Monday, 16 April 2012

Pranzac Wine and Cheese Fair

This is the time of year for wine fairs. All the local producers are eager to market their latest products and sell, sell, sell!! On Easter Saturday, we took a drive south-west to the village of Pranzac (I'll do another post on the village itself), for their annual wine and cheese fair, held over the 3 days of the Easter Holiday. It was their 34th fair, so they should know how to organise them by now! We have visited each year for the past 4 or 5 years, and the "formula" doesn't seem to change much. Everything is housed inside, in a tented camp, which more than paid for itself two years ago, when we arrived in a rainstorm, which continued for hours.
Happily, this year was sunny and dry and we found the offering had been expanded to include stalls selling clothing and lifestyle goods such as ornaments, handmade soap and local adventure holidays. We were just after "the basics", so we headed straight past these frills, to see what new wines, meats and cheeses were on sale. We carefully timed our arrival at 2 o'clock, just as the doors were opening, as I wanted to take photos before the crowds turned up and clear views became impossible. These fairs get impossibly busy later in the day, and just to get a taste or sample becomes very difficult!! This first photo is of probably the largest wine estate in the Charente - St Sornin. Much of the wine grown in the Charente is, I believe, used in distillation of cognac, or in the production of a local speciality - pineau - of which more later........



To see more about the St Sornin estate take a look at my visit there HERE


Gaillac makes quite inexpensive wine, which we used to drink regularly. It has not been easily available at out local shops recently and judging by the new (and to us, unpleasant) taste, they have changed the "recipe" for the worse. Plenty else to drink!!

Domaine Saint Pierre looked pricey, and there was nobody at the stall, so we only took a photo!


The gentleman here was more than happy to give us tastes of his selection, as we were his first customers. His effort was not in vain, as we did go back and buy some wine from him before we left.



For those that like the bubbly stuff.....


Pineau was being tasted and sold here. This drink is a speciality of the Charente; to read more about it, take a look at my post HERE

Foie Gras (goose or duck liver) is a French luxury.


The charcuterie trade in France specialises in the sale of meats in various styles of preservation. Usually bacon, hams, terrines, pates and confit (mostly poultry like duck or goose, preserved in fat) -sounds horrible, but really a most enjoyable experience.




France of course would not be France, if "le pain" was not available!! The baker from Pranzac displays his wares here.


and of course the bread would not be the same, if there was no cheese to go with it!

This man was obviously feeling a bit peckish and was nibbling on his own stock!! We joined him, and bought a small piece of Pave Correzien, the cube shaped uncut cheese on the far right of the photo. It's a very pleasant mature hard cheese, but not cheap!


For variety, a photo of some local dried ham to further whet the appetite.

Google seems to have done everything in its power to hamper the production of this post or even prevent it from being published. If this is the latest new Google programme, they can keep it!!! Pictures would not load in the correct place. Some were deleted and have not been seen again. In addition, the font has a mind of it own, and I have been at the computer all day, so I hope that you get to read this. I apologise for any errors that you may come across I have given up.

Meanwhile I have started a new blog - in Google, I must be mad - Please take a look at


88 comments:

  1. I've been seeing on my blog that blogspot is making some changes and they keep inviting me to the changes but I do not want to change. Sometimes I think life would be easier if we didn't have computers but then I wouldn't have met you. I am not a big wine drinker - I usually drink a few sips of the cheap wines here. I bet the cheese is good. Looks like loads of fun.

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  2. The sight of all that cheese makes me positively hungry. Yum. I love good cheese.

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  3. I'm not much for Wine, but the Bread and Cheese looks totally yummy.

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  4. AMAZINGGGGGGGGG , I always wanted to go a fair like that. everything look yummi, i would it even buy the gentleman, hahahahaha, he looks to cute with that white mustache.

    hugs and blessings to you my dear. I can't wait to see the post of the village

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  5. What can I say? Envy, envy, and, with every photo, more envy :)

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  6. Looking at all the specialties on your post makes my mouth water and makes me blue too – I wished I were in France for sure. Un petit verre de pineau des Charentes! Bien frais! Et puis de la charcuterie artisanale – un bon paté avec des cornichons. I better stop…..My father’s favorite cheese was le Cantal – my mother would buy it at our weekly market, but it was not like in Auvergne. The wine market… when I go to visit my cousin she gets a lot of different wines, then when they like one they buy a whole case. There are many specialties that can only be bought in France and cannot be found here in Georgia.

