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How I ended up being invited to François Chartier’s wine tasting event…

I’m gonna start this post by quoting my good friend François…

The story was staged at night, high in the sky, between Montreal and Paris.


I met François Chartier on my flight to Paris in late June of this year.  It’s funny how life works in mysterious ways.  Personally, I believe that nothing happens for no reason and that everything is connected and well calculated by this magical force all around us.  I was not suppose to sit where I sat on that plane.  When I received my first boarding pass, the fly attendant gave me a different seat but just when I was ready to go, some sort of feeling came to me and I suddenly felt obligated to ask her if she had gave me a seat close to a window.  What can I say, I enjoy looking at the sky when I fly, it’s relaxing and magical to my eyes.  I also kind of have a little “ritual” when I travel and it’s to listen to the song “Life Goes On” from the Long Beach Dub All Star while the plane take off as I look through the window and we pass inside the fluffy clouds.  …don’t ask, that’s just what I do :P

Back to the boarding pass story, the fly attendant realized that she didn’t in fact, give me a window seat so she changed it!  And with this simple question and by trusting my inner voice, I had mold my future in a way that I find pretty awesome and unexpected.

You know, everybody have a bucket list.  Just a few things that you want to accomplish or try out before you die.  Going to a wine tasting event was one of the things I had on my bucket list.  I always thought it looked so fun to be in this sort of social events, wearing fancy clothes, tasting wine and eating small bites while looking at who of the fancy ladies over there were going to break the first wine glass. ahahah

Joke aside, I’m a very simple person but once in a while I enjoy a little bit of jet set nights, where you always meet interesting and passionate people.  It create interesting blog posts (like this one) and you always end up leaving with wonderful memories.  Lucky for me, I have really sweet friends who invite me to social events happening in Montreal from time to time but never the wine tasting event came up.


On my flight to Paris, on my way to Budapest, I met a friend.  Stuck in a 3 seats section for 8h, I got to know a little bit more who’s M. Chartier and I have to admit that he’s a very friendly, simple and humble person.  We chatted for 6-7h straight about wine, food, life and travel.  I told him about my cooking blog, we started chatting about his books.  It’s really rare that I get to have such interesting conversations with my seat partner on a plane, even if I often try to say hi in hope that it sparks a dialogue, it’s never that interesting.  I don’t know why people don’t talk to each others more.. it’s true after all.. aren’t we all humans seeking for the same friendship and happiness in the end?

At that time, I had no idea who he was and I probably looked a bit retarded for not knowing him but eh… we all, at least once, have one of those moments in our life right?!  lol

Only weeks later, his name came up in one of the very interesting foodie conversations I often have with my next door neighbor and this is where I remembered that I had heard that name (François Chartier) before.  After my palpitating food and wine conversation, I ran back home and checked the business card I had left on my desk from that gentleman I met on the plane.  As a matter of fact, it was really him and I suddenly felt embarrassed for not insisting more on taking a photo together while we were at the baggage check in Paris just before we split ways and I ran to go catch my next plane.


The next day I wrote François an email, explained what happened (apologized for not recognized him) and I kind of felt less embarrassed to do so.  Mister Chartier seem to be a spiritual individual and he believe that nothing happens without a reason.  If we met on that plane and got along so well… it must be for something bigger, something probably delicious too since I’m all about food and he’s all about wine!

When he answered my email, that’s where he invited me to the launch of his new line of wine, in Montreal that took place on October 1.  

…Do I need to explain how excited I was??!


Arriving at the event, it was exactly like I had in mind…  Long red carpet to get to the entrance, great location in Montreal’s old port, fancy people… although some were dressed a bit too casual for my taste… great food and obviously amazing wine!  They gave us a “taste map” showing the 4 different bottles we were going to try that night with some small, yet incredible appetizers that were a perfect match for each of the wine.  My personal favorites (in term of appetizers) was the bison tataki and the celeriac and tarragon poutine.  There was also the tasty Parmesan and black tea (there is tea in it, go figure I was going to like it) “chip on a stick” that looked like a cute lollipop and was also delicious and interesting.  …probably to be re-done for this blog in the future.


Now I wish I could tell you how much of an incredible wine connoisseur I am but it would be a lie.  I’m definitely a wine lover, I have been for years, but I never really took the time to learn about all the different seepage, aromas and breeds.  One thing I can assure you, is that the 4 different bottles I tasted at the official launch of this new Chartier line were beyond amazing.  My personal favorites are without a doubt the “TOSCANA” (red) and the “LE BLANC 2012 PAYS D’OC IGP“ (white).

All wines were very well balanced and elegant, I also find that the marketing idea on the label is very interesting and “out of the box”.  Each labels are showing you straight up a few ingredients that have the same aromatic molecules as the wine you are about to buy.  It makes it then easier for you to elaborate recipes and isn’t  it what the 2013 marketing idea is all about?  Making everything more simple for everybody so we can have more time to enjoy life without too much complication.


Another great feature of this new line… Each bottles are very affordable!  How many time did you think that you spent too much on a wine bottle?  I know I did, and it’s never fun to know you spent over 23$ on something that you’re not 100% happy with.  Next time I’m buying wine for either a fancy dinner party or just for my every day life, I’ll consider buying a Chartier instead of playing the guessing game and not being sure if I’m getting all the quality I deserve for the price I paid.

Finally, I’m really looking forward to start cooking and matching dishes with these bottles in my upcoming articles.  I’m planning to also include a much more detailed explanation for each bottles and tips of how to serve them to fully enjoy all the delicious flavors.  Till then, I really hope that you’ll take the chance to try out this new line of 4 bottles of wine from Francois Chartier available in all the SAQ all around the province of Quebec (for the moment) because if you don’t… well… it’s pretty much going to be your lost because they are delicious and you don’t know what you’re missing!






Comments: (5)

5 Responses to “How I ended up being invited to François Chartier’s wine tasting event…”

  1. […] I met François Chartier on my flight to Paris in late June of this year.  It’s funny how life works in mysterious ways.  Personally, I believe that nothing happens for no reason and that everything is connected and well calculated by this magical force all around us.  I was not suppose to sit where I sat on that plane. Read more: http://zestyandspicy.com/bloggingandlife/how-i-ended-up-being-invited-to-francois-chartiers-wine-tas… […]

  2. Luis Eduardo says:

    The truth is nice to know that Ariel Rebel is a great chef, and this event was more than worthy for her and her companion, wine is something quite intense, and I like it that she has as good magnitude events and their tastes :) , I hope and have more such events for you can enjoy Ariel and happiness and health.WHO KNEW THAT GREAT A: François Chartier! and so asistieras to this event. (@krizalid_yagami)
    your faithful admirer ;)

  3. 1094513 says:

    (1) congrats and bon apetite!
    (2) always remember you must not drive after drinking, nor after crashing (in my personal case I did so I became what I am)
    (3) do you know if I can buy any of that online?
    (303) cheers!
    (986) hic!

  4. […] in mouth, kind of fruity of the side and perfectly light the way I wanted.  I didn’t know Francois Chartier at that time but if I did, I would have probably texted him to ask him what he thought of our […]

  5. […] One of the book I picked up (see the photo lower in the post) had this recipe for marinated cauliflower florets that was playing in the zesty, tangy tones and I thought that it would be the perfect guilt free food for the hot weather we have over Montreal this week.  This is obviously not at all the same recipe but it plays in the same family of aroma if I can take the words out of the mouth of my friend François. […]

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