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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sipping & Dancing at the Millesime Festival in Bandol

Greetings from a sunny & surprisingly warm Southern California. My week has been filled so far with Mexican breakfast burritos, pints of Haagen-Daz ice cream, and the marvels of American customer service - translation: I've already done just the tiniest bit of shopping.  Merci beaucoup Target.

There was also a very lovely (& lively) tree-decorating party on Thursday night, and let's just say I forgot all about the theme of wearing your ugliest Christmas-sweater...and not too sure leather ever goes well on a sweater. Needless to say, there were some very impressive candidates that night.

And besides the fact that smallish men in Renaults aren't trying to run me off the road here, it all seems light years away from a little place we like to call Provence.

And especially far from the Bandol wine festival we attended last Sunday called the Millesime.

Complete with tastings, music, & games from the turn-of-the-century (let's not let the PETA people in on the rabbit-drome), the festival celebrates the current year's harvest and the Bandol wines themselves are fresh in the barrel. 

Apart from a pleasing red from the well-known Chateau Pradeaux, you're not likely to taste the finest wines of the region given Bandols need at minimum a one-year maturation period (at least that's what the Vins de Bandol website tells me). And that might help explain why with our 4 euro glass we tasted over 15 different domains- although with those huge pours, no one was complaining.

Instead, the Millesime is a real regional celebration; marking the end of the Bandol cultivation season & a chance to really let your hair down. And just maybe dance a jig or two.

Bon weekend a tous from les USA!

Bandol Millesime Dancing from Tuula Mattson on Vimeo.


  1. EEE this makes me so excited to go home in a week!

  2. I'm so glad you're having such a great time, Tuula! I'm laughing too because when I read you were going to be in California I thought to myself, "I wonder if she's going to eat Mexican food?" :-)

  3. Ok now I'm real jealous. Sunny, warm, burritos for breakfast, AND Target. You've hit the American culture lottery! I also love the photos from Bandol...all those wonderful posterboards, esp the can-can ladies.
    Have so much fun and love every minute of being in the familiar. Now, that's warm.
    xo a

  4. I am happy you are enjoying your time in USA. I wish I could have been there in Bandol to try the wines and enjoy the festivities. Were they betting on the bunnies?

  5. Ugly sweater parties, Target, breakfast burritos, and great customer service... pure Americana! Have a Starbucks for me :-) xo

  6. We are like minded. The first place I'm going Friday morning when I emerge from my coma in Colorado is Le HyperTarget. Enjoy, Tuula!

  7. Thanks so much for the lovely comments! I'm really enjoying my time at home & so nice to "re-discover" all the things that make America wonderful - sugar cookies included :)

    Brenna, hope you have a great trip home!

    How's the Mexican food in Washington, Krista? Eating my fairshare of tacos here :)

    Aidan, being in the familiar is quite excellent :) hope you have a wonderful holiday!

    Michel, I'm sure you're going to have a wonderful Christmas in Provence & sounds like you're already having a lot of fun exploring the Luberon! And yes, they were betting on the bunnies, lol :)

    Sara, think I'm averaging a Starbucks a day :) Hope you're doing well in Le Petit Village & no more scary fog!

    Safe travels Valerie! Can't get enough of Target myself... ps. they're having great shoe sales at the moment :) Hope you have a great time in Colorado!

  8. This looks like so much fun! I love Bandol wines. If you remember my photo of the Beaujolais Nouveae bottles, I've got a couple of empty Bandols beside them.

    The photo of Le Trou Madame is hilarious! :D

  9. Enjoy your time in the USA-California is great place to enjoy. Target, Starbucks, great wine, great ethnic food, great weather= a fabulous time.