September/October is time for Foire aux vins in France. Time to refill those empty spaces in the wine cellar. Try out new wines, restock on old favourites. I enjoy a good red wine. But most of all, I enjoy the grapes. My favourites being Muscat(dark) and Chasselas(green). So I’ll have the grapes now and save the wine for later.

…let there be wine…

Sabre à champagne – a tradition dating from the Napolean empire. Coming back from a battle, the cavalry would pay tribute to victory, vigour, virility and of course…women, by opening up bottles of champagne with theatrical flaunt and flare. The cold bottle is held at the bottom and with a swift movement of the sable from bottom to the neck, the “cork is popped” right under the rim. A clean chop, leaving no shattered glass.

(Edit: I just realized how crooked this sword looks with the completely “off” shadow under the blade! Yes,  I confess. I held the sword in my hand and thus cheated on “seeing” the shadow on the surface…now that says a lot for competence…and I didn’t have a single sip!)

…”en garde!”..

Some fancy bottle openers are available today. The most efficient and quickest still remains the “couteau de sommelier“, which is the all-in-one every “garcon” (waiter) walks around with in his pocket.

And how about a decanter for aged wines to separate from their deposits, or a carafe for a young wine to “breathe”

…”1 2 3 breathe!, 1 2 3 breathe”…

I did intend to do more sketches showing the fun of the Foire aux vins, but laziness got the better of me. I think I’ll just stick to finishing the grapes I’ve sketched and open a Pomerol with dinner tonight.

Sketches done in pen and watercolour on Fabriano artistico block, 22×29, 5cm.

19 thoughts on “Foire aux vins(Wine fair)

  1. Oh Ronell it is sooooo good to see these posts, I have missed you so much!! I do hope you feel strong ( and naughty 😉 Love the grapes and sabre and openers, everything you touch sparkles with vibrancy! Relax, have a glass (or two) and keep feeding us with your posts please!

  2. These are so ‘France’ and fun, even without sketching the actual fair. Eat lots of red grapes – they’re good for you! A friend of ours does that Sabre a Champagne as his party trick, it never fails to get oohs and aahs = so swashbuckling! Great to see these, Ronell, they’re terrific.

  3. Goodness, I wish someone would uncork a bottle of champagne for me with a sabre!

    Gorgeous sketches, Ronell the corkscrews are wonderful and I love your crystal wine jug. Most of all I love seeing you posting again!

  4. I’m feeling the “pathos” of the wine and the gorgeous colours of your watercolours. Wan’t mind be there and taste the good red wine but if you want come to Portugal and I’ll made you taste very good wine, particularly, the red one, not speaking of a vintage of Port Wine.

  5. Those grapes are so luscious and yummy looking. They have a certain unique Ronell-like exuberance about them. So glad you are feeling better and painting again.

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