“A Table!” Lessons in Expat Cooking – La Domaine de la Ville de Morges: Part I

Ever wonder why the classic Swiss Army Knives such as this Victorinox model have a wine corkscrew on them? You might think, “It’s Switzerland, right? A fondue fork or a cowbell make more sense than a corkscrew!!” Well my friends, before moving here I would have agreed with you. Then we became locals and learned: The Swiss Make Amazing Wine.

Read that again and let it sink in.

Swiss wine? Is that a joke? No, it isn’t and not only is it not a joke, it is one of their best-kept secrets! Swiss wines are ‘out of this world’ good. So good, in fact, that they have been trumping my other classic favourites from France, Italy and Spain as of late when choosing what to buy or drink with dinner. I have a newfound love and respect for what makes Swiss wines so great and why you should go straight to your local wine shop and ask if they have any Swiss wines for you to try, too. To be clear, this will not be a typical A Table! post where I recipe share for all of you. I have decided to celebrate the local award-winning wines and share what I have learned since moving here: never underestimate a Swiss wine!

First, I must admit that finding information on Swiss wines to share with an English audience has been difficult and somewhat limited. These local award-winning wines are promoted and celebrated locally, which means international press and articles are difficult to come by. Also, and let’s be honest, the Swiss are modest people. So modest, in fact, that we didn’t know that by moving to Morges we were relocating to one of the biggest powerhouses in Swiss wine production: the region known as La Côte. The area where we live has been producing wine since the 1200s and in 1547, the township of Morges became the proprietors of Domaine de la Ville de Morges. That’s right, our community owns a vineyard that it is seriously worth taking notice of!

With a space of over 50ha, the Domaine de la Ville produces 13 different wines including red, white and rosé varietals. Included on this list:
La Grand’Rue Chasselas Reserve
-2015 World Champion Chasselas
-Médaille D’Argent au Grand Prix du Vin Suisse 2015
-Lauriers d’Or Terravin 2015
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Also produced by the Domaine de la Ville: Les Guérites with the Millésime 2013 recently winning the Médaille D’Or au Grand Prix du Vin Suisse 2015. The Millésime 2013 will be available for sale in December this year and also received the distinction of being nominated in the category of meilleur vin d’assemblage rouge.

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A shout out of congratulations must also be given to Domaine de la Ville de Morges for recently winning 5 medals at the 2015 Swiss Wine Grand Prix (3 silver and two gold). Not bad for a local vineyard!

So it only stands to reason that I must now follow this post with a second one in the coming weeks including a visit to the vineyard, samplings and suggested food pairings. I suffer for my writing but it is worth it for the sake of education 😉 !
Any takers on paying a visit to the Domaine with me?

For now I will continue to enjoy my glass of Le Protagoniste at night!

To the winemakers at Domaine de la Ville, I hope to see you soon. Continue to strive for excellence and just know that your fan base is growing!

Photo credits: Fotolia, Domaine de la Ville de Morges

Where have I been…?!

The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.

-Andre Maurois

Apologies my few and far between readers. It has been a lifetime and a half since I last took some time to write here. It was not on purpose. It was not out of avoidance. It was, quite simply, because I was enjoying my life. Moving here has brought me a sense of peace I didn’t know I was missing. Well, maybe that isn’t entirely true. I knew it, I just wouldn’t dive into dealing with it. I lean towards ‘make the most out of a bad situation’ type of personality but I know the limits of that. I know it stops me from really opening Pandora’s box somedays. I know it helps me put up a wall when I should be asking for help. It is my strength and weakness all wrapped up into one curly-haired mess. It is me.

But here I am, a few months into the Swiss Experience and I am in love. Big love. Like that kind where ‘you can’t stop smiling and want nothing more than to spend more time with it’ love. This is NOT to say Switzerland is perfect. Far from it. But right now, it is perfect for me. It’s perfect for rediscovering my mojo. It is perfect for my family. It has become my home faster than any other place I have lived. I think that deserves the credit it is due. Home was instant for us here, it wasn’t forced.

Thumbs up from Plage Préverenges.
Thumbs up from Plage Préveranges.

So where do we go from here? I have a bunch of stuff lined up for the coming months. I not only plan to talk about myself (because, hello, this is a blog!) but I also have trips planned to discuss and review. It’s my pleasure to do the dirty work of finding places here for others to enjoy 😉

Take care, my readers. I know I abandoned you for a while. I needed to abandon myself for a while, figure out how I was doing and then get on with it. I am there now. In a big, bad way! Those who know me as Hartless, never fear. I haven’t gone soft on you just yet…!

Big hugs and kisses from Fondueland.

Photo credits: Jennifer Hart

A long overdue “hello” from Swiss Miss!

Apologies to my dear blog for taking some time off. I know it has been far too long but with too much on our plates for June and most of this month, something had to slip and it was you.  The truth is, I’ve thought about blogging daily! Whether it was back in Paris or once we arrived here, there have been countless moments where I have wanted to write but time, stress and other priorities took over. Never fear, I am back.

So, here we are! We are newly minted permit-holders for SWITZERLAND!!! If you have ever lived abroad you can probably relate to how we felt the day our permits were ready.  There is just something very very official about your ‘move’ once you are holding a permit that allows you to live, work and play in another country. It’s also very nerve-wracking in the weeks leading up to receiving such permits. The what-ifs are endless and although the likelihood of something going wrong is very low, it is also not unheard of in the expat world. Nevertheless, we are here, we have permits, hear us roar!!

Since arriving, we have worked hard to set up the new house despite a massive spike in temperatures and the 3 flights of stairs (whose idea was it to live in a house!?) to carry stuff and up and down. The juniors have been great and thus we have treated them to afternoons ‘off’ from boring house stuff. We are lucky enough to live by the water so trips to the beach and/or the water park have been plenty! One early purchase has been an inflatable stand up paddle board which ALL of us have taken to using. I am sure, given the opportunity, that the dog would give it a go, as well.

There is so much left to do and things to figure out but we will get there. For now, all I can say is that our life is at a pace that matches us so much better right now.  The kids are loving being able to ride their bikes all over town and to the beach. The dog and I have been enjoying 6am runs along the water (where he then shows off his biathlete skills with a swim!). Mr H has such a short commute that he is able to walk to and from work for the very first time. Life will still have its ups and downs here, but we feel like we can breathe for the first time in years and for me, as the maman of this family, that makes me very very zen.

A few photos from our life here in Switzerland:

Préverenges Beach
Préverenges Beach
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Alphorns at the Saturday morning farmer’s market!
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Miss M colouring outside
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Go go go! Cycling along Lac Léman!
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Water park across the street from us.
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Can you spot Leni swimming in the lake???
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Buddy learning to stand up paddle board
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Miss M learning to stand up paddle board

Photo credits: Jennifer Hart