Discover France’s Finest Vineyards

Planning the perfect wine-lovers’ holiday

*Sponsored – France’s Finest Vineyards*

A tour around France’s vineyards is the perfect holiday for wine aficionados, offering an irresistible combination of beautiful countryside, great food, and of course, top quality wines.

If you’re looking for a holiday with a difference this year, why not head to the vineyards of France? One of the most famous wine-producing countries in the world, France offers plenty of diverse regions to explore, and its combination of great wines, good food and rich history attracts millions of visitors to its vineyards each year.

When it comes to choosing a French vineyard to visit, you really are spoilt for choice. We’ve rounded up some of the best wine regions the country has to offer.

Best Vineyards in France

Burgundy

Stretching almost 300km, Burgundy is one of the most famous and highly regarded wine-producing regions in the country. And the unique character of the area’s ‘climats‘, and its wine making techniques, has led to it being added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Although the region does produce some high quality whites, it is best known for its fantastic red wines which can keep for up to 30 years.

Bordeaux

Like Burgundy, the Bordeaux region of Aquitaine is also one of the most famous wine regions in the country. In terms of scenery, the area is rather plain, but what it lacks in natural beauty it more than makes up for with the quality of its wines, which have been produced in this region for around 2,000 years. Its reputation has been built on the back of the superb red wines that are produced here, particularly the top quality, full-bodied clarets.

Provence

Provence in the south of France is perhaps the most scenic of the country’s wine regions, with its lavender fields, golden sunflowers and views of the Mediterranean to the south. And its warm climate and even warmer welcome make it a firm favourite with visitors. The region does produce both red and white wines (the most famous of which is Bandol, which has been around since the middle ages) but it is best known for its rosé varieties, such as Côtes de Provence and Côteaux d’Aix.

Alsace

If you’re looking for something a little different, consider checking out the Alsace vineyards. The area’s proximity to the German border means that the wine, like the region, owes a lot to Germanic tradition and culture – dry or fruity white wines such as Riesling, Sylvaners and Gewurtzraminers are the order of the day here. The area has a rich and fascinating history, and the wine route is dotted with quaint and picturesque villages.

Champagne

No list of French vineyards is complete without a mention of the Champagne region. Famous for its eponymous sparkling wine, the Champagne region is the most northern of France’s wine-producing regions and is located primarily around the towns of Reims and Epernay. The historic city of Reims with its 13th Century gothic cathedral is great for sightseeing, but for the best cellar visits and champagne tastings, you should head to the smaller town of Epernay, which is home to some of the best known champagne producers, such as Perrier-Jouët and Moët & Chandon.

Hidden Gems

For quality wines without the steep prices, head to some of south-west France’s lesser-known vineyards, such as Cahors, Bergerac, Marcillac or Vin de Pays du Lot. Less famous than their big name counterparts, these regions nevertheless produce quality wines ranging from dark, rich reds, through to sweet aperitifs.

With its variety and quality of wine, picturesque landscapes and rich history, it’s easy to see why thousands of visitors head to France’s ‘wine-country’ each year. It also has the advantage of being within a hop skip and a jump of the UK, meaning that heading off on a wine-tasting mini break is easy to do – all you need is your passport, European travel insurance and plenty of luggage space for all the wines you’ll want to bring back!

*Sponsored promotion. Images via Pixabay.

Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan 8″

Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan

After using the Ozeri Green Earth Wok  for over a month, we were excited to try another one of their cookware products. Being satisfied with the non-stick qualities of the wok, we were curious if the new pan would work just as well. The 8″ Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan is part of their Textured Series, and features the Greblon ceramic non-stick coating from Germany. The Textured series refers to the unique raised hexagon pattern that covers the cooking surface, a little over 6.5 inches. This pan is the perfect size for cooking a quick egg or two in the morning, a grilled cheese at lunch, or a vegetable sauté for dinner. It heated up quickly and browned food nicely. One of the best features is the reduction in the amount of oil or butter required.

For its size, the 8″ Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan has a significant weight to it and feels great while cooking. The stainless steel handle is riveted to the body of the pan for a solid connection, (no screws to come loose).  We love the super soft silicon grip with a thumb groove in just the right spot. The pan has a thick aluminum base that distributes heat quickly and evenly to the cooking surface, requiring less heat than other pans. The bottom is magnetic and according to their directions, is safe for induction stove use.

Cleaning the Ozeri Green Earth Frying Pan was just as quick and easy as our Ozeri wok. At first glance, we thought the raised hexagons would be a place for food to stick, but not the case. The surface is easily wiped clean in seconds with a soft soapy cloth or soft dish brush, no scrubbing required.

8″ Green Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri, with Textured Ceramic Non-Stick Coating from Germany (100% PTFE and PFOA Free)

The packaging is attractive and highlights the features and includes a soft liner to protect from scratches. Additional instructions inside are very informative and concise but could be a bit larger for easier reading.

Once again, we are happy with an Ozeri cookware product. We also like that it is made from Ultra-Safe 100% PTFE and PFOA free ceramic coating.  Although we received this product free of charge for the purpose of review, we would definitely purchase this pan for ourselves or as a gift.

