Swiss Semaine du goût: 8 more good taste days
Reminder – long weekend in Switzerland
Start your day with a good, healthy breakfast! In this case, my breakfast Thursday at the Bellevue Palace in Bern, which I think offers one of the best hotel morning buffets in Switzerland.
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – This is the year when the Swiss Semaine du goût, or Taste Week, 12-22 September, appears to be tickling the Swiss world’s tastebuds, thanks to widespread participation. Everyone, everywhere, it seems, is taking part, from schools and museums to the army and the police in the 12th year of this national event.
Reminder: Monday is a national holiday, Geneva excepted: the Jeûn Fédéral.
The Semaine du goût began in France in 1990 and Switzerland created its own version in 2001, holding it every year in September while the French do it in October.
GenevaLunch.com is no exception: our “what’s on this weekend” focuses on the week ahead, starting with some great opportunities to learn more about your taste buds and how they work by sampling some of the great fare in Switzerland – food, wine and more – often in surprising place. I’ll be writing a little less political news in the coming week to offer you features related to food and wine in Switzerland.
This isn’t a week about over-indulgence: the focus is on learning to appreciate quality local products, sustainable agriculture.
I’ll be sharing with you every day for the next week names and details of my personal recent picks – favourite Swiss wines, based on tastings at competitions (I’m a judge for several), at food & wine events and my own visits to cellars.
First the weather forecast
MeteoSwiss tells us to expect mixed and cool weather this weekend, varying from highs of 20-22C Saturday with sunshine giving way to cloudiness and rain towards the end of the day – possible heavy rainfall on the western plain and around Lake Geneva, sunnier in Valais, but with rain late in the day. Temperatures falling Sunday, with highs from 14-17C, but look for an improvement later in the day. Monday highs of 17C and the snow line will fall to 1600 metres with precipitation expected late in the day.
Autumn weather with rain, so don’t forget your jacket and umbrella!
How to find out what’s on
A memorable dinner for the opening of the Semaine du goût in Bern 11 September
You’ll find a complete list of events, Swiss-wide, on the Taste Week site, with a very good search option, and the lists for the city of Geneva (48 participants) and Lausanne on their web sites. Lausanne, selected as the 2013 City of Taste, has been running a wonderful and dynamic food and wine discovery programme that finishes at the end of September. You still have time to discover its treasure chest of markets, places to eat, and places to learn more about food and wine.
Geneva offers a map for its 48 participants, making it easier to find an event or restaurant taking part, by location. The city is also offering for the first time restaurants that have the programme called Table du Goût, where they select their level of participation in terms of quantity and quality: standard, superior, excellent. Geneva also promotes this week its year-long programme called Les ambassadeurs du terroir, a quality certificate that must be renewed each year, given to cafes, restaurants and hotels that put the accent on using good quality local products – a useful list throughout the year, for those who like to eat well.
Taste Week offers special meals at eateries but also other events. I’ve selected some of the most interesting Swiss non-restaurant events for our sister site, and included a handful of special restaurant ones for our sister site, Events.GenevaLunch.com.
A lively start to the 10-day programme
The week kicked off officially in Bern Wednesday night with a gala dinner to open Swiss Wine Week. The 250 guests sampled a selection of 18 top wines from the six wine-producing regions. The wines accompanied an extraordinary meal featuring dishes from around the country, fine cuisine prepared by two groups of chefs,. The result was a meal that would leave no one in doubt: one of Switzerland’s strengths is the quality of its food products, gastronomy and its wines.
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Vreni Giger from Apenzell, who took over the Jägerhof bistrot in St Gallen at the tender age of 23 and turned it into a nationally acclaimed restaurant, was introduced as this year’s Semaine du goût “godmother”.
Swiss Wine Promotion worked with Gault & Millau to create new awards, and the winners were announced during the gala dinner:
Best Swiss restaurant wine menus
Winner: Hotel de la Gare in Lucens, Suter family, for its richly varied collection of excellent local wines and bottles from all six Swiss wine regions
Other top Swiss restaurant wine menus:
– Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken
– Schauenstein, Furstenau
– Domaine de Châteauvieux, Satigny, Genève
– Le Grand Chalet, Gstaad
– L’Ermitage des Ravet, Vufflens-le-château
– Bellevue Park hôtel & Spa, Adelboden
– Alpenblick, Widerswil
– Kreuz, Emmen
– Frutt Lodge & Spa, Melchsee-Frutt
Rookie winemakers of the year
Winners: Alexandre Delétraz from Cave des Amandiers in Saillon, canton Valais, and Jan Luzi from the Domaine Sprecher von Bernegg in Jenins, canton Graubuenden. The judges’ favourite wines by the winners: Syrah for Alexandre Delétraz and the Pinot Noir Von Pfaffen / calender.