Nick and I took a short drive up the road a few weekends ago to Colmar, France. It’s a quaint town in the Alsace region with colorful half-timber houses and cobblestone streets. And because Alsace has bounced back and forth between France and Germany like a ping pong ball, it’s a lovely mix of French and Teutonic — wine and beer, pretzels and pain au chocolate.
We had a wonderful time and learned a few things over the weekend.
Riesling doesn’t have to be sweet.
The Alsace region is known for its wine, so we went to the nearby town of Eguisheim, which is filled with tasting rooms. When we learned the region’s specialty was riesling, our hearts sank. Super sweet white wine? No thanks. Then we tasted it. And it was delicious, dry and refreshing. We came home with several bottles.
Venice isn’t just in Italy.
As if a taste of Germany and a taste of France weren’t enough, Colmar also boasts a taste of Italy with its Little Venice, complete with canals and gondola rides.
French and German food blend together wonderfully.
I always thought of the two countries as having very different menus. In my mind, Germany was all bratwurst, beer and pretzels, while France was mussels, wine and pastry.
So I was surprised at how well the two merged in Colmar. Bouillabaisse and coq a vin shared the menu with sausages and sauerkraut. Pastry shops sold apple fritters next to beignets, and bars served delicious local wine and beer.
It was heavenly.
Cora’s is amazing.
This tip I owe to the brilliant Brianne, who blogs at Cooking Chapbook (and who writes much more eloquently about food than I do). She lived in Germany and made several trips to France, where she learned to stop at Cora‘s on the way home. It’s a massive French version of Costco without the membership fee.
It’s full of delicious things, but the best deal is the wine. There are aisles of Bordeaux at bargain basement prices.