After a day exploring Zermatt and the Matterhorn, we arrive Thursday evening at Caprice du Temps, my friend’s family’s winery. The next day, they have their portes-ouvertes for their clients at their winery.
His brother (the winemaker) pours the wine. His god-father mans the cheese under the heat. They explain, this meat – this viande seché – the dried beef on the plate is made right there in the house. His mother’s secret recipe. I taste it.
Lovely. It melts in my mouth. I’m not a food writer, so I can’t explain the taste. Just enough spice, sliced thinly enough to melt in your mouth. Like that Seinfeld episode, The Slicer: “Look how thin that is, see that’s all surface area. The taste has nowhere to hide.”
The cheese. I didn’t get the name, but apparently, all the cheeses come from one of the mountains in the valley of Valais. Apparently, the only people who do raclette correctly or even remotely properly are those from Valais.
His parents are great. It’s good I understand a bit of French and can chat a tiny bit. Makes things easier. I have to ask my friend not to translate though. I’ll try expressing myself with my own words—thank you very much.
When they find out I’m from Canada, they laugh and tell my friend to tell me the story about the “picnic canadienne”. He says: “Bof…that happened 20 years ago and it was so shocking, you still talk about it.” Basically though, his parents had been invited to a picnic where they had to bring something to the BBQ. They made… and brought it and put it on the table. BUT when they went to eat it, it was all gone. Everybody else had eaten all of it.
And I realized that they had attended a potluck—or the original word is potlatch. And the fact that they called it a Canadian Picnic was probably derived from that. But I don’t think I could explain that coherently in French.
That day the day of “Les Portes Ouvertes” at their winery, clients and guests came to taste all the new wine and for the traditional raclette over polenta. The family has had this tradition for over 15 years. I said I would help out. I think I just got in the way. I took pictures to appear busy.
Have a look at their wines though. They produce a variety of wines local to their region (Valais). All tasty and really affordable.