Would you like some cheese with that whine?

Wine pairs with everything in France. Don’t believe me? Try one of the seemingly endless varieties of cheeses, and if that’s not your thing…

Organic Zucchini and Tomato Gazpacho

Organic Zucchini and Tomato Gazpacho

How about with chocolate? Perhaps some mussels? A bit of pasta or bread? Little cups of organic gazpacho?

Since coming to France, I’ve lost track of the number of wine tastings our group has attended. I’ve probably tasted 30 to 40 different wines at official events, not including the wine served at restaurants with breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. (Ok, so I haven’t seen wine on the breakfast menus. But I doubt anyone would look too far askance if you asked for un verre de vin with your eggs.)

Now, I consider myself a huge fan of wine, but I’m no connoisseur. My prior knowledge basically consisted of the awareness that wine comes in red, rosé or white. I’m from Wisconsin. There, wine that comes in a bottle costs far more than a six-pack of locally brewed beer. If a special event presents itself, I typically pick a bottle in my preferred color at random and hope for the best. But ask me to choose the best IPA in Wisconsin, and I could list you 10 different breweries.

Roussillon Wine Shop in Banyus

At the Roussillon Wine Shop in Banyus

Given that, I have to confess I’ve perhaps had a little too much wine and Brie over the last two weeks. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing to have the ability to judge the age and sweetness of a wine by the film on the glass, and know the difference between oxidized and non-oxidized by the color therein. It’s equally invaluable to know which type of wine I should pair with red meat versus fish. I’ve enjoyed every fruity, spicy, glorious drop.

However, I’m an admittedly simple girl from Wisconsin. We’re known for the World’s Largest Brat Festival, artisan cheddar, the Green Bay Packers, and beer. Perhaps I’m just an unsophisticated whiner from the hinterlands of America and someone should call me a waaaaa-ambulance, as the saying goes. It’s entirely possible. But as I stare at the rows upon rows of wine in every store, I can’t help but think sometimes, “Where’s the beer?”