While these glasses ARE more posh than the Duralex ones I spoke of in a previous post, we have used them everyday since we bought them in Jan 2021 and they are not as delicate as you might expect. The Covid business was dragging on by then and we thought we would treat ourselves to something nice.
The particular shape of these glasses is where the story really starts though.
Back in 2018 we went to Chinon in France for a holiday. We had booked into a self-catering flat for a week or so and from there we had plans to visit many places all around that area. Chinon was a place that we had eaten lunch in on a previous holiday and we had always wanted to go back there for a proper visit. Royally historic with an enormous 1000 year old Chateau perched on the cliff tops above the town, it is stuffed full of the sort of half-timbered buildings that are nearly as old as the Chateau and which the French have been too busy eating and drinking well to bother about updating. The town wears its buildings in the way that a stunning woman might wear her wardrobe, saying, “What? This old thing?” as as she appears daily in another interesting ensemble that she swears she has had for years. Everywhere you look there is another unique and beautiful historic building. And one touch that I loved in the town was the way that little two-foot square holes had been dug out of the cobbled pavements between each building so that climbing roses could soar up to adorn the ancient facades. Utterly charming.
After a really lovely stay we had reached the last day of our vacation there. We wandered into the town and were shocked to see rather a lot more people than we were expecting. In fact, the place was rammed. It was the annual Wine Festival.
Chinon is justly famous for its wines and on this day the many local producers were set up in little tented stalls all around the town, offering wine tastings to people in proper wine glasses. We watched for a bit and it struck us that no money was changing hands here at all. Everyone seemed to be getting samples of wine for free. Hum…could this really be the case?
We hate looking like tourists but, of course, we are spotted as such a mile off. My husband’s French is better than mine and, after being there for over a week, he was willing to have a go at finding out how we could get in on the action. If you at least try and speak some French, the natives are kind and patient and…they DO want us to buy some of their wine to take home. We were motioned toward a tent in the middle of the main square and the mystery was solved. The tickets for the event looked like this:
We bought two of these glasses and that (not extortionate) purchase price was the ticket and sampling vessel all rolled into one. And no, you could not have another one for free if you broke yours, you would need to buy another. Clever. No matter how charmingly squiffed anyone got, they held on to their glasses for dear life. And pas de plastique!! I just thought the whole thing was brilliantly thought out.
The locals were here on a mission as the day was not just an excuse for them to get merry. Many of the people in the town were buying for their restaurants, stocking up their home cellars for the year or just busy seeing what their neighbours were producing so they could either smile or frown at what their own vineyard had just produced.
It wasn’t all business though. It was a gorgeous day, one of those April days that promises so much warmth to come before a resolutely soggy May turns up in all its dripping reality. There was a beautifully gaudy, early 20th C merry-go-round, which enchanted young and old alike, and many, many food stalls. There we so many different types of food available, there to both tempt the palate and help soak up some of the wine. It has to be said, the French are practiced and disciplined drinkers. I think we saw only a couple of young men who had imbibed unwisely throughout the whole day-but they still had a firm hold on their wine glasses, even as they slumped ever-so-gently down to sit on the stone pavement .
Our wine glasses- Schott Zwiesel Pure Cabernet Wine Glasses. Read about the Schott Zwiesel company here:
That bottle of wine is from Lidl and is a knock out. You never know if they are going to have it again next time you go though. I don’t care. I never mind trying something new.
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