My Fair Muscadet: Plain Grape Turned Into Audrey Hepburn

Before New Year’s Eve kicks in, this Monday’s EU Austerity Drinking Tour post revisits a candy shop on France’s Atlantic Coast.

We zig zag through Nantes‘ medieval streets.

Nantes Medieval

Just another side-street.

The rain and gray sky drives us in and out of glittering shops.  But not far from city center glows Gorges Gautier: chocolatier:

Georges Gautier Chocolatier

A place of magic.

“Chocolate? But this an EU Austerity Drinking Tour travel post”, you wonder. Fret not. Past the window’s marzipan mountains and licorice forests, which look like a Francophilic Candyland, we spot Muscadet:

MuscadetChocolates

Green balls and chocolate wine bottles!

Inside, surrounded by a sea of gilding and ornate wood paneling, we go to the bar.   A magic mound of green foil promises chocolates with Nantes’ famed grape Muscadet and its spirit hide inside.

MuscadetBalls

Promising!

I follow my wife into a yarn shop.  While gets tangled in a rainbow of alpalca, sheep, and angora wools, the chocolate stares at me.

GautierChocoWrapped

Staring into my soul.

It whispers, “Eat me! She’ll never notice!”. I am curious. Be strong. Wait. Just for the sake of science, I will unwrap it.

MuscatChocolateUnwrapped

Resistance is futile!

Lovely cocoa aromas breath from the round brown ball, dusted on top with chocolate chips. “Quickly!” It says!

I look around. My wife has her hand stuck in a button jar.  Fine! You win!

Daintily, I take a small bite.  It explodes like a syrup-filled water-balloon.

KabboonChocolate

Kaaboom! Muscadet!

Loads of sweetness and alcoholic warmth play against salt and citrus notes.  A fat, drunk, golden muscadet grape swims in this chocolate hot tub.  My sticky fingers feed another bite. That plain, citric grape has transformed into something delicious, ridiculous, cloying, yet irresistible:

my-fair-lady-1964-03-g

Casual wear.

Before I can string this metaphor any further, my wife catches me.  I share the half.  She forgets yarn and enters euphoria.

High on sugar, we spend the rest of the day gleefully exploring Nantes.  A walk up the Arcade of Sciences, a mall devoted to the city’s scientific arts, is not too far from that crazy candy.

NantesHallofSciences

Ornate? Yes.

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