We all travel the whole world and have seen destinations that take 24hours to get there… but what we tend to forget is that our own country or maybe even the area where we live has so much to offer and so many things to discover. In my case I’m talking about Belgium, but I think it counts for everybody all over the world. Not that it is wrong to travel the world, but from time to time instead of planning a city trip or a weekend abroad just pick a closeby destination in your own country. So that’s what I did last weekend in company of a few gastronomical friends like William Wouters & Ingrid (pazzo), Andy de Brouwer (Les Eleveurs) and Aristide Spies (3rd best sommelier of the world) to name a few. Together we discovered a green area just outside Brussels aka “Pajottenland” that until last weekend was a place I only knew by name.
The initial plan was to discover the gently rolling hills using scooters, but as most people didn’t feel like it the plan got changed and we started our day with a tour in a prairie schooner aka horse and carriage. I had the feeling I was somewhere in France… it might have been the weather and the fact I was speaking French with Aristide, but it did feel like France. Have look at the below pictures and I’m sure you’ll agree?
During our carriage ride I had to think of my mom, it was when we stopped at the windmill used in a Belgian Television series from when she was young “Captain Zeppos”.I’m sure if she would have been there she would have been very excited to see it :-). It was great to hear the mill keeper talk with so much passion about his windmill works and how it is build. I don’t know if you guys ever visited a wind mill, but I was very impressed of how they are designed knowing they are from over 600 years ago. We also had our portion of workout for the day as we had to help to turn the Mill in the good wind direction and it is heavier than one thinks! If you ever get the chance I would definitely visit an old wind mill.
From all that working out and being on the carriage our throats started to get dried out… Lucky for me I was visiting the “Pajottenland” with world renowned sommeliers and they took care of the beverage part 🙂
It all started with a nice aperitif right under the “Witse” tree. FYI “Witse” is another Belgian TV series (crime) I have to admit is started to feel like a tour at the Belgian version of Universal city 🙂
Anyhow the first drink to make our throats less dry was the2000 Poème Cuvée by Glinaros. It might surprise you, but this was/ is a Greek sparkling wine and I didn’t expect it to be this good. The taste had (to me) something dark chocolaty to it and it reminded me a bit of Delamotte champagne , but maybe saying this is like swearing in a church…
We continued our aperitif or better wine tasting at “Het wijnatelier”. At ‘het wijnatelier’ they have a very interesting motto “wine is culture. One does not drink culture. Culture is something you experience. The same goes for wine.” is cultuur. Anyhow if you ever want to have a nice wine tasting I think “Het wijnatelier” is definitely a good location for it! Already for the fact that it is located in a very beautiful building which used to be the old butchery of the current owner’s parents or I even think grandparents. I was really in love with the interior!! On top of that you also get some very nice not always very well-known wines. As you might have guessed after knowing what we had as first taster, the theme of the wine tasting was Greek wines 🙂 that got accompanied with the appropriate appetizers.
We almost tasted the whole gamma wines from the Glivanos (sorry website only in Greek)estate. (Besides the rosé). Overall nice wines that tasted very fresh and waaaay better than the Retsina I used to remember from years ago when I was in Greece. I was surprised of the good quality of the Greek wines. Although for me they missed something (not sure what though)… Maybe it is just the fact they weren’t Italian ;-). No no, just kidding. This tasting did open my eyes and my intrest in getting to know more Greek wines. Anyhow there is only one way to find out for you is tasting them at a wonderful place called “Het wijnatelier”. (It had a good vibe)
In my next blogpost I’ll tell you about THE most famous product from the Pajottenland!
To be continued….