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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
19 Feb 2013

Yesterday we published Wink Lorch's account of the Marquis d'Angerville's forayTerroirific into the Jura. Last Thursday night on her way back from the recent get together on alpine grape varieties at which José Vouillamoz once again presented Wine Grapes and was able to meet up once more with the venerable father of ampelography, 92-year-old Pierre Galet of Montpellier, she stopped off in Geneva.

She reported on Friday, 'Last night I went to the launch of a little wine bar – Terroirific – that has been opened by a friend of mine Onne Guelbenzu (or Onne Wan) in Geneva. You may know that José had been there the previous evening for a tasting and presentation of Wine Grapes [our co-author is indefatigable - JR]. Anyway I took this photo of Wine Grapes. It is in quite unusual company on the shelves, I thought...'

At more or less the same time I was contacted by someone in the Languedoc with news of a restaurant in Narbonne, Les Grands Buffets, whose policy is to offer, by the glass and bottle, 70 of the better wines of the region at cellar-door prices.  My first reaction was to wonder how on earth it will prosper, but in the meantime I urge you to go and try it while its Oenomatic wine-preserving machines are in the first flush of youth. We have spent each summer no more than 40 minutes' drive from Narbonne. Our best friends down there live on the outskirts of Narbonne and love to eat out.  I had never heard of  it. [Stop press: according to an email just received, they have eaten there and had a bad experience.]

On the other hand, good old (I won't say trusty old) Trip Advisor has nearly 150 generally favourable reviews of this place. It is clearly no spring chicken. All the most recent ones seem to agree that it is in a very strange location, in a sports complex in the western suburbs, but that its all-you-can-eat/serve-yourself policy offers extremely good value.les_grands_buffets

Taillevent it clearly ain't,  despite the classy image on the left, but it might well be useful one night on holiday. Probably best to take a designated driver. I'd very much welcome reports.

See this list of the wines currently on offer.