When I was at the University of Toronto at Victoria College every fall I took a two week trip to Europe before I started classes.

I worked every summer as a very young head chef at Windermere House in Muskoka 7 days a week for about 5 months straight. One September armed with my First Class Eurail Pass (about 175 dollars) I headed for France. I flew to Nice on the Mediterranean with the intention of working my way back up to Paris. My goal was to taste first hand as many of France’s regional dishes as I could. Bouillabaisse in Marseilles, Cassoulet in Carcassone, Truffles and Foie Gras in the Perigord and the Charcuterie of Lyon.

Arriving in Lyon I headed straight to its famous outdoor market just in time to see Paul Bocuse (arguably the most famous chef in the world at that time) and his entourage cruising through the food stalls like an emperor.

Armed with a letter of introduction from a Lyonnaise trained chef who I worked with in Toronto I made a detour to a small town off the grid called Ampuis. It was there that I was destined to meet a winemaking family who were about to garner world-wide fame as “Kings of the Rhone”. Although I had never met my host before, for three days I was welcomed to sit at his family table and stay as a guest in a spare bedroom in his house. I learned more about the process and precision of making fine wine than I ever had before or have since. My generous and gracious host was Marcel Guigal. He learned his craft from his father Etienne. Marcel’s son Phillippe is now the boss.

And thus My Red House Wine (maybe feeling a bit nostalgic) the red I drink at home with friends is E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone 2013.

LCBO #259721 -19.95

Made from Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre grapes.

Flavours of black olives, plums, raspberries-a wine of elegance and finesse.

(Available at Fellinis by the glass!)