L'apéritif messieurs-dames? Kir or Kir Royal?
A question that the "garçon" (waiter/waitress) will often ask when you sit down for a meal in a restaurant in France.
Apéritifs are served in France to stimulate the appetite before the meal. Kir is very popular, it is made with about 1/5 cassis liqueur and 4/5 white wine. The traditional wine used for the kir is the "Bourgogne Aligoté". Aligoté is the second white grape in Burgundy. Very acidic, it is rarely served by itself. You can use most dry white wines. At Provence, we use Muscadet a very dry white wine from the Loire.
Kir was 'invented" by the Chanoine (Canon) Félix, mayor of Dijon in Burgundy from 1945 to 1968.
Kir is slightly sweet and great way to start your meal. Kir Royal on the right is made with Champagne/Sparkling wine and is a hit at Provence. French natives will usually order a bottle of wine when they are ready to start their appetizer.