagine what a good photographer could do with these colors

As a general observation, local health regulations are nothing like in the U.S. Rubber gloves, used in so much food prep under the Stars and Stripes, are nowhere to be found. While it can be surprising to see a man stub out his cigarette between two yellow fingers and then proffer a slice of saucisson, notice that the French are not falling dead in the streets from contamination. Go with the flow. 

As the clock creeps towards noon, the action picks up noticeably at the rotisserie. Scores of birds rotate on metal spears, dripping their juice onto piles of potatoes in the catch. Roast beef, hams, pork loins all vie for attention (and money). Where there was no line at 10, at 11:45 you are staring at a 15-minute wait. Although this could be inconvenient, it is also logical: the hot chicken will be better the closer to lunchtime it is purchased.

At the charcutier, the woman patiently explains how to cook guinea fowl stuffed with veal to a foreigner, then explains to a French woman how to prepare andouillette. The foreigner is in no small way gratified to realize that even the French don’t know what to do with food sometimes.

Sunday markets are a special treat.  While France tends to believe one should rest on this day, markets are a welcome exception. Take advantage of the morning as, after 12:30, the streets of this country are empty. And when you sit down to lunch, take a moment and ponder this truth: you are sharing a meal with more than 60 million French people simultaneously. The thought clears your mind of all your “to dos” and invites you to relax and enjoy some fine food.

What:  Weekly Market
Where:  Center of Chagny
When:  Sunday mornings, year-round

How Much:  Up to you.

February 10, 2014

An Introduction to Markets in France

Despite the ubiquity of supermarchés, the French remain anchored to their markets, unable to resist the pull of fresh, quality food in the center of town.  They use them as places of inspiration (“what should we have for lunch?”), socializing (if everyone is there, you’d better be, too), and complaining (“this isn’t as good as it used to be; the products here are lamentable; que c’est chère!”).

Markets take place in villages, towns, and cities across the country. They happen every day of the week with some communities hosting several per week. Unlike New England, from whence I come, markets stay open year-round, weather be damned. The seasons take their toll, however, with many markets shrinking by up to 90% during the winter months, so try to visit during different times of the year. Even so, within a 30-minute drive of anywhere in Burgundy, there is likely a quality, substantial market.  Some are small (there is one a few kilometers from us that features one merchant). Others are orgies for the senses, clogged with hundreds of vendors. The merchants shout prices and encouragements as they sell fresh produce, smelly cheese, specialty oils, candies, pastries, bread, wine, and animal parts of every color. These latter range from spectacular (roasts tied in immaculate bundles; sausages that beg for the frying pan) to the edge of queasy (half a pig’s head, pale and gelatinous, perfectly bisected through the snout; a slab of slick, crimson beef liver, resting in a pool of blood).

Aside from food, men of questionable scruples peddle clothes, tablecloths, knives, handbags, and, occasionally, beds. 

Once on site, it is very important to adopt a Market Strategy. Take time to experiment and discover your own rhythm and needs, but a few points are worth considering.
  • Bring a basket.
  • Generally speaking, lines = quality. When it comes to gastronomic affairs, the French wouldn’t line up to buy subpar victuals to serve their friends and family.
  • Be patient. This usually includes doing a full tour of the market before making any purchases. Speaking from experience, profound remorse awaits if one buys ingredients in haste. The roast chicken from the first rotisserie can suddenly seem small and shriveled in your basket when you encounter the plump, juicy birds of the next roaster.
  • Sample everything.
  • Keep an open mind and take a risk. Unfamiliar ingredients can result in great pleasure and culinary excitement. And, lastly, if you don’t know what to do with a certain product…
  • Ask questions. Even though the French think you are a pitiable neophyte in all things food, they are happy to share their expertise and advice.

Overall, going to a market is quintessentially French and an easy, affordable, and delicious way to live like the locals. No trip to France is complete with un tour au marché.

February 4, 2014

Burgundy is Good

La Saint Vincent Tournante, January 25-26, 2014
Saint-Aubin, Cote d’Or, Burgundy, France

Everyone is thirsty
Let us begin with a simple but beautiful truth: 

France celebrates every time Food marries Wine.

