I grew up in Canada where I developed a love affair with all things French. The culture, art, and food always seemed so beautiful to me.
After high school, I moved to California for college. I was lucky enough to participate in a study abroad program through my school. We stayed in Mandelieu-la-Napoule in the Alpes-Maritimes Department of France which is right on the sea.
Most nights after dinner we would gather on blankets on the beach and enjoy some french cheese and rosé.
Although college ended long ago for me, I still long for those easy summer days with simple french food, delicious wine, and good conversations. I decided to put together a French-inspired happy hour for my friends.
The best part of planning a French themed happy hour is you can do whatever you want! It can be as simple as a bottle of good French wine and a small bowl of nuts or as elaborate as making French 75s and a putting out a spread of cheese, charcuterie, olives, and bread. French ingredients, especially french cheese, butter, and wine, are some of the best in the world.
I also served some olives, crackers, and a simple tomato spread.
We tried several French wines from Chateau D’Esclans, Mas De Daumas Gassac, and Trimbach.
Since rosés have been so popular in the U.S. these past few years, I’ve had Chateau D’Esclans Whispering Angel several times. It’s a great wine to have on hand throughout the summer for impromptu get togethers with friends.
The Mas De Daumas Gassac wines included a red and a rosé frizant. Both were great. The red will definitely become a new dinner favorite of mine. And the rosé frizant will be my new summer afternoon go-to. French rosés have a very distinctive, almost earthy taste. I wonder if this is because they are grown on land that has been producing grapes for so many more years than other countries.
Trimbach has been making wine since 1626. The wines we tried included a riesling and a pinot gris. The Trimbach riesling was dry and fruity. I would love to try it in the summer paired with grilled fish. The pinot gris was also dry, but a bit more full bodied than the riesling. Just my type!
Have you tried any of these delicious French products? I would love to hear if you have and what you thought. Or about any French food or wine that you love!
- 1 french baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1/4 cup President Butter at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped mixed herbs (such as basil, thyme, sage, parsley, dill, chives, tarragon, oregano, marjoram or rosemary)
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix President Butter, garlic, and herbs in a small bowl until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix again.
- Arrange baguette slices on two large rimmed baking sheets.
- Brush both sides with half of the butter mixture.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, turning once and brushing other side with additional butter mixture.
- Pro tip: Save your kitchen from endless crumbs! When you buy a fresh baguette ask to have it sliced for you. Most bakeries have a big machine to do this and don't mind at all.