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  7. very interesting post..great cliks..thanks for sharing..:)

    Tasty Appetite

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  8. I have never attended a wine fair yet but it sounds fun! Lovely photos as always Diane!

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  9. This like it would be so much fun. I would love to taste all the wines!

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  10. This looks like a place to get drunk and stuffed.

    Why not try WordPress for free?

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  11. Lovely! Thanks for taking us along.

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  12. Oh the dried ham,cheeses,breads and wine!! I would be crawling back to my car!! It is 7;30 am here and I am craving stinky cheese,french loaf and a glass of wine...oh dear...! I am off to look at your new blog! PS,my blog also disapeared yesterday....

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  13. Hello Diane:
    We are so sorry that you very clearly experienced huge problems when it came to publishing this post and can well imagine your annoyance and frustration, particularly where disappearing images are concerned.

    But what fun it all looks to have been and what a wonderful experience. We can so readily believe that fairs such as this one are hugely popular - we know that we should have enjoyed every moment.

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  14. I'm so sad I didn't make it to the festival. I must put it in my diary for next year because it looks excellent!

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  15. Hi Diane. My tummy is rumbling now. And your right, confit is just yummy.

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  16. I am on a strict 2 week diet and cannot have cheese or wine, so I have drooled my way through your post Diane. xxx

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  17. I love wine and cheese fairs, and also Pineau :)

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  18. What a nice event! I am a cheese lover so I would love to try what they were selling there!

    Life and travelling
    Cooking

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  19. Becca yesterday was impossible, maybe they were in the middle of changing things, but I was very frustrated. I also do not like changes leave well alone when everything goes well. Diane

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  20. Joyful it is hard not to taste everything when walking around! DCiane

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  21. Horst some of that cheese is amazing yum yum Diane

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  22. Walkiria than you for visiting and leaving a comment. It is much appreciated. I hope that Google behave better when I come to do Pranzac village! Diane

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  23. Blogger can be like that sometimes, very frustrating. This fair looks tantalising. All those lovely cheeses, bread and wine.......oooh la la.

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  24. Lovely post about French life. Did you get home in a slighty tiddly state? A couple of sips of sample wine would have made me quite 'merry'! Your post was fine - no font errors and all photos in place.

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  25. How very irritating to find Google wouldn't do what you wanted it to!

    I'm reading this just before French lunch time and your post has made me very hungry indeed! :-)

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  26. Olga, I even now I get hungry looking at my own photos again :) Diane

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  27. Vagabonde am sure that you appreciate this post more than others, it must make you feel like you are at home for a short period. Cantal I find very expensive and I have to admit to still preferring a good cheddar cheese. Apart from that there is not a French cheese that I do not like yum yum. Take care and keep well. Diane

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  28. Jay thnaks for the visit and the comment. Take care Diane

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  29. chubskulit am sure you would love it so long as you like either wine or cheese, or of course both :) Diane

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  30. Words Of Deliciousness it is fun and I love the tasting. You just have to be careful though not to overdo it as the police are hot on drivers under the influence! Diane

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  31. Gaelyn, it is lots of fun and easy to taste just too much!! I should have tried world press first, but I will give it a couple of weeks and see what happens. I do not really want the bother of changing from something I know, but it seems Google is doing it for me!!! Diane

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  32. rosaria thanks for coming along :) Keep well Diane

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  33. Liesl just been to check your blog and it is still there on my computer! Google up to its tricks again!!!! Diane

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  34. Jane and Lance, the downloading of photos nearly drove me nuts. I eventually had to start at the bottom and work upwards which my brain found difficult to comprehend!!

