There are sometimes I’ll hear an American pop song in the grocery store, pass a McDonald’s, or see a Yankees hat (meh) on a passerby and think “You know, sometimes this place isn’t all that different from home.”
And then days come along like Caves Ouvertes (“Open Caves” in French) and I realize – more often, Switzerland is nothing like home. The wine festival is now a 32 year tradition that comes along twice a year, in the spring and fall harvest (you might remember that we regrettably missed both days last year due to travel!)
Winegrowers in the canton (around 80) open their wine cellars and invite all to try their 2018 products. You simply pay 10 CHF (still around $10 USD) to receive a glass for the day, and can move around to all the open wineries in the area from 10am – 5pm. Those wineries are often also selling delicious croûte au fromage (white wine, melty cheese, and mustard baked into crusty bread) and sweet and savory crepes. If you find a varietal to your liking, you can also buy bottles to share with friends or take home.
We live on the Rive Gauche (“Left Bank”) of Geneva and took that route with James and friends for his first series of tastings. He was a delight and it was a great warm-up for his first wine trip to Italy – coming soon.
Rain eventually came down that afternoon, but overall it was such a calm and restorative day. In pure European style, there were kids everywhere and booze moderation – which meant no one throwing up or throwing punches. Just simple relaxation!
Can you imagine such a thing in the States? (Maybe there is such a thing in Napa or similar and I am speaking out of turn- but just imagining this execution in America without issue makes me chuckle!) It’s another wonderful bonus to living somewhere so special. Piedmont up next!