The first Saturday after January 22, the calendar day dedicated to Saint Vincent, the patron saint of wine makers, a village in Burgundy hosts La Saint-Vincent Tournante. In 2014, the 70th version of the celebration, Saint-Aubin welcomed more than 40,000 visitors from all over France, Europe, and beyond. They came for a celebratory mass, to watch men and women in robes parade through town.  Mostly, though, they came for one of the 30,000 engraved glasses and to sip from one of the 10,000 bottles prepared especially for the occasion. Local police informed tourists that they could expect increased controls to prevent any illegal driving. It was a rare sunny day in the Burgundy winter, cold but fresh, and the town was shimmering with pride.

My wife and I decided there could be no better place in all of France to take a toddler and a baby. So, en route...

On the drive to Saint Aubin, we heard the head of the decorating committee describe the efforts of the townspeople to make the festival a success. When asked how many meters of crepe paper they had used, she laughed and said, “Well, I estimate we made more than 100,000 paper flowers throughout the town.” All by volunteers. Over two years. 

We parked in a vineyard outside of town and walked two miles to the festival. Buses, shuttles, cars, and RVs lined the route on both sides, and steady traffic passed about a forearm’s length from the snaking line of pedestrians. For 15 euros each, we purchased our commemorative glasses, special carrying pouches that we put around our neck, and tickets for seven tastings at the caveaux spaced throughout the town.

Any celebration of wine tends to infect its visitors with good humor. Once food is added, life improves. Here, instead of hot dogs, pizza, and chicken wings, the organizers invited men from the Alps to dish out steaming plates of tartiflette, potatoes bathed in Reblochon cheese and dotted with bits of lardons, the ubiquitous bacon bit that infiltrates most meals in France. Its little salad added color to the plate. Up by the 1000-year-old church (that's "one thousand years-old"), the duck expert was selling rillettes sandwiches. Near one of the white wine tasting areas, oyster shells were scattered at our feet, piled on wine barrels, and stacked on plates. Several chacutiers offered artisanal plates of cheese and pig products in pure simplicity, the pink flesh of the hams and saucissons contrasting with the pale yellow cheeses. On Shakedown, a man stood behind a giant skillet, frying enormous amounts of meat to pile into sandwiches. That sure looks like steak and cheese…but that can’t be right…it’s andouillette, the chitterling sausages that are famous in the region.  Chitterling means intestine. Intestine sausages. Hundreds of them, popped out of their casings, cooking together in the enormous pan. The smell, rumored to be offensive, could make a vegetarian question her life choices. Further along, a man has been spreading swaths of fromage fort on baguette sliced lengthwise and popping them under the broiler, a sort of French grilled cheese. The aroma awakens deep longing in humankind.

Amid it all, the three year old on my back behaves well…until he starts insisting that he is thirsty. Really thirsty. 

New if rather inconvenient discovery: at a French wine festival, one drinks wine.  


There is nothing else available to quench a thirst.  

Off we went to the ticket booth (really just a table set up in someone’s garage), and ask if the fine people there could steer me towards some water for my son. 

Perhaps Monsieur could wait one minute?  Bien sûr

The hostess shuffled to her own kitchen, returning triumphantly with a glass of water, which the son grabbed and sipped aggressively. It is a scene repeated throughout the day, local residents welcoming this family of Americans, far from home, with grace, kindness, and warmth in the midst of the largest friendly invasion the town will ever experience. 

Despite driving rain, frosty mornings, and a sun that refuses to rise before 8:00am, it turns out that January in Burgundy is a place to warm your hands and heart by the fire of France.

The wines were exceptional. The white, featuring “beeswax and cinnamon” on the nose and harmonizing “finesse and elegance;” the reds offering a “discreet acidity” and an evolution that makes them “tender.” 

For the record, we did not hear a word of English the entire day.

In 2015, the festival is in Gilly-les-Citeaux and Vougeot. See you there. I’ll be the one with a two year old on my back, glass in pouch, clinging to the hand of my four-year-old, looking for water in between bites of intestine.

What:  Wine and food festival
Where:  Rotates among winemaking villages of Burgundy; 2015 in Gilly-les-Citeaux and Vougeot
When:  The first Saturday and Sunday of January after the 22nd (January 24-25, 2015)
How Much:  15 euros bought a commemorative glass, a carrying pouch, and seven (7!) tasting tickets