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Hmmmmm. I think you had better move to the South! Having eleven French, German, English and Americans last night for dinner, we broke every single one of your rules! As we always say, "It is wine-thirty." Join us for a glass of wine----now!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond

Sbbbt! Wine-thirty? Now that is a great rule.

Seriously, I knew the rule about no alcohol until everyone arrives but did not know the "no wine until 7pm" rule -- Yikes! No wonder they think American's are crass. I didn't know about the rules. Now, I know so what am I to do?? I think that your husband has the right idea, "American rules apply!"

Thank you for a delightful post! Gotta run as it is "wine-thirty."

Charmaine Thompson

thanks - sounds like the Italian's rules for cuppachino.. and i so do like my natuarally sweet red wine (with ice blocks!!!!!) any time of the day after 11am..... wine 30 does it for me totally here in glorious South Africa. thanks for all the great bits of knowledge and recipes....

Marlane ONeill

We live in southern France not far from Toulouse, in a city called Narbonne. I can say that in this part of the country a glass of wine is frequently had as an aperitif at any time of day with or without food. Women DO pour the wine or champagne. Waiting until every guest arrives is normal but not 'de rigueur'. Water is frequently served along with the wine, but not as a deterrent to drinking wine. It could be that we are so flush with grapes and wine that the rules are less restrictive!


Very enlightening! Now that you mention it, the only women I saw pouring wine in France were American women. I just returned from a few weeks in the south of France. It was HOT!!!! We drank more water than wine.

cynthia at the daily basics

This is great- love the rules. Personally, I play by the Julia Childs book where she has an ongoing glass of wine while she is cooking. The longer it takes to prep a meal, the better. Those Roasted Pepper toasts look fabulous!!!


Well, this explains a few things that I've sensed but never heard expressed over the years. Thanks. (P.S.: Since an aperitif is de rigeur with your pre-dinner wine, you'll want to spell it correctly...)

Katy George

i never encountered your set of rules living in paris for 13 years! interesting....

Paige Harrison Adcock

Thank goodness that those of us in Paris do not comply with the rules of the counryside. I can go to my restautant, XVI , and order wine at any hour without so much as a lifted eyebrow! Or a Brandy, for those of us who love France! Paige


I think "wine-thirty" and American Rules" are the best! (YAY!)
Remember that (old) TV program "Love, American Style"?
Maybe we could change the word 'love' to,well... what else?
(Works for me!)
Love your posts! You have a wonderful talent for description and making all of us feel a part of your scene! Thanks! (And for the YUMMY recipes!)

Jim Hamm

Hi Lynn, from Jim Hamm in Prescott, AZ. My friend, Herm, who wrote a goat poem for you, sent the link to your blog to me. My wife (Zee) and I just returned from a month in France. We traveled from Normandy to Paris on a small river ship, 140 passengers. Spent a few days in Paris, then boarded a smaller river ship, 116 passengers, and cruised to Arles. We were then bused to Nice where we then flew home.

We cruised the Seine, the Saone and the Rhone rivers. We would stop at villages along the way and get a guided tour. Castles, museums, churches, vineyards, etc. We spent time in Lyon, near where you live. We loved the trip, France, and the French people. Your new life in France sounds wonderful. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog, and my wife and daughter like your recipes as well. Keep them coming.

One minor quibble: I don't like the rules for drinking wine, which you just mentioned. My rule is I'll drink no wine before its time, but somehow I find its always time...(grin)...Thanks for a great blog, and enjoy your new life in France. I did subscribe to your email letter......Jim

Elaine Street

We returned from France last year after living there for 5 years. We learned those rules too. The opening of the bottle and pop of the cork is almost ceremonial. The smelling of the cork to see if the wine is off is a must, looking at it, then swirling the wine, then last tasting. If it passes the host's tests, then the guests can at last partake... At times, I felt like I was in a French movie, watching the host and hostess effortlessly tend to the guests, pouring, serving ever so elegantly.... The background always lovely, the smells encouraging and the conversation so very important. I'm beginning to miss it all.... Enjoy it for me.. The best, Elaine Street


I am thoroughly enjoying your blog , Lyn ! I am now 70 and continue to want to travel to France....just one time. My husband is a stay-at-home. Maybe one day I can make the trip.
Thanks for the "rules". There must be many many more. I try your recipes! I am in love with the ingredients. And they are so easy to prepare. I have a Target Eiffel Tower lamp on my dresser ! Maybe one day I will make the trip. Keep up the gives me a chance to dream too !!


Lynn! This beats the pants off Peter Mayle! I love learning about all our cultural differences and intricacies! Although, I have to admit I think I'll retire to Italy instead.

clickable maps

This is great love the rules.Personally,I play by the Julia Childs book where she has an ongoing glass of wine while she is cooking.The opening of the bottle and pop of the cork is almost ceremonial.The smelling of the cork to see if the wine is off is a must,looking at it,then swirling the wine, then smelling at last tasting.

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