Freedom & Fer: L’homme est né libre et partout il est dans les fers.
On s'aimera toute la vie

Two Milestones: News about Jean-Marc and Jackie

Jackie Jean Marc Max Kristi at Vin Sobre Wine shop La Ciotat
Photo of our family in Le Vin Sobre wine shop--a project Jean-Marc has been working on all summer. The doors officially opened, here in La Ciotat, on Friday. (left to right: Jackie, Jean-Marc, Max, and Kristi.)

Today's word: vieille canaille

    : old scoundrel

Click here to listen to the following sentence
Bonjour, c'est Jean Marc. Je vous invite à venir visiter ma cave à vin - épicerie fine à La Ciotat. Vous y découvrirez toutes mes sélections ainsi qu'une section intitulée "vieilles canailles".

Hi, Jean-Marc here. I invite you to visit my wine shop/épicerie fine in La Ciotat. You will discover all my best selections as well as a section called "old scoundrels".*

"Old scoundrels, here, refer to Jean-Marc's old vintages, for sale at the shop.

, by Kristi Espinasse

Two Milestones

The picture, above, was snapped moments before we took our daughter to the train station in Marseilles.  Her voyage to Miami, where she began bartender school on Monday, was about to begin. Sometime last year our youngest began a transition, leaving behind her fashion studies in France to find work in the States. The job she found at the Ritz Carlton, serving drinks and occasionally helping as barback, awakened a longtime interest in mixology. Voilà for the first milestone which passed the week of her 22nd birthday (which is today, September 18th! Happy Birthday, Jackie!!).

The second milestone belongs to Jean-Marc, who opened his Vin Sobre wine shop here in La Ciotat on Friday! He could not have known when he began his journey into winemaking that he would end up here. But, if there is one thing I am learning, "to end up somewhere" is not in his vernacular.

There is no "end," only a day to day trek towards the future. Happy travels to all and, should you find yourself in the area of La Ciotat, please enjoy a rest stop along your journey... at the Vin Sobre wine shop, located conveniently off the motorway :-)

Le Vin Sobre La Ciotat
45 Voie Ariane, 13600 La Ciotat
Tel : 09 88 06 18 58 - 06 65 21 35 92
Instagram : @le_vin_sobre_la_ciotat

Vin sobre cave wine shop la ciotat

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Looks like a very good excuse to come and explore La Ciotet and its environs. Look forward to coming in and buying some wind.


and some wine!!


Wishing you both great joy, prosperity and love for this new endeavor :-)


Best of luck to you all in your new ventures. LE VIN SOBRE- what are the nuances of this name in French? Sobre- I looked it up- in the sense of simple, understated not meanings like abstemious?Or does it tie in the epicérie side with the wine?


Happy birthday to Jackie! And best of luck with the new store.

Suzanne Dunaway

Wow what good news for your family and for the bartender and the wine shop maestro! If I were there I would make you fresh focaccia every day to sell in the shop!
Félicitations Jean-Marc

Jacqui McCargar

Happy birthday to Jackie! I remember celebrating her 12th birthday during harvest in 2009, it seems like such a long time ago but then again just yesterday! That also means that Smokey turned 10 years old as well last month. Working the harvest that year was a great experience And I met a lot of great people, while I look back at it with fondness, even though I don’t really think I would like to do it again, LOL! Hard work! Thank you Jean-Marc and Kristi for the experience! All the best, Jacqui


How do you define « sobre »? One source suggests « about » and another suggests « serious » among other similar translations? Anyway the new shop looks charming and wonderful and I wish everyone much success!


Your writings have been part of my life for many years, long after giving up on learning any French food a bike trip we took in maybe 2003. Watching yoyr children grow up, and you and Jean Marc go through so many changes (as have we as now married over 50 years!) has been a treat. The best to you in your new adventures. They will be hard work, but also will bring joy to your lives. We now live 1/2 time in a small town in Italy, and have found a language and community that speaks to our souls. Much of what you said at a program in seattle many years ago, stuck in my heart, and brought us here. I will always be indebted to you for those words.


How exciting! For all:)Love the shop!


