The fizz of the Champagne tickles your nose. The blood-red color of the Crème de Cassis de Dijon liqueur provides a richness to delight the eye and hint of sweetness to please the palate. This is the Kir Royale, a cocktail that originated in Burgundy, France. Located in the central part of the country, this region is a favorite of lovers of fine wines and delectable foods. Dijon mustard is one of the areas specialties, as are Burgundy truffles. But it is the Kir Royale that is considered the royal drink of Burgundy.
Located in the lush vineyards of the Rhone Valley, the ancient walled city and university town of Avignon is rich in history, artistic brilliance, and Provencal life. From churches and chapels to film festivals and street musicians, Avignon was named the European Capital of Culture in 2000, and the city has been one of Frances major artistic centers for centuries. Whether youre exploring the scenic waterways of Provence on our Roi Soleil (Sun King) or Le Phenicien barges, Avignons mix of culture, gastronomy, world-class wine, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites create a memorable travel experience.
Paris is Frances famed cultural and metropolitan core. Venturing beyond the City of Lights takes you into the country's distant and not so distant past. Sample fine wines and regional dishes as you explore these 21 regions, each with a history and flavor of its own.
The word chateau rolls off the tongue with a flourish and conjures up images of stately French manor homes or grand castles set amid splendid manicured gardens out in the country. In some areas of France, especially Bordeaux, the word chateau can also be used in reference to a vineyard estate where wine is produced. The French chateaux, especially the larger and more ornate ones, are some of the most spectacular pieces of architecture in the world.
One of the best things about visiting the south of France is having the opportunity to savor the various foods and wines of the region. One of the most famous--and most delicious--traditional dishes of the Languedoc region is cassoulet, a slow-baked mixture of meat and beans with a rich history.