Bonjour to our WineStyles family!
After a fabulous day and a half of eating, drinking, and sightseeing our way through the romantic city of Paris, we were warmly welcomed aboard the river cruise ship AMALegro.
We checked in to our beautifully appointed stateroom, and, after meeting Captain Franck and his crew, dined with new friends, enjoying a 6-course welcome dinner including a salmon and crayfish appetizer, Normandy mussel soup, grilled fillet of butterfish and prawn with Pernod sauce and saffron risotto, and, of course, a glass or two of Beaujolais!
After dinner, the ship set sail on the Seine, pausing at the Eiffel Tower for us to watch a delightful light show, as thousands of bulbs affixed to the tower lit up the nighttime sky over Paris in synchronized splendor.
Despite a chill in the upper deck air, our hosts kept us warm with “vin chaud” (hot wine), roasted chestnuts, and their gracious hospitality.
We ended the evening with a glass of Prosecco at the piano lounge, where we got to know the most important person on the ship besides the captain, our Bulgarian bartender Plamen!
On Friday morning we found ourselves well into Normandy Provence, marveling at the precision with which our floating hotel was navigated through the narrow locks system on the Seine.
On river right, before arriving at Vernon, we viewed La Roche Guyot, complete with castle ruins and the stately residence which at one time served as the German General Rommel’s headquarters during the Nazi occupation of France.
After a briefing from our Cruise Director John on the many exciting excursions planned for our journey on the Seine, we were treated to our first educational wine presentation from Barry Wiss, Vice President of Trade Relations for Trinchero Family Estates in Napa Valley, California.
His opening topic addressed the important role aroma plays in the enjoyment of wine, and how to most effectively sniff and swirl in order to identify primary, secondary, and tertiary aromas.
We got to practice on two very nice Napa selections, Gott un-oaked Chardonnay and Sea Glass Pinot Noir.
Presently, we are off to visit Chateau Bizy in the riverfront village of Vernon, our first port of call.