I Love Touring Paris - The Fourth Arrondissement

The 4th arrondissement located on the Right Bank of the Seine River is one of the smallest in Paris at slightly over 0.6 square miles (1.6 square kilometers). Its population is about thirty thousand but the district provides more than forty thousand jobs. The Ile de la Cite (Cite Island) was already inhabited in the First Century B.C. by a Gallic tribe known as the Parisii who gave their name to the city. Our first stop is world-renown, tasty, not very high in calories, and won't cost you a lot of money. It's on the magnificent Ile St-Louis one of the two Parisian islands in the Seine.

Berthillon makes great ice cream and has since 1954. It believes in natural ingredients and flavorings and uses no preservatives or any of that junk. It is usually closed during the last two weeks of August.

Centre Georges Pompidou (Georges Pompidou Centre), often called Beaubourg was built in 1971-1977 near Les Halles (the Halles Market) and the Marais. It contains a library, the Musee National d'Art Moderne (National Modern Art Museum), a center for music and acoustic research, and an industrial design center. You either love the building or you hate it because of its very distinct (ugly) architecture with pipes on the outside. Even if you can't stand this building you may enjoy the art museum with its collection of painters including Kandinsky, Matisse, Miro, and Picasso.

I Love French Wine and Food - An Alsace Pinot Noir

If you are looking for fine French wine and food, consider the Alsace region of northeastern France. You may find a bargain, and I hope that you’ll have fun on this fact-filled wine education tour in which we review a local red Pinot Noir wine.

Among France’s eleven wine-growing regions Alsace ranks number ten in total acreage devoted to vineyards, perhaps because it is the smallest region of metropolitan France. In any case Alsace is one of France’s best-known wine regions. The wine growing area is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) long, but at most 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) wide. Their wine bottles are distinctively tall and thin. Chaptalization (adding sugar to the fermenting grape mixture) is allowed for many wine categories. And unlike the standard practice elsewhere in France, the labels feature the grape variety.

Only about 5% of Alsace wine is red, mostly based on the Pinot Noir grape, so popular elsewhere in France and across the world, especially since the hit movie Sideways. We review an Alsatian Pinot Noir wine below. The major white grape varieties are Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Gris, and Riesling. A companion article in this series reviews an Alsatian white wine.

I Love Touring Paris- The Third Arrondissement

The 3rd arrondissement located on the right bank of the Seine River is second smallest of Paris's twenty districts. It contains the northern, relatively quiet part of the medieval district of Le Marais (The Marsh) while the 4th arrondissement contains the livelier southern part. Paris's oldest surviving private house dating back to 1407 is located at 51 rue de Montmorency. One of its owners claimed to have made a Philosopher's stone transforming lead into gold as well as having achieved immortality along with his wife (I hope that they get along well) but neither claim has been verified. What has been verified is that this district occupies less than one half a square mile (about 1.2 square kilometers) making it the second smallest arrondissement in the city. Its population is about 35 thousand and the district is home to about 30 thousand jobs.

The Marais was marshland first cleared in the Twelfth Century. In the Sixteenth Century the aristocracy built beautiful residences including the Place Royale, subsequently named la Place des Vosges built for Henri IV in 1605. The Marais took a hit when the court moved to Versailles. On the other hand this area was not highly affected by Baron Haussmann's urban redevelopment. In 1969, France's first Minister of Culture Andre Malraux made the Marais the first protected sector making it harder to redevelop buildings.

I Love French Wine and Food - An Alsace Pinot Gris

If you are looking for fine French wine and food, consider the Alsace region of northeastern France. You may find a bargain, and I hope that you’ll have fun on this fact-filled wine education tour in which we review a local white Pinot Gris wine

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Among France’s eleven wine-growing regions Alsace ranks number ten in total acreage devoted to vineyards, perhaps because it is the smallest region of metropolitan France. In any case Alsace is one of France’s best-known wine regions. The wine growing area is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) long, but at most 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) wide. Their wine bottles are distinctively tall and thin. Chaptalization (adding sugar to the fermenting grape mixture) is allowed for many wine categories. And unlike the standard practice elsewhere in France, the labels feature the grape variety.

I Love French Wine and Food - An Alsace Pinot Blanc

If you are looking for fine French wine and food, consider the Alsace region of northeastern France. You may find a bargain, and I hope that you'll have fun on this fact-filled wine education tour in which we review a local white Pinot Blanc wine.

Alsace ranks tenth out of the eleven French winemaking regions in terms of vineyard area. Don't be fooled by the numbers; Alsace is a major producer of quality French wine. Its wine growing area is only about 60 miles (100 kilometers) long, and at the most a mere 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) wide nestled between the Vosges Mountains to the east and the Rhine River and Germany to the west. But this relatively tiny area is known for distinctive wines. Their wine bottles are also distinctive; tall and thin with labels that feature the grape variety, not the usual practice in France. Chaptalization (adding sugar to the fermenting grape mixture) is allowed for many wine categories.