Felix Kir led quite a life. He was a French priest at the outbreak of the Second World War, though when he heard that the German army had infiltrated his town, and was stealing its wine, he was anything but holy! He started a resistance group which de-railed the trains transporting the Germans and the stolen wine, and saved the town's livelihood.
Kir went on to become the Mayor of Dijon from 1945 until his death (aged 92) in 1968. At local functions he'd always serve Kirs made from Crème de Cassis de Dijon and Bougogne Aligoté, a local white wine.
We thought that seeing as it was Felix Kir's birthday today, then we'd mix a Kir Royale, which uses bubbley instead of white wine, just to make things a little more celebratory...! Felix's original Kir Apéritif, made with Bougogne Aligoté is a great drink with a fascinating story.
We are not normally religiously minded around here, but when it comes to the patron saint of winemakers (not to mention vinedressers, vine-growers and all things grape-y) we like to make an exception. So Happy Saints Day, Saint Vincent of Saragossa!
Born in France, St. Vincent became Deacon of Saragossa in Aragon, Spain, under the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Like many martyrs of the time, he was tortured hideously (with the era's equivalent of a toasting fork), then thrown into the sea, where his remains were cast up on a promontory now known as Cape St. Vincent.
Quite how this prepared him to protect the vintners of this world, we do not know. But we do know that the USB Cocktail makes a drink so spiritual it is virtually a sacrament. It is based on the products of two of Saint Vincent's faves: Ugni (the Cognac grape) and Sauvignon Blanc. Cheers!
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