After a great start to 2020 judging at Gamay Mondial in Lyon and Concours Générale Agricole in Paris, visiting Wine Paris (and enjoying France vs Italy in the Rugby), running Southern Rhône and sparkling wine tastings, travelling to Berlin for the Wein Trophy and judging Spirits at Lyon International, my sister and I headed off to Barcelona, arriving back in Paris just before lockdown. We never thought that would be the end of normal for such a long time.
15 months of essential travel clutching a heap of documents to get me across the borders so I could see family in Kent as well as home in Paris.
Amazed at how much fun I managed to pack in around the 69 days quarantine: 17 Eurostar trips, getting my new Brexit residence card, vaccine, multiple tests for travel and last but definitely not least being accepted as a member of AWE and CWW.
As well as precious time with family and friends, some lovely restaurants and days out, I managed to organise my travel and quarantine to judge at a few Concours: Feminalise in Paris, IWC and Glass of Bubbly in London.
Add to that the pleasure of attending amazingly well organised live trade tastings of Bordeaux Grand Cru, Washington State and Chianti Classico, plus a superb AWE Prosecco CV course with wines and of course great wine classes on Zoom.
In Paris for a few months with curfew and no restaurants, I decided that, rather than just buying everyday wine, I would start drinking my way through my wine collection!
Some lovely wines but my favourite ‘House’ vintage champagne from Louis Nicaise, the Holden Manz Visionnaire 2013 (thank you Vivienne and Malcolm Franks), the last of the stunning aged Beaujolais Domaine de la Grosse Pierre 2015 Chiroubles as well as the Château du Taillan and Château Paloumey 2014 Cru Bourgeois I bought to celebrate my great nephew’s birth, really stood out.
An unusual but enjoyable journey.@viviennefranks @micheleshah
It really has been an extraordinary time. I think we have learnt not to take anything for granted and to enjoy every precious moment that life has to offer.