My Summer Wine… Tastes Like Vivanterre

My summer wine… tastes like the Vivanterre wine! September is in full swing, yes, so why not induldge your taste buds with a good sip of a sun-drenched delight? The Orange Contact SGS is exactly that. But first, about the company: Vivanterre is a natural wine produced in the Auvergne region of France by Patrick Bouju and Justine Loiseau, and founded by Rosie and Max Assoulin, with the support of renowned sommelier Cedric Nicaise. Using organically and biodynamically farmed grapes, vinified using natural processes, and untouched by any fining, filtering, or added sulfites, Vivanterre reflects the “Living Earth” from which it comes. Introduced by mutual friends, the Vivanterre team – the new-wave wine-makers! – came together with the intention to create a delicious natural wine using sustainable practices. The collaborative spans the creative worlds, with a mix of wine experts and novices, who came together to create a wine that is truly a product of shared perspectives.

This time, I’ve tried the amazingly refreshing Orange Contact. It’s a heavenly blend of Gewurztraminer, Sylvaner and Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes come from the Touraine-Oisly sub-appellation of the Loire Valley, from a vineyard managed by Benjamin Delobel. The vineyard started organic conversion in 2013. The grapes come from 60-year-old vines planted in sandy soils that are rich in minerals with calcium, flint and clay. They were destemmed and saw three weeks of maceration with pigeage, aged in stainless steel. Meanwhile, the Gewurztraminer grapes come from the village of Heiligenstein in Alsace and are picked from 35-year-old vines, planted on clay and blue slate. The whole clusters were then placed directly into stainless steel vats for two weeks of skin maceration, foot trodden, then racked into amphorae. The vineyards are farmed by the Goepp Family. The Sylvaner grapes also come from Alsace, from a vineyard located in the village of Rosheim, that is rich in limestone, with 60-year-old vines. The Sylvaner comes from the vineyards of the Dreyer Family. The Sylvaner grapes were pressed, and the juice was added to the Gewurztraminer, which was macerating on its skins. There was no fining, filtering, or SO2 added during any phase of winemaking. Wines were aged until May 2021, when blending took place, just before bottling. The harvesting, wine making, and elevage was done by Bouju and Loiseau.

There are three more blends available – White MSM, White Petnat PRS and Gamay MVB (tried it out few months ago!)

Discover the world of Vivanterre here and follow them on Instagram. In Poland, Natural Rascal stocks the Vivanterre selection.

Berlin: Canal Eclairs

First thing’s first: so sorry for my blog absence for the couple of days (maybe even weeks, actually). Had a quite tumultuous time, but things’ are finally getting better. Now, time for the delicious part: Berlin‘s Canal, the best spot for crazy good eclairs in the German capital. Having started this compact cafe as an ice cream shop in 2015, co-founders and pastry masters Daniella Barriobero Canal und Guadalupe Eichner decided to move into eclairs to keep customers happy during the winter months. The pair worked intensively to create the best eclairs possible, and if you want to get your hands on one of the seasonal, heavenly varieties they’ve developed, it’s worth to get there early. You won’t want to miss out on the likes of the pistachio and raspberry eclair, with Sicilian nut pastry cream, whipped ganache and fresh berries; or the matcha sesame, which features the best Valrhona Opalys white chocolate. Sneak a couple of these delights home with you in a box when you next stop by for a coffee. 

Rosenthaler Str. 40 / Berlin

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Santorini – Where to Eat?

The view from Aktaion.


On islands as well-travelled as Santorini, you might expect to sacrifice substance for style in local restaurants. Well, a lot of restaurants here are overpriced and rather ordinary But between the traditional tavernas and smart supper spots, travellers can find fresh seafood, family-run restaurants and modern Mediterranean dishes in the less known places. Many tables are angled just so to watch the sun set over the caldera, making every evening meal something quite special. Here are my top three addresses!

Metaxi Mas

This is the best restaurant on the island – and the best proof of that is the fact it’s locals’ favourite. The most delicious recipes of the Santorinian and Cretan cuisine, the freshest ingredients from the kitchen garden, refreshing raki (the iconic grape-based pomace brandy of Crete) and unique wines, this place will please you with its laid-back atmosphere and high quality dining. Reminiscent of an island house porch, and an atmosphere full of the Aegean Sea’s colors and aromas, Metaxi Mas serves authentic and original dishes: fava (the famous yellow split pea dip) and white eggplant in the oven, beef fillet in Vinsanto sauce, and boneless pork chops in orange sauce with baked potatoes. Don’t forget to try their octopus, it’s amazing. Maybe the restaurant doesn’t face the sunset, but the food served here definitely does the work.

Exo Gonia, Santorini PC 84700

Dimitris Taverna

In a unique spot, the bay of Ammoudi, you will enjoy the warm hospitality and the delicacies of the Dimitris Taverna established in 1989. In this dreamy corner on the extreme, north part of Santorini, below the famous village of Oia, nestled in the imposing red rock, the tavern prepares fish and sea food dishes inspired by the mediterranean cuisine to accompany ouzo, beer or the famous Santorini wine. Dimitris and Joy, the couple that are the owners of the restaurant, decided ito open this taverna in a small, abandoned warehouse, where locals used to store the boats. More than twenty years later few things have changed. The love and passion for the fresh seafood, the Greek and Mediterranean cuisine remain the same and are shared with the visitors of Santorini.

Ammoudi (Oia), Santorini 84700

Aktaion

This 80-year-old taverna is a quaint spot to try traditional, reasonably priced dishes such as fava with capers, mackerel fritters and white-aubergine pie. Their loukoumades (fried feta cheese balls with tomato sauce) is heaven!

