Talk wine and French language at the Bookworm
If you go ...
What: Book signing and wine tasting with Kristin and Jean-Marc Espinasse.
When: 2-5 p.m., Sunday.
Where: Bookworm of Edwards.
More Information: 970-926-7323, bookwormofedwards.com.
When Kristin Espinasse moved from America to France, she felt like a fish out of water. Little did she know, it would be her love of the French language itself that would make the country feel like home.
An author and blogger, Espinasse will be at the Bookworm in Edwards on Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m., along with her husband, wine maker Jean-Marc, for a complimentary wine tasting and book signing in partnership with Old World Wine Company and Riverwalk Wine and Spirits.
Espinasse didn’t know that embarking on a study abroad to France would change the course of her life. At a nightclub in Aix-de-Provence called Le Mistral, she met the man who would become her husband. A self-made farmer and wine maker, Jean-Marc captivated her immediately. “It was electrifying love at first sight,” Espinasse recalled in a press release.
So in 1992, she moved to France permanently to marry Jean-Marc and begin their lives together. Over the course of the next few years, she struggled to find her place in her new home. She found daily language and cultural adjustments especially difficult.
“I had always dreamed of being a writer,” Espinasse said, “but didn’t know how to begin or what to write about. I realized these struggles were something I could talk about.”
Her blog, “French Word A Day,” was born, and francophiles flocked to it.
The blog not only gave Espinasse a place to vent and find community, but also gave her the courage to step out of her comfort zone.
“I became a self-appointed reporter, which gave me license to talk to strangers, something I would not normally do,” Espinasse said.
After her blog got off its feet, she realized that there was even more potential to tell the story of her French life. She had been posting stories daily from her favorite cafes over cups of coffee, which gave her more than enough material for a book. And then another. And then another.
While Espinasse was making a name for herself in the book world, her husband was busy making his own mark on the world of wine.
“My husband’s trials and tribulations at that first vineyard we bought have been a big part of what I’ve written about, because it has been a big part of our lives, and because my readers are interested in France. Wine has been a welcome topic,” Espinasse joked.
The wine business has gone just as international as Espinasse’s books have. Over the last 20 years, Jean-Marc has been exporting French boutique wines to the United States. He has also been busy creating multiple wines of his own, most recently a natural Pinot Noir in Oregon named “Ephemera.”
Epinasse’s blog is now in its eighteenth year and still going strong. Her favorite word she’s encountered so far?
“Coucou,” she said, “a charming little greeting you hear a lot.” It is a warm expression of friends and neighbors, one with soul and heart, just like the best wines and a home on the French Riviera.
The Westin in Avon, The Ritz-Carlton at Bachelor Gulch and Passport to Leadville History make the list.