Can't make it to the South of France this summer? Not to worry--you can taste it in Manhattan thanks to the Sud de France Festival which runs through July 25th. The festival was created to make New Yorkers more familiar with the Languedoc-Roussillon region of Southern France, which, according to festival organizers, produces more wine--and the largest amount of organic wine--than any other wine region in the world.
Tonite and tomorrow night, for instance, there will be wine tastings ($20 per person) led by Languedoc wine expert Jamal Rayyis and others at the Maison de la Région Languedoc-Roussillon (10 East 53rd Street). Tonite's event is 7 to 9 p.m. tonite; tomorrow night it's 6 to 9 p.m.
All told there will be free tastings and educational sessions at nearly 60 wine shops in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, plus Mediterranean menus and wine specials at restaurants ranging from casual to Michelin starred. Participating restaurants include Les Halles, Café d’Alsace, French Roast, Marseille, L’Express, Pigalle, Le Monde, Maison, Cercle Rouge, Bar Tabac and Le Singe Vert.
Consumers can enter a contest to win dinner for two ($150 value) at any of the 51 participating restaurants. Another contest prize will be a Languedoc food and wine basket.
In July, highlights include a winemaker dinner (July 20th) at the brand new Le Pain Quotidien (Central Park and West 70th), as well as special events surrounding Bastille Day.
On July 19th there will be a sommelier contest to choose this year’s Sud de France Festival Sommelier of the Year.
An interesting addition to this year’s festival is Le Pain Quotidien, which will exclusively feature organic wines of Languedoc-Roussillon (two red, two white, a rosé and a sparkling), alongside the wines of founder (and Languedoc-Roussillon resident) Alain Coumont. Le Pain Quotidien will also showcase a special Sud de France menu.
The Festival is an international campaign conducted by Sud de France Export, an agency promoting the wines, culinary products and other industries of the Languedoc-Roussillon. Other Sud de France Festivals are conducted in Shanghaï, Düsseldorf, Cologne, London, Brazil and Mexico.
For complete info on the New York festival, click here.