Firostefani, Santorini 84700

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Orange or Gamay? Vivanterre!

Have you got your festive season wines sorted? Here’s a clue. Vivanterre is a natural wine produced in the Auvergne region of France by Patrick Bouju and Justine Loiseau, and founded by Rosie and Max Assoulin, with the support of renowned sommelier Cedric Nicaise. Using organically and biodynamically farmed grapes, vinified using natural processes, and untouched by any fining, filtering, or added sulfites, Vivanterre reflects the “Living Earth” from which it comes. Introduced by mutual friends, the Vivanterre team – the new-wave wine-makers! – came together with the intention to create a delicious natural wine using sustainable practices. The collaborative spans the creative worlds, with a mix of wine experts and novices, who came together to create a wine that is truly a product of shared perspectives. So, now here’s the tough choice: Orange or Gamay (which I’m saving for the Christmas Eve)? Vivanterre’s Orange Contact SGU offers flavors of white peach, lychee and tropical fruits. Beyond the fruits, there are notes of white flowers, black tea and ginger. Tastes like heaven, right? Meanwhile Red Gamay MVB boasts flavors of bright red and black ripe fruits, cherries, raspberries, gooseberries and blackberries, with a backbone of acidity that offers balance to the ripeness of the fruit. Yum. Ok… just pick both!

Discover the world of Vivanterre here and follow them on Instagram.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki, featuring Rosie Assoulin‘s autumn-winter 2020 looks.

Where To Eat in Paris

While now isn’t the moment to dine out (and restaurants are closed nearly everywhere for safety reasons), we can all look forward to our post-confinement lunches and brunches (at some point) in the future. Here are six spots, old and new, I enjoyed the most during my last stay in Paris.

Carbón

Located in the heart of Le Marais distict, Carbón is an ode to nature, a place where the most ancestral cooking technique in the world, fire, encounters the products of land and sea in their extreme nudity. The regularly-changing menu will surprise you with such offerings as oysers infused in coffee or different sorts of ceviche. Its contemporary decor provides a stylish backdrop whether you’re with friends (the sharing plates are perfect for a relaxed dinner) or looking for a more romantic spot. There’s also a great “secret” speakeasy bar, La Mina, hidden away downstairs serving up delicious craft cocktails.

14 Rue Charlot

Le Moulin De La Vierge

You could easily assume that Le Moulin de la Vierge is simply a typical neighbourhood bakery in the sleepy 15th district, however it’s much, much more. The owner is dedicated to preserving the art nouveau architecture of each of his close-to-each-other patisserie stores. The décor is reminiscent of a 19th century Parisian boutique the pastries are so, so delicious (especially chocolate croissants). You might also be tempted to taste one of the numerous pastries like the exquisite éclairs or the mouth-watering tarts. Mille-feuille lovers will also find happiness.

10 Place des Petits Pères

La Belle Epoque

This upscale and mundane dining room that seems to have existed since forever has imposed itself as “the” must-go hangout for the chic, Parisian crowd. A wired atmosphere, a super discrete decor with an elegant 19th century tiling… here is the ideal place to show up with friends and nibble on trendy vintage dishes (leek in vinaigrette sauce, veal chops, ceviche and French style burgers, for a good example).

36 Rue des Petits Champs

Mara by Caché

Charming dining spot in Le Marais that celebrates contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. The sharing menu has a lovely selection of raw fish (seriole carpaccio served in mango sauce, sea bream ceviche with citrus fruits…), shellfish and crustaceans, but also gourmet desserts (including rousquille, a Catalan dessert served with nougat ice cream and chocolate sauce ). All accompanied by a superb selection of niche, natural wines.

27 Rue de Saintonge

Oursin

If you’re missing the sun and the sea, head to the second floor of Galeries Lafayette Champs-Elysées, where Simon Porte Jacquemus has opened Oursin in collaboration with Caviar Kaspia. After Citron, his sunny café located just a floor below, the darling of the fashion world continues telling Provençal stories in an atmosphere that’s dripping with la dolce vita: whitewashed walls, ecru banquettes, braided wicker chairs, beautiful ceramics, draping ivy, Italian melodies… In the kitchen, you’ll find chef Erica Archambault sending out southern dishes: delicious fried artichokes with Greek yogurt and lemon zest; incredibly tender grilled octopus with cherry tomatoes, potatoes and a tomato sauce with capers – all sponged up with squid ink bread; plus an incredible chocolate ganache with yogurt sorbet and blueberries for dessert. The plates – all hand-made by Daphne Leon – are as good as the food.

60 Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Le Costes

This place is old and really well-known, but still, no other restaurant has reached the level of cool chic that Le Costes does so effortlessly for years. The opulent Second Empire décor designed by Jacques Garcia that’s a cross between a brothel and a trip to Egypt, with a lineup that brings together the fashion crowd (especially during fashion week. We were sitting next to @ireneisgood and System’s Elizabeth Von Guttman – and we had a very lovely chat…). The cuisine here is properly eclectic. The menu shifts between healthy options (a  avocado/olive oil/lemon tartine, fresh bass tartare…) and fusion dishes (crispy chicken spring rolls – they are the best – and Thai-style marinated steak) to updated classics: a beautiful Niçoise salad upgraded to include flash-seared fresh tuna or a delightful chicken breast served with fries. Take the divine pavlova with red berries and voluptuous meringue for dessert.

239-241 rue Saint-Honoré

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All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)