Saturday, October 09, 2010

Reaching for the sky

Each year, as harvest time approaches, the grape growers stop trimming the vines. Here and there a vine will send a tendril up into the sky. Sort of a last gasp, I suppose, before the leaves turn and fall and the pruners show up to cut the year's growth back.

A few red leaves against the morning sky. They won't last long.

Ken and I were in town Thursday evening to have a drink with some blog readers visiting from Australia. I noticed a sign on one of the café windows that said, "La bernache est arrivée." It seems early to me for bernache, given that the grape harvest is still going strong. Normally we see bernache around la toussaint (All Saints Day, November 1).

Just to remind you, bernache is a local word for grape juice that's partly fermented. It's very fizzy. People say it'll get you drunk fast (probably because it's so easy to drink that you tend to drink more) and that it'll clean you out (if you know what I mean). So, if you're ever constipated around harvest time...


  1. Walt

    I tried some really good Bernache at the Simoneau winery on Tuesday - it was a lot clearer and sparklier than the stuff you get in Supermarkets. Unfortunately, as we no longer have a wine industry down here, supermarket stuff is all we get. If we hadn't been 5 up in Célestine (and therefore unable to keep the bottle upright) we would have bought a bottle or two.

  2. I've never heard of grapes being used for that purpose.

  3. The next time I'm backed up I'll keep bernache in mind. : )

    The picture is beautiful.

  4. Perfect for a pre- colonoscopy diet :)

  5. I'd like to give bernache a try.

  6. simon, I once tried to buy some in the supermarket, but when I got to the checkout I noticed the cap had a hole in it, so I set it aside. Little did I know the hole was supposed to be there to allow the gas to escape! There's a big festival/vide grenier in St.-Aignan around Toussaint where there are stands set up with people serving bernache.

    starman, grapes are the miracle fruit!

    rick, but only during this season, then it's all gone for another year.

    judy, hmmmmmm...

    cubby, you came to France a week too early! ;)


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