Day 7 – Last Day on the Seine!

Rack of Lamb

Rack of Lamb

Liz Barrett with AMA Waterways

Liz Barrett with AMA Waterways

Apricot Trilogy

Apricot Trilogy

We are back in Paris for the final leg of our Celebration of Wine Cruise on the Seine! Last evening we dined at the Chef’s Table specialty restaurant at the ship’s stern. Chef prepared chicken carpaccio with tuna – basil cream, pan fried salmon with sesame – lavender crust and porcini salsa, grilled lamb rack with herb mash potato, rijta, and broccoli, and a dessert honoring the apricot – a spoonful of apricot sorbet in a waffled caramelized crepe, an apricot pastry dumpling, and a shot glass of Marillen liqueur!

Place de Vosges, Marais

Place de Vosges, Marais

French Garden, Marais

French Garden, Marais

Crepes Cart

Crepes Cart

Moulin Rouge Selfie

Moulin Rouge Selfie

Today’s excursion explored the Marais neighborhood of Paris, featuring remnants of the ancient wall of Paris, the mansions of the French nobility, and the traditional home to Paris’ Jewish population. We strolled through the Place de Vosges and visited its art galleries and cafes. Once back to the ship, we enjoyed a Champagne tasting with Preston Mohr, learning about the Champagne region of France, levels of sweetness in Champagne, and the difference between vintage and non-vintage Champagnes. Did you know that vintage Champagne takes less effort to produce than non-vintage because vintage Champagne is supposed to have a unique taste, while non-vintage must have a consistent taste year after year, even though grapes are used from different growing years? Tonight Chef prepared a special Thanksgiving entrée of turkey meat, prune stuffing, French crosne, beet root, carrot mash, and cider sauce for the American passengers as well as a scrumptious cream of pumpkin soup. After dinner, Belgian classical artist La Strada performed in the lounge, delivering a beautiful collection of stringed arrangements with their guitar and violin.

Montmartre Artist Colony

Montmartre Artist Colony

Eiffel Tower at Night

Eiffel Tower at Night

We spent our additional free day in Paris taking in the exquisite artwork of Monet, Cezanne, Renoir, Rousseau, Picasso, Matisse, Degas, Manet, Redon, and Rodin at the Musee d’Orsay and the Musee de L’Orangerie, and exploring the sights and sounds of Montmartre. Montmartre is a fascinating area of Paris, featuring the Sacre Coeur Basilica, the Moulin Rouge, and many art galleries and cafes. We saved the grand finale for last, ascending to the very top of the Eiffel Tower after dinner that night! What an incredible view of the romantic City of Light!

Grand Palais, Paris

Grand Palais, Paris

Barry and Kim Wiss

Barry and Kim Wiss

Executive Team

Executive Team

Au Revior, AMALegro!

Au Revior, AMALegro!

As difficult as it is to say au revoir to France, we are anxious to return to our family and friends in North Carolina and at Winestyles. We have made many priceless memories and some new friends as well. We cannot say enough about our AMA Waterways experience – the service, attention to detail, caring attitude of the crew, the exquisite food and beverage, and the overall accommodations aboard AMALegro have been top notch. One of our fellow passengers summed it up well when she said “every day has been both enjoyable and educational”.

Thank you to our Trinchero wine hosts, Barry and Kim Wiss, who have also been gracious in sharing their experience and knowledge. What a terrific way to experience a country – there is substantial truth in the statement “an ocean cruise takes you to a country; a river cruise takes you through a country”!

Truly the best way to TASTE, LEARN and ENJOY! 🙂

Cheers,

Michael and Tiffany Reynolds, proprietors of WineStyles Greensboro, NC

 

French Wine Cruise – Paris to Vernon

Escargot! Bon Appetit!

Escargot! Bon Appetit!

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.

The Louvre at Night

The Louvre at Night

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!

Shimmering Eiffel Tower

Shimmering Eiffel Tower

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.

Seine River at Night

Seine River at Night

Despite a chill in the upper deck air, our hosts kept us warm with “vin chaud” (hot wine), roasted chestnuts, and their gracious hospitality.

Bartender Plamen with French Varietals

Bartender Plamen with French Varietals

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.

La Roche Guyon - Romme's HQ

La Roche Guyon – Romme’s HQ

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.

Barry Wiss of Trinchero Family Estates

Barry Wiss of Trinchero Family Estates

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.

Fruit & Cheese from the Galley

Fruit & Cheese from the Galley

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.

Riverbank Chateau

Riverbank Chateau

Presently, we are off to visit Chateau Bizy in the riverfront village of Vernon, our first port of call.

Griffin at St. Michael's SquareBe sure to check in with us tomorrow on the WineStyles blog, where you can hear it through our grapevine!

 Cheers,
Tiffany & Micheal Reynolds
WineStyles Greensboro, NC