    The fair was great fun and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Wish you could have shared it with us :) Diane

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  35. Wine and cheese. What better combination?!

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  36. ladyjustine if you are close by it is well worth a visit, we try not to miss it each year. Diane

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  37. Kerry as you will have already realised today was a hectic day so sorry this reply is late. Hope you enjoyed your touring around today. Take care and keep well. Diane

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  38. Diane I am sorry haha. Keep dreaming!! Take care and keep the diet up t'other Diane

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  39. A great post and worth all the teething problems you are having with the new blogger. it does take awhile to get your head round the new systems, it did me anyway. I think a lot may depend on where and how you are writing the posts and adding the photos.

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  40. meredith I also love them and I have grown to really love Pineau :) Diane

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  41. Ola I don't know which is the best, tasting the cheese or the wine :)) Diane

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  42. Diane b this is a great fair and we enjoy it each year. Nothing like spending the day tasting cheese and wine LOL Diane

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  43. Vera the only reason the photos (all but one that never appeared) were in place was because I started the post from the bottom and worked upwards, not easy as my brain just does not work that way!!! On my computer there is a change in font which I can do nothing about!!!!! Keep well Diane

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  44. Niall and Antoinette, Google nearly caused me to throw the computer in the rubbish dump yesterday. I hope I do not have another issue like I had then.

    I get hungry each time I look at this post!!! Take care Diane

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  45. Linda the problem was that every photo I put on, Google just put it at the top regardless, then would not allow me to move it. I nearly went bonkers with it. Eventually I did the whole post backwards staring from the bottom and working up, but the brain does not like this sort of reasoning!!! If this happens again I will not be using Google!!! Keep well Diane

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  46. Diane, this post is great! I'm really jealous as we don't have anything here to compare. The wine, cheese, meats and bread. It all looks fantastic and I'm looking forward to the town history!

    I understand your problem with the pics. The same thing kept happening to me when I posted the crab cakes, every photo automatically went to the top of the post. I discovered that if I kept the cursor on the left margin of the page, the photo loaded where I wanted it. If the cursor was in the middle, the photo went to the top of the post. I don't know if this will work for you, but I hope so, Diane. Good luck! Off to your new blog.

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  47. I love food and wine fairs and yours looks like it had a wide selection of local products. I don't know anything about the wines from the Charente. So through your post, I got a nice glimpse. Thanks for sharing.

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  48. What a wonderful ambiance a fair is!
    Great products, some of which are from close to here I live!
    Lovely reportage!
    Cheers Diane!

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  49. Pam thanks so much for your tip on keeping the cursor to the left, I will certainly try that if I have the problem with the next post.

    Sorry to make you jealous :) Take care Diane

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  50. chcmichel, glad you enjoyed the post, there is not a lot of wine in this area really, it is mostly Pineau and Cognac. Keep well Diane

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  51. Noushka thanks, glad you enjoyed this post. Take care and keep well. Diane x

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  52. Apple blosom is gorgeous flower.The flower bloom as God's satisfaction.

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  53. I love all (lol) but especially these cheeses are to die for:) Are love cheese every time!

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  54. i would be so thrilled if i were there to sample of the cheese! we do not hv much variety here. i also notied that the message from blogger that they are getting a new look but i'm so reluctant to go in and check.

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  55. What's better than a wine & cheese fair? Nothing. It looks like a wonderful place to spend the day!

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  56. Sell my house, that is actually cherry blossom at the top of the page, but there is apple blossom in the post before this one. Thanks for the visit and the comment. Diane

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  57. Gloria some of those cheeses were exceptional but they are not cheap!!! Keep well Diane.

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  58. Lena I hate change when I have got used to something. I have just been back into this post today and it let me edit things I could not do yesterday so.......
    The cheeses were fantastic :) Diane

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  59. Pam it was a fantastic day out, nothing better than cheese wine and good French bread :)) Diane

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  60. Looks like a fun day, so many goodies!

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  61. Hey Diane I would love sell cheese there with the Mr. there (lol) here the cheese are so cost too, but Ilove when I can buy some parmesan, or cheddar or brie sigh!!

