Drinking in Paris and London

I have been to Paris three times and each time I have felt that I generally got good wine. To me, who knows nothing about wine, French wines taste better than the wine I get in America.

One of the reasons we were in Europe was so that I could give a paper at the Alcohol Drugs History Society conference, Under Control? Several of the other participants study wine from a historical perspective. When a bunch of us all went out to dinner one night, the wine scholars did not feel the house red wine was very good. It tasted fine to me. They ordered a bottle of something I don’t remember the name that did taste a lot better.

I do know something about beer although I think all of it is a matter of taste. While in Paris we bought large 16 oz. cans of Leffe Blonde. A Belgian Pale Ale, it is 6.6 % alcohol by volume (ABV). I really liked it. Leffe is light in color and has a very good flavor. It was refreshing and thirst quenching.

Leffe Blonde

Leffe Blonde

I usually drink beers that have a much more pronounced hop flavor but the Leffe hit the spot. It would be a great beer to have at a ball game, considerably better than what is usually available at Yankee stadium.

While in London we drank beer a lot. Although Britain is undergoing a craft beer revival, sparked in some ways by American craft brewing, I did not find beers that I liked as much as the beer I usually drink at home.

I did have Budvar, which in many parts of the world is called Budweiser, which I liked. It is a flavorful lager with much more body than its American counterpart. It was also served cold; most British beer is served at room temperature. Again this is a matter of taste but I am used to beer being cold, not too cold but not warm either.

The British beer I tasted, London Pride and Spitfire, were okay but neither had enough hops for my taste. I am sure that are British beers which are hoppier but I didn’t have the chance to drink them. That is probably a reason to go back.

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