Letters from Lodi

An insightful and objective look at viticulture and winemaking from the Lodi
Appellation and the growers and vintners behind these crafts. Told from the
perspective of multi-award winning wine journalist, Randy Caparoso.

Randy Caparoso
July 11, 2011 | Randy Caparoso

Bastille Day at Wine & Roses!


The Wine & Roses Restaurant

An authentic French style celebration at Lodi’s Wine & Roses


The Wine & Roses courtyard

Ah, the outdoor communal tables attended by long white aproned servers, steaming bowls of saucissse de Toulouse (pork sausages) and ratatouille passed under rays of a fading summer sun sifting through verdant Van Gogh greenery, with the tinkling of glasses filled with kir, Lillet blanc or even the dizzying, mysterious Absinthe in harmony with laughter of friends and gay accordéon de musique

No, this is not Midnight in Paris… this will be a first-time (for Lodi!) celebration authentique of Bastille Day, taking place in the outdoor cobbled courtyard of Wine & Roses, the Delta wine country’s premier hotel and dining destination, this coming Thursday, July 14, commencing at 6 PM, just as the light turns golden and breezes swirling in from the San Joaquin River begin to caress the skin.

According to Wine & Roses spokesperson, Heather Reagan, Bastille Day not only commemorates the founding of the modern French Republic, “it is a day of celebrations of French culture, when many large scale public events are held in France as well as all around the world.  In Paris, there is a grand military parade followed by communal meals, dancing, parties and fireworks… we are excited to be among the many cities celebrating the 14th of July.”

Of course, it helps that the Wine & Roses Executive Chefs Didier Gerbi and Fabrice Dubuc are French, and thus very much familiar with the tradition.  Says Wine & Roses proprietor Kathy Munson, “it’s a great day to celebrate togetherness and rejoice in community… we are looking forward to a fantastic fête!”


The chefs will be serving this meal family style on communal tables, à la français, which will include at least nine courses ranging from salads of haricots verts and pois chiches (chick peas) to mergez d’Agneau (lamb sausages) and Delta grown summer fruits with jambon cru du pays Basque (Serrano ham).  Complete for just $40 per person.

Offered à la carte will be all the apéritifs (like Dubonnet, Pastis Pernod, Lillet, peach and cassis kirs, and sparkling wines like Crémant de Limoux an and Bollinger and Laurent-Perrier Champagnes), les bieres (Stella Artois, La Divine and La Goudal) and digestifs (the after-dinner adult refreshments) associated with French style dining.

Add to that, live Bal-musette:  the immensely appealing music of French cafés and dance halls harking back to 1880s, recognizable by its minor keys that speak of an underlying sadness that only emphasize the jaunty melodies expressing the glory, the profane, the resilience of the human spirit.

Pourquoi pas?  Wine & Roses Hotel is also offering special overnight packages that include a King Room, tickets to this Bastille Day celebration, and breakfast the following morning.  For Bastille Day reservations, contact the W&R restaurant at 209.371.6160 or e-mail  Viva pays du vin Lodi!




Lodi Wine Visitor Center
2545 West Turner Road Lodi, CA 95242
Open: Daily 10:00am-5:00pm

Lodi Winegrape Commission
2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA 95242
Open: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

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