Thursday, November 15, 2012

Beaujolais nouveau 2012

Despite a very low harvest due to the weather, the famous Beaujolais wine is expected today Thursday 15th on the tables. The harvest in Beaujolais this year has been perhaps the lowest production in 10 years as a result of the poor spring weather. However, producers have insisted that the small grapes of this year mean concentrated flavour, thus more complex 2012 wines.  
True connoisseurs and simple enthusiasts are all eagerly waiting to taste and criticize the Beaujolais nouveau 2012.  


Why is the Beaujolais nouveau so awaited for?
The appointment is taken each year the third Thursday of the month of November. This date is indeed marks the end of the winemaking and start of the marketing of this wine. While previously no wine could  be sold prior to December 15, several wine-growing unions have lobbied so that some of them can be released before this date. Thus was born the "Beaujolais nouveau" name in 1951. Then, the exact date of authorization was set in 1985 at the third Thursday of November for practical reasons: not too close to the weekend or on 11 November. Since then, every year on this date, red wine lovers flock to celebrate and enjoy the vintage of the year.


What makes a good Beaujolais? 

The Beaujolais is a young wine.  A  good Beaujolais would be made from a natural yeast. 


How much does it cost a bottle of Beaujolaisnouveau?
The Beaujolais is a wine averagely priced between 4 and 9 euros.

The Beaujolais in Numbers:

  • In France, the three regions that consume the most of this wine are the Paris region with 9 800 hl (1.3 million bottles), Eastern region (7 400 hl or 990 000 bottles) and Central - East (6465 hl or 862 000 bottles).
  • Internationally it is Japan, North America and Germany the countries that consume the largest quantities of Beaujolais.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tax changes in France to affect foreign homeowners.

France’s new government has announced tax raises, targeting wealthy households, worth 7.2 billion euros.  The new changes will be retroactive and will affect non-resident second home owners in France, as well as French expats who live abroad but still own a property here.

The major changes that will affect foreign homeowners and French expats are:

  • Increase of capital gains tax from 19% to 34.5%. 
  • Increase of Taxation on Rental income from 20% to 35.5%

The tax on rental income is retrospective and will be applied from the 1st of January 2012 while the increase of capital gains tax will take effect from August 2012.

However, if you already live in France and pay your taxes here, nothing changes for you.  Meaning that if you already have rental income from a furnished property (for example, a gite) then you will not be affected by the increase in taxes. 

Also, if your French house is your main residence you will not be affected by the rise on capital gains tax; and remember that after 30 years of owning a house you are not due any capital gains tax neither. 

For more details about taxes in France including some useful Vocabulary you can read my article Tax in France on Hubpages. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Spring is Here

Spring is finally here and with it, the fields are full of colour again.   We have been spoiled with a choice of wild flowers and perennials coming back brightly after a hard winter.  These are my favourite ones:

Peony flowers, from the garden, in bright pink.

I think it is a miracle that we could have these lovely flowers after the extremely hard winter that we had.  The peony bush/tree had dissapeared completely and then all of a sudden there it was back again, first a few leaves and then a bunch of fragant bright pink peonies!

Several plants died over the winter but most of them have managed to make it through.  It is amazing that we only lost one rose tree and one of the peach trees in the garden.   Even the wild strawberries managed to make their way through the abandoned back garden where the boys were trying to save them a few weeks ago.  Have a look for yourself below and see my two favourite boys trying to save the strawberries:

The season starts now, it is time to go out and enjoy the first rays of sun and the balmy afternoons while taking care of your garden making sure you respect the wildlife.  Remember that all those little wild flowers in your garden are the foodsource of numerous buttlerflies and insects and therefore of the birds that feed on them.  Try to leave a few corners wild and set little water containers so that insects and birds have access to water.  Another good idea is to mow your lawn with the mower set on a higher setting to leave enough wild daisies and other plants for insect and bird feeding.

Enjoy the Spring!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Winter in the French countryside

Winter finally arrived with temperatures as low as -16 on my little part of the world.  It's been freezing cold but that has not been enough to stop me going out.