Great photo! Bon Anniversaire Jackie! Je suis aussi Virgo 🎂 Félicitations et meilleurs vœux Jean-Marc! 🍷🎉

LeslieAnn Molnar-Grabowski

Bon courage a tous. Je suis sure que vous allez reussir!!

Dave Kapsiak

Felicitations à tous!

mary tindukasiri

Congratulations to all of you!!!
xoxo Mary

Jeanne Govert

I remember when you and he came to Paris, he to sell his wine and you to sell your book. I brought my 8 yr old granddaughter with me, as we were living in Paris and she came to visit. She is now 20, almost old enough to drink your wine. She has read your book however! I’m so happy for you both. Your children are very accomplished young adults! Enjoy the proud moment for them and you two, too!

Linda Uhrig

Happy birthday to Jackie and congratulations to Jean-Marc!! My husband and I have bought JM’s wines at French Country Wines in Houston. We will be in France for a stay of 3 weeks and may be in La Ciotat, where my hubby’s father lived as a young man. We will stop by if we come visit La Ciotat! Bon chance to Le Vin Sobre!!!

Judy Feldman

So sorry I missed seeing you (& now Jean Marc’s new shop) when we were in your area. Félicitations à Jean Marc, et à la prochaine fois!

Stephanie Mairs

Congratulations to Jackie and Jean-Marc on their new adventures! I’ll be staying in La Ciotat next week, look forward to visiting your shop.

Kristin Espinasse

Thanks for visiting next week, Stephanie. Jean-Marc will be back in the shop Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (and beyond! Hell just be away this Monday and Tuesday). Hope to see you then.

Ellen A.

Sounds like an exciting time for all of you. Wonderful news!

Jerry Wood

s'il vous plaît envoyer mon joyeux anniversaire à votre jolie fille Jackie.
What a lovely photo. Here’s hoping your new wine shop will be a huge success

betsy foree

It's a curious name for a wine shop "Le Vin Sobre", can you translate?


I like that....not ending up! I sign my emails “On The Journey”.


Hi Kristi,

Happy Birthday to Jackie and best of luck to Jean-Marc on his new adventure!


Bonjour Kristin,
Comment le temps a passé si vite! Bon anniversaire,
Jackie! Certainment Le Vin Sobre sera un grand succès !

Congratulations on your new endeavor.

GwenEllyn Anderson

Bon courage à tout le monde !


Happy birthday Jackie! Congratulations Jean Marc and Kristin. Exciting new chapters are ahead and what a lovely photo. Look forward to an Autumn visit and hope to see the wonderful new wine shop.

Karen Cafarella

Happy, Happy Birthday Jackie and Best of Luck on your new adventure.

Congratulations Jean Marc and Kristin on your new chapter as well.

Very exciting.

Kitty Wilson-Pote

Sensational! I so love the witty and resonant name of J-M's beautiful enterprise, and how exciting that Jackie is fulfilling a dream in her Mom's homeland. The family photo is breathtaking, Kristi, especially for those of us tagging along with you all since the kids were fairly new creations themselves ... high-fives and congratulatory hugs to all of you. I find the street-face façade of Le Vin Sobre to be utterly stunning in its design and presence -- a kind of symbol for all these newnesses. May every unfolding day's ventures be blessed with success, fun, and sheer joy! ~ Fond regards from Canada on a radiant fall day in Niagara Region.


BRAVO, tout le monde!!

Lynn McBride

Well 2 surprises, and what news! Felicitations to both, and I hope it all goes well. I love the facade of the store. I'm assuming it's named after the wine village in Provence, Vinsobres? Very pretty town. Love the happy family photo too. Best wishes to all xxoo Lynn

Leslie NYC

Bon anniversaire à Jackie!
Bon courage a Jean-Marc!
I am listening to the waves at Saint Raphaël, wishing you all well.