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  62. Hi Diane. Truly one of the joys of visiting France is calling in at the cellar doors. We stayed in the Loire for a month, and you can imagine how many cellar doors we knocked on. Saumur being a favourite tipple. This wine fair looks fabulous. Wish I was there!

    Denise

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  63. This is my kind of day!! Awesome. ove it. Thanks for sharing.

    Velva

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  64. great post sorry about blogger, some of my previous posts have been lost sob love the snap of the guy eating his cheese he he have added to my Tues Food Market pinterest board, if you pin let me know if you would like to be added to it :-)

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  65. The Café Sucré Farine it was a fun day out and we went back to friends after for dinner which was perfect so no cooking! Diane

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  66. All that bread and cheese...makes me hungry!

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  67. Gloria thanks for your second visit, you are obviously enjoying these cheeses:) Diane

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  68. Denise we used to go to the Cape in S.Africa and spend the day 'doing' the wine tour. At least here at the fair it is all in one place, and with all the cheese as well :)) Diane

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  69. Velva I could have this sort of day on a regular basis, sadly the fairs are not all that close to us :( Diane

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  70. Rebecca I have no idea what you mean by 'pin' but you are welcome to use the picture if you want. Take care Diane

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  71. cheese in france, yes please!!! and those meats, oh my goodness

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  72. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon Diane. Events such as this are the reason for visiting and living in France in my opinion. I would not have been able to leave without a little fois gras and a case or two of wine.
    Sam

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  73. Muppy it is a wonderful day out here going to the cheese and wine fairs.Problem is nothing (to buy) is cheap. Just keep tasting :) Diane

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  74. Sam we left with 3 cases of wine and a slab of cheese. Foie gras I will not eat on principle as I feel sorry for the ducks and geese!! Stupid maybe but that is just me. Diane

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  75. I had the same problem with blogger... what a mess.. pictures went all over the place ... finally sort of solved it by making a big blue line where I wanted them to go but it was a total pain.... of course this post was FULL of pictures!

    Love the festival... what could be wrong with lots of food and wine in France... looks like you had great fun.

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  76. lostpastremembered, It is soooooo frustrating and wastes so much time. I really do not want to mess around changing to another site. I have to say I did a couple of drafts today which behaved perfectly but there is always next time!!!! Keep well Diane

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  77. Really i am appreciating you to post such attractive post to all.......

    Heated Towel Rails | Gazebo | Patio Heaters

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  78. Gray I am pleased that you enjoyed this post. Diane

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  79. Hi Diane .. well it posted - just a pity the various wines, cheeses, pates and le pain could not post as well - and I'd be having a very very good supper - sad to say .. home basics again!

    The blog looks fine now - I've heard others say things have gone haywire - I've kept very basic at Pos Letters .. I hated adding a new google site - it really messed me around. I thought things were meant to be easy in Google and Blogger ..

    Hope you won't have to spend the same amount of time tomorrow ..

    I went back and commented too!! Cheers Hilary

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  80. Hilary I have got my blog on the old settings and this was when I had the problems. Every time I go to it now it returns to new settings and it is driving me nuts. I have done the draft of the new post and it worked OK this time. Will post after checking it later

    It is sad I can't put the smells on-line as well, even if you could not taste the goods, I could make your mouth water with the smell LOL. Take care Diane

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  81. chubskulit it is a lot of fun and is good to be able to taste some wines and cheeses before buying. Diane

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  82. Francesca it also makes me hungry just returning to the post!! :) Diane

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  83. Very interesting food and drinks, Diane!
    Nice cheese!
    The nice pictures you, my appetite :))
    Best wishes

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  84. Magda, Lovely cheese and fantastic wine, it was a good day. Keep well. Diane

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  85. What a happy and delicious post Diane...du pain, fromage et vins...what else could you possibly want!

    Love the photo of the bloke having a munch at his cheese stall (would be very hard to resist) with the cow on the poster looking on :)

    X

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  86. Dolly if I sold cheese I would not dare stand on the scales, I would be forever tasting my wares!!!! Diane

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