Bijou interior blog

The Bijou Blog


J.P. Knaggs, owner of The Bijou Café in Sarasota, recently announced that his restaurant has launched Le Jardin Cuvée Prestige, a Loire Chardonnay vinted exclusively for The Bijou Café in collaboration with the renowned Les Frères Couillaud winery in France.

How did it come about?

"We wanted to introduce our own signature wine to take our fine dining experience to the next level," says Knaggs. "Our good friend and wine guru and importer, Freddy Matson, helped us establish a partnership with Les Frères Couillaud winery to bottle their celebrated Le Jardin Cuvée just for us,” says Knaggs. “For me, this is deeply personal,” he adds. “The wine is a tribute to my mother’s French heritage.” Knaggs’ mother was born in the north of France, near Dieppe in the Normandy region. 

Knaggs notes that sense of place and person profoundly informs his philosophy of fine dining. “In the case of this wine, it's about knowing a variety of elements that influence the vine, including the type of soil it grows in and the people who grow and harvest it. By cooperating with the vintner and importer, we're able to bring a taste of real French wine to Florida at a great price. We hope our guests will enjoy the new wine as much as we enjoyed collaborating with Les Frères Couillaud."

Les Frères Couillaud produces high-quality wines on its family vineyards in the Loire Valley. "The Couillaud family is one of the outstanding winegrowers of the western Loire Valley, "says Knaggs. "They produce Muscadets, Chardonnays and Sauvignon, which are renowned around the world. They follow the tenants of sustainable agriculture, which is very important to me."

Knaggs describes Le Jardin Cuvée Prestige as: “100 percent Chardonnay. It’s refreshing, thirst- quenching and perfect for the Florida climate.” He says the wine offers tropical fruit aromas of pineapples, yellow peaches, apricots and tangerines, which leave "a clean, citrusy fruit in the mouth and a hint of white flinty stone on the finish." Le Jardin Cuvée Prestige is now available by glass and bottle to restaurant guests and will also sell retail by the case or bottle.

Renowned for its award-winning line list, The Bijou Café offers wine tastings on the first Friday of each month during the summer months through October. "With three wine experts pouring at least six wines each, there is always a copious amount of succulent wine to sample," says Knaggs. "Our chefs also prepare a plethora of tasty tidbits to tantalize your taste buds, along with a groaning board of domestic and imported cheeses. It's the perfect time and place to unwind from a long week and savor the delightful pairing of tastes and textures."

For more information or reservations, call 941-366-8111 




downloadLike the used car salesman screaming at you from the TV — “We’ve got to make room on our lot for new cars, so we’re ready to make a deal and move ‘em out!” — I’m screaming, a little more politely, “We've gotta make room in the wine cellar for new wines, so we’re making all kinds of deals!”

Here is a list of some excellent wines at rock bottom prices during our ongoing "Bin End Sale!"

Look carefully, there are some amazing deals here. Be forewarned though: because these prices are so low, your first or second choice may already be sold. You can also purchase bottles to go!

Buy any 12 bottles, mix and match, and receive an extra 10% off. Seriously, I have gone mad...take advantage of my temporary insanity!

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I am always on the lookout for new wines to add to our award winning wine list. I spent today adding these beauties to the list:

2010 Far Niente from Napa Valley showing aromas of Meyer lemon, toasted nuts and fig with a hint of sweetness from honeysuckle. The entry is honeyed with ripe citrus, light melon and well-integrated nuttiness and a touch of mineral. A rich, full midpalate with balanced acidity draws out into a long finish. Always a popular wine!menu2

Sancerre, Cuvee Vielles Vignes”, Domaine de la Rossignole. Pale yellow in color. Spicy citrus and orchard fruits on the nose, with notes of fennel and white pepper. Tightly wound, focused grapefruit and lemongrass flavors are deepened by a note of pear skin. The finish is taut, linear and refreshingly tangy. This wine has great acidity and is a bright, fresh wine to drink on a warm day

2006 Chateau Montrose, Saint Estephe. Extraordinarily elegant and finesse-styled, it exhibits stunningly concentrated, sweet blackberry and cassis fruit with hints of flowers and minerals. Full-bodied with a savory, expansive mid-palate as well as sweet, noble tannins, this beauty is ready to drink now.

2005 Chateau les Grandes Murailles, Grand Cru Classe, Saint Emilion. Lovely blueberry, raspberry, and cassis aromas soar from the glass of this fruit-driven cuvee. In the mouth, mineral and subtle oak characteristics also emerge from this well-structured, tannic, medium to full-bodied, elegant, impeccably pure, dense, long wine. Made by the Reiffers family, it should be at its finest between 2012-2025.

Monday-Friday 11:30AM-2PM
Monday-Saturday from 5PM
Bijou Cafe © 2017 Copyright
1287 First Street
Sarasota FL 34236
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