*Note: all cooking was done using a standard gas stove.

Disclaimer:  We received this item free of charge for the purpose of review.  All opinions contained within are solely our own.  This post contains affiliate links.

Ozeri Green Earth Wok – Review

Ozeri Green Earth Wok – 12″

 

Ozeri Green Earth Wok

Ozeri Wok with Pad Protector

*Disclaimer: We received the Ozeri 12″ Wok free of charge for the purpose of reviewing.  All opinions contained within this post are our own.

12-Inch Green Earth Wok by Ozeri, with Smooth Ceramic Non-Stick Coating (100% PTFE and PFOA Free)

 

We were excited to learn we would have the  opportunity to review the Ozeri 12″ Green Earth Wok from Moderna Housewares. We had been using a Carbon Steel Wok for our stir fry, however we had problems with food sticking to the pan.  We were interested to see how the Ozeri Green Earth Wok would perform as it has a non stick, ceramic coated inside, and a heavy gauge die-cast aluminum base.

After using the Ozeri 12″ Green Earth Wok every day for two full weeks, we are extremely happy with the results. We have cooked everything from sautéed vegetables and stir fry to spaghetti sauce and omelets.

 

PROS:

  • The pan gets very hot fast, and heats evenly on all sides (see our heating test below).   We found the Ozeri Wok worked best on medium heat.
  • Absolutely nothing sticks to it. Nothing.   Maybe if you let the pan sit on high heat for a long time without stirring something will stick to it; but we have not had trouble with food sticking to this wok. Cleaning is pretty easy – you simply wipe it out with a soft soapy cloth.
  • The instructions state you can use the Wok in the oven up to 350 deg (we have not attempted to bake in our Wok).

CONS:

  • The directions are thorough, however they are typed in a small font and are hard to read.
  • The outside is a painted surface and not as easy to clean.  This is only a problem if you spill food on the outside while over heating the wok.

 

HEATING UP THE OZERI 12″ GREEN EARTH WOK:

 As we mentioned above, this wok gets very hot, fast. So we decided to do our own test to see how hot the wok would get and weather it heated evenly on all sides. We have a point and shoot thermometer that allows us to take the temperature of most any surface.  *Our stove is a standard whirlpool gas stove.  The heating time will be different depending on the stove. 

 

Resting Temperature of the Ozeri Wok:

Best Cooking Wok

Resting Temperature

Wok surface Temperature after about 35 seconds:

What is the best wok

Surface Temperature after 35 seconds medium heat.

Wok Surface Temperature after about 1 minute 20 seconds:

Ozeri Wok by Moderna Products

Temp at approximately 1 minute 20 seconds

 

Wok Surface Temperature at just over 2 minutes:

Best Non Stick Wok

Temperature at about 2 minutes 10 seconds on medium heat.

 

TIPS ON USING THE OZERI GREEN EARTH WOK:

  • Watch the temperature. Remember, this wok heats up very fast so lower stove temperatures may work better for most recipes.
  • You only need to use 1/4-1/3 of the amount of cooking oil or butter that is sometimes needed in other pans. We used a little too much oil one night when sautéing vegetables and the items did not brown as fast.
  • Best used with a medium to high heat oil.  We used Sesame oil or butter on medium heat for all of the dishes we cooked.
  • Do not use metal utensils or abrasive cleaning products. We found the ceramic coating to be durable, however the use of improper utensils may scratch the surface.
  • Use bamboo or nylon utensils for stirring in the Wok.
  • Do not allow the Wok to boil dry.
  • Let the pan cool completely before rinsing with cold water.
  • Cleaning: This Wok is easy to clean by wiping out with a soft wash cloth.

 

Overall we are very happy with this Wok. We especially like the “no stick” surface, fast heat time, the feel of the handle and wok when using, and how easy it is to clean after use.  It has become our everyday cooking pan.

Click here to purchase the 12-Inch Green Earth Wok by Ozeri, with Smooth Ceramic Non-Stick Coating (100% PTFE and PFOA Free)

**GIVEAWAY**

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post contains affiliate links.

Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 Review

Kendall Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon Review

With aromas of ripe berries and blackberry, The Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon offers full flavors of red cherry and black currant with a mild oaky vanilla finish. We like this wine because it is big enough to pair with a fancy steak dinner, yet soft enough to enjoy as an every day wine.  At around $19.99 a bottle, this Cabernet is not only easy drinking, it is easy on the pocket book too.

Get it.

13 Celsius Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2013

Best New Zealand Wines

The 2013 – 13 Celsius Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is light and refreshing with floral and lemony citrus aromas.  We found this wine to be balanced with flavors of lime and a hint of pink grapefruit.  Typically being a fan of more full-bodied varietals, we were pleasantly surprised by the complexity of this crisp Sauvignon Blanc.   For around $15 per bottle, the 13 Celsius Sauvignon Blanc is a wonderful wine to enjoy on it’s own or paired with a light salad, fish, or pasta dish.

Get it.