Our dear Kristi,
How beautiful and happy you all look!
No wonder!!
What thrilling and exciting news!
Happy birthday to Jackie,and(!!) bonne courage for following her heart in your new career!
And to you and Jean Marc on opening Le Vin Sobre!!
We can't stop in to hug you all,but are very defintely there with you in spirit!
Dear Kristi,your heart must be so full that it is overflowing.
Please see God Calling today.The message was perfect for me,and I hope you will find it perfect,too.
Blessings always.
Natalia. xo

Sarah LaBelle

Google translate gave definitions in French of sobre, and I think it makes a perfect name for the new shop. Good luck!
Qui mange et boit sans excès.
Classique, simple.


Much love and good fortune to all of you! Would love to hear updates from Jacquie (or Jackie!) on experiences in Miami. Bring rubber shoes or clogs--that town is often flooded!
Beautiful facade to the wine store! [everything deserves an exclamation point]

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Natalia, for your ever kind words and support. Off to check out that message. 💕

I so appreciate each and every message here in the comments. Mille mercis to all who take the time to write in, and to those who stop to read these comments. 

Kristin Espinasse

Love the definition you shared. Thanks, Sarah!


Happy Birthday, Jackie! Congratulations on your new challenge. Your parents must be very proud of you!!
And, Jean-Marc, what a wonderful endeavor. Your beautiful shop is going to be a big success. I know you’ll enjoy a lot of patronage and sharing your great wealth of knowledge!! Mama Kristi must be very proud!!

Diane Heinecke

Bravo! Felicitations a tous les deux. Toujours un aventure.


Congratulations to you all! 💖

Marianne Rankin

I am pleased to have another picture of the four of you. Bon anniversaire, Jackie! Et meilleurs voeux pour Le Vin Sobre! Will Max, perhaps, work there part-time? I would love to visit, but that will have to wait a couple of years or more. Meanwhile, if any of you get to the Washington, D.C. area, I'd be delighted to see you.

Jean-Marc, will Le Vin Sobre export wine to the USA?


Question...Le Vin Sobre is an interesting name for your shop....the word "sober' can either mean "sober" in English or can mean "simple" or "understated". How do you translate the name of your shop? Is it a play on words (jeu de mots)?
What might I be missing re the shop name? thanks....


Thank you for your support on this new wine project.
"Le Vin Sobre" is a play on words having in mind that there is an wine appellation called "Vinsobres" in the southern Rhone Valley near Vaison La Romaine.
Vin Sobre in itself means a simple but good wine, the style of wine that I enjoy.
As for exporting to the US, I am sorry Marianne but it is against the law to ship to individual people...
Please come visit the wine shop. We can arrange a spacial event tasting if you want.
Cheers 🍷,
Chief grape 🍇


Such an appropriate way of using your talents. I am certain it will be a success because more and more people seek the knowledge that is only found in a boutique wine shop. In our small South African town such a boutique was recently opened by a very knowledgeable couple who have been surprised by the enthusiastic support from the community

Betty A Gleason

New beginnings are so wonderful. Happy Birthday and Best Wishes to Jackie! Bonne Chance to Jean-Marc! Love & Hugs to you all.

Patti Raffy

BRAVO, la famille! xox

Alice Shupe

New chapters in the life of your family! I wish both Jackie and Jean-Marc great success in their new endeavors.

KP Gaudet-Gallant

Well, I know where I will stop when I get to La Ciotat! Bon Courage!!

Joanne A. Gazarek

Congratulations to both Jean-Mark and Jackie. Best wishes to the whole family for continuing on with exciting new life adventures. "Fronk" says that when we are in L'ile sur la Sorgue in May for a month we will try to drive down to see you and buy some wines. Kind regards, Joanne and Frank

Susan West

How exciting!

Hope Jackie had a fabulous birthday. Best wishes on the new ventures!

Marianne Rankin

I didn't mean shipping wine to me. Maybe some could be sent to a store that sells wine, such as those where I went to tastings and bought Rouge-Bleu a few years ago?

Patricia Sands

What an exciting post! Félicitations tout le monde! Another chapter unfolds in the life of the famille Espinasse! I'm so happy for all of you and am now off to read the latest offering in your wonderful book. I'm in the midst of my women's tour, Kristi, and we have Cheryl Jamieson with us. She told me she found out about it through the post you kindly shared ... merci mille fois!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)