November events and news roundup
November brings lots of fantastic food & wine events AND the launch of Taste of Toulouse market tours !
It’s NOVEMBER and I have a lot to give thanks for because the Taste of Toulouse website is now LIVE and tickets are on sale for the inaugural tour:
This weekend, I’ll be celebrating by heading to the Salon Vins & Terroirs, as well as the Salon Chocolat & Gourmandise (info below). I can’t think of a better way to continue my research – because the work’s not done! In the coming months, I’ll be launching more tours on different themes (just desserts, anyone?) and featuring different areas of Toulouse.
In the meantime, enjoy the great events in Toulouse this month, as well as a few articles and other things I found interesting.
2-4 November – Salon Vins & Terroirs AND Salon Chocolat & Gourmandises
One of the DO NOT MISS events of the year for food in Toulouse. Side by side shows at the Parc des Expositions, the Salon Vins & Terroirs features wine tastings from countless winemakers, free tasting workshops, and the opportunity to buy at a discount directly from producers – plus, you also get access to the Salon Chocolat & Gourmandises with the same ticket! Can you say YUM? With so much to taste and see, I may be there every day! Entry fee is € 6 (€ 5 if you buy online before the end of the day Thursday, Nov 1), plus a € 1 deposit for the glass.
Join the crowds that will be thronging the Marché Victor Hugo for its rare night market. My advice? Go early or go late (but not too late, or you might not get in) because it’s sure to be packed most of the evening. That’s not to dissuade you from going, though, as it’s really a special event not to be missed and a good opportunity to try different offerings from the vendors there! Facebook event
10-11 November – Le Cirque des Vins Nature
If you like natural wine and circus – this is the place to be! Hosted by La Grainerie, the circus/event space in Balma, this event combines a natural wine fair (with wine tastings, naturally), circus workshops for the whole family, and several screenings of a natural wine documentary “Barrique Instinct.” On Saturday night, they are also having a winemakers dinner (€ 35, including wine) interspersed with circus acts. Entry to the wine fair is free, purchase a tasting glass for € 7. Website Facebook event
11 November – Toulouse Beer Fest
15 November – Beaujolais Day!
The third Thursday in November marks the release of this year’s primeur wines – the most notable of which is Beaujolais Nouveau. There are sure to be events in bars and wine shops (I’ll most likely head to the Soirée Beaujolais Nouveau at the Cave Spirituelle, my neighborhood wine shop), just check the internet or newspaper that week. Confused about Beaujolais Nouveau? Read this article about last year’s celebrations at thelocal.fr.
15-18 November – Chai Mon Vigneron, la fête du Gaillac Primeur
Not to be outdone, Gaillac is staging a whole weekend of events to celebrate the release of their primeur wine. Open houses, a competition for the best Gaillac Primeur, tastings, hiking through the vineyards, dinners, and more! Check out the downloadable program of events. (Note the clever French wordplay – a “chai” is an aboveground storage area for wine, pronounced the same way as “chez,” meaning “at the home of.”)
15 November – Fronton Wine & Cheese Tasting
Held at the Maison des Vins et du Tourisme in Fronton (you’ll need a car), this evening features wines from Fronton (hallmark: the unique Negrette grape) paired with cheeses aged by Max Sena Fromager, a local cheese shop in Fronton. € 17 Facebook event
Starts 23 November – Marché de Noël Toulouse
My favorite event of the year is almost here! Hard to believe it’s that time already, but the Marché de Noël comes rolling into town later this month. I’m looking forward to vin chaud, aligot, tartiflette, cheese tartines doused with armagnac (oh yes…), and so many other delicious treats. If there’s interest, I’ve been thinking about offering a mini walking tour of the market, with proceeds going to charity. Stay tuned for details… Website
What I’m Reading
How to Actually Eat Like a Local While Traveling (New York Times) “When looking for restaurant recommendations at home, we rely on friends, magazines and review sites. Yet when abroad, we fantasize about a mystical “local,” someone who will guide us to the best meal of our lives, preferably somewhere “authentic” and “off the beaten path.” Though we would never expect this of a stranger on the street at home, we expect it abroad from citizens just like us.”
Eating Reblochon in summer and Mont d’Or in winter – seasonality for cheeses (Le Monde – French) This is an informative read about what is the best time of year for your favorite cheeses. This is especially good to keep in mind as we enter the season (All-Saints to Easter) when fresh goat cheese is much less available. There is even an interactive feature where you can browse cheeses by name to find out when they are available or pick a month to see what cheese is available during that time. One of my favorite cheeses – Mont d’Or – is only available during the winter months, so you can bet I enjoy it while it’s here!
At the World’s Largest Food Market, a Sip of Wine After a Night of Butchery (New York Times) A fascinating article about Rungis, the world’s largest food market located outside of Paris. Also interesting to note is that Toulouse also has a large wholesale food market, Le Grand Marché – MIN Toulouse, which is the 2nd largest in France (behind Rungis). It’s interesting to read about how businesses at Rungis are trying to balance the need to go digital in order to compete with the hands-on, personal approach that may yield better quality and stronger relationships.
A round-up of specialty food shops in Toulouse (Toulouse Wunderbar) A good place to start if you’re looking to add a few names to your list of “Bonnes Adresses.”
The restaurants of Toulouse still in the spotlight in the new edition of Gault & Millau (La Depeche – French) The new edition of the Gault & Millau guide comes out on November 5 and this article has the scoop on which restaurants were included. More good names to add to your list.