Sunday, November 23, 2008


Corsican wine comes to London II

Over the weekend, London had a gentle introduction to the wines of Corsica. The occasion was the French Wine Growers' Fair, and three Corsican wine growers braved the long journey to London to ply their trade.

Hobnobbing with the best of Bordeaux and Bourgogne were some of Corsica's finest and visitors were able to sample Vermentinu, Niellucciu and above all corsica's unique cépage, Sciacarellu in the strangely grim environment of the Barbican Exhibition Centre.

My picture shows (from the left) Gérard Courreges of Domaine de Vaccelli, near Ajaccio, Fabrice Couloumere of Clos Fornelli, from Corsica's East Coast near Aleria, and Mme Josette Lucciardi of Clos Lucciardi from the same region. On the right is Mme Dominique Tramoni-Carnell, former President of London's Association des Corses, who had made the effort to come and welcome the growers in person.

The delegation did Corsica proud. Clos Lucciardi's smooth Niellucciu more than held its own amongst its better known neighbours; Clos Fornelli was showing off its spicy, spikey and exciting new Robe d'Ange - now almost exclusively Sciacarellu, and Domaine de Vaccelli was exhibiting its silver-medal winning red, carefully and expertly blended from Corsican and other grape varieties.

I left the grey concrete slab of the Barbican with a big grin on my face - what a great experience to taste and feel some Corsican sunshine on a grey London day in autumn!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Corsican wine comes to London

Corsican wines are coming to London - and not before time!

The French Wine Growers' Fair, taking place at the Barbican between Nov 21st and Nov 23rd 2008 features no fewer than three Corsican vineyards. It costs £10 to get in - more details at:

The Corsican wines on show (and more importantly, for degustation!) are Clos Fornelli and Clos Lucciardi from the mountain slopes near Aleria on Corsica's east coast, and Domaine de Vaccelli from the Ajaccio region.

That's just three Corsican vinyards out of the hundreds of French ones on show. Still - it's a start.


Alizée - at last

How could I have written this blog for such a long time without mentioning Ajaccio's pop queen Alizée? It took a comment from a reader to alert me to this young lady's talent, and a trawl on Google to underline the scale of her success.

Alizée Jacotey was born in 1984, some 39 years after I was, so I guess it's no surprise that her career has passed me by. She has had any number of hits (not just in France, but in places like Italy, Japan and Mexico) and her first album, Gourmandises, was number 1 in the French album charts.

A fulsome account of her career can be found on Wikipedia and if you'd like to hear a sample of her music you can do so on her official website. My correspondent also has a lively blog devoted to her, and you can find this here. I found her music enjoyable and surprisingly accessible and will be looking out for more opportunities to hear her work when we're next on the island.

So I wonder why Alizée hasn't so far appeared in the UK or USA charts? Her language is predominanly French and her style is uncompromisingly Mediterranean, but when she breaks into the English-speaking market, she won't be the first Ajaccio-born person to do so: Tino Rossi got there before her betweeen the two world wars. But that was even before I was born!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

counter customizable free hit