Paris and Purchases


 

As I mentioned in the previous post, France was freezing (not really, but it was cold after our jaunt to Portugal) and I only packed for warm, sunny weather (sun dresses and sandals) so I had to wear the same thing over and over again (this was very difficult for me). As a result, you will not see ANY pictures of me (picture me with my dad’s red sweater, jeans, and running shoes, walking though the streets of Paris. I would have been shown the exit had I walked into Hermes dressed like this). In fact, ALL pictures of me from this part of the trip have been burned…SO, we’re skipping past the photos of Paris and ending the European vacation on the few items that I purchased.

One of my favorite fountains by Niki de Saint Phalle. (Remember the Howard Jones video (What Is Love?) from a million years ago filmed here?)

 

 

 

 

First up, a bottle of wine we purchased on our way home in Paris, which was quickly consumed…and the wine bottle holder from Chambord (it’s some kind of a wild boar, though it’s difficult to tell from the pictures).
Kusmi Tea: I’ve never tried it, but it smelled divine and I like the packaging. I’ll keep you posted when I sample it.
Some bowls from Portugal, in the southern style that were oh so cheap. I can’t wait to use these!
A trio of condiment bowls atop a small platter that I purchase in Lisbon.
…and a close up of one of the bowls taken off of the serving platter…

I also purchased a couple of scarves in Paris, but I’m not sure where they’ve walked off to. It’s hard to believe that I didn’t buy anything else. All of these pieces, like everything else that I’ve bought will go into storage in Amman until we’re reunited in the States in a few months. At this point, it will be like Christmas when I get to unwrap all of the treasures that I’ve been collecting over the course of 15 months–all of the items from Egypt (which I never got around to posting), the icons and bowls from Israel, the pottery from Jordan, the mosaics, the Syrian furniture…

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Wine Tasting in Jordan? OMG!


Who knew that Jordan produced wine? Not me. What’s even more exciting is that this particular winery is completely organic (and certified organic)! No big deal for people who have access to Whole Foods, but for me here, this is huge!

We went wine tasting today at St. George’s Winery, near the Syrian border (literally steps away), about an hour outside of Amman. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was surprised by a gem in the midst of nowhere.

Vineyards off in the distance

 We pulled up in front of the estate on the property, a fairly large home (tasting room?) and were welcomed in by friendly staff. The interior of the home was set up for the wine tasting followed by lunch. In the backyard was a beautiful and inviting swimming pool, which we were invited to use after lunch.
The estate on the property
The swimming pool

The tour of the grounds began next to the pool in front of a large pond (or  water containment area) used for irrigating the vines. The tour guide explained  that the pond (fed from wells below ground) contains over 55,000 fish (some koi, some carp). The fish produce nitrate in the water, which they use to irrigate the fields. The fish, along with many other biodiversity techniques are used throughout the operation: to keep the birds out of the grapes, they brought in falcons and owls; chickens are used to aerate  the ground and to dig up worms; doves are also used to eat worms that attack the grapes; (they brought something else in to keep the foxes from eating the chickens, but I can’t remember what he said).

Fish in the pond producing nitrate for irrigating the fields
A feeding frenzy

After our brief introduction to the winery, we walked us through rows and rows of vines, sampling Muscat, Pinot noir, Shiraz, Chardonnay, and lots of other grapes right off the vine. Planted alongside the vines are rosemary, sage, and mint– all natural insect repellents and on the ground of each row is barley to extract salt from the soil.

Sage

Rosemary

Barley

After the tour, we returned back to the main house and were treated to nine wines: 4 whites, one rose, and 4 reds and a fantastic lunch (As a side note,  I was shocked to see the rose had 16% alcohol! ) Unfortunately, there was no gift shop–something they need to get working on.

Here’s a link to a CNN piece on St. George’s Winery.