Posts tagged " wine "

Celebrate Wine and Cheese Day with some usual pairings

July 20th, 2018 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

As the ‘Grand Fromage’ of The French Chef at Home, you’d expect me to have firm opinions on both cheese and wine!

With Wine and Cheese Day coming up (25 July), I’m celebrating by sharing just a few of my favourite pairings with you.

As mentioned in a previous blog, we were delighted to discover that Yorkshire takes its cheeses as seriously as we do in France.  And a good cheese demands a good wine.

I like to support other local businesses.  When I’m not visiting France to buy my wines directly from the producer, I source most of my cheese and wine from Minskip Farm Shop which has a small but extensive fresh food market. Much of the produce Ben and Emma stock is sourced from within 30 miles of the shop and all the wines mentioned below can be found there.

My new favourite cheese is the soft and creamy Yorkshire Brie and I like to pair it with a dry, yet fruity Niel Joubert Pinotage from South Africa.  A ripe plum flavour with slight smoky trace, the wine has a dry finish with ripe berry and spice notes.

Closer to home, Château de Brague is a superior red Bordeaux that works well with a rich cheese.  With its Merlot-based aroma and berry flavours, it’s perfect with Camembert au Calvados, a cheese produced in Lower Normandy that is marinated in Calvados brandy.

But it’s not only red wine that works with cheese.

Other great pairings include Picpoul de Pinet, a dry white, from France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region. The name means ‘lip stinger’ because of the wine’s zingy freshness.  With aromas of blossom, Picpoul is comparable to the better-known Muscadet from the Loire Valley and represents excellent value. Its high acidity means it cuts through rich foods including creamy, firm cheeses made from sheep’s milk such as Ossau Iraty, another product of France’s South West.

Finally, a bone dry and aromatic Loire Valley Sancerre will perfectly complement the rich flavours of Sainte-Maure de Touraine, an unpasteurised full fat goat’s milk cheese rolled in wood ash.


National Wine Day

May 25th, 2018 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

– Bourgogne Premier Cru Wine Dinner
It’s National Wine Day so I would like to share with you some of my favourite French wines.

While three areas of France, Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux, enjoy worldwide recognition because their historic tradition for fine wines, there is wine production in most French regions. In general while, the northern vineyards are known for their white wines, the southern vineyards, from Burgundy southwards have a reputation built on their red wines.

As a family, we like to return to France as often as we can and a trip isn’t complete without a tour of some of the smaller vineyards, offering wine that very much is a taste of the region in which they are produced.

The Burgundy region (where monasteries played a key role in developing the wine industry) produces my all-time favourite wines and below are some of the wines I always buy direct from the producers when I have the opportunity.

1. Domaine de la Baume (34) Languedoc
There are a large choice of reds and whites under this name and they are all very affordable. The whites are delicious served for pre-drinks with canapés.

2. Champagne Noel Maury (51)
Champagne is used for any celebration in France, a bit like Prosecco in the UK.
I know the owner of this vineyard personally as some close friends have a countryside house next to the vineyard. He is very nice and produces champagne that is genuinely “terroir”.
This is very good quality of Champagne, and at a nice affordable price of 12 euros.

3. Mercurey de chez Robert Size (71), Bourgogne
This one is my favourite wines and I have never been disappointed. It is at its best when served with game.

4. Chablis, Domaine Guy Robin (89) Bourgogne
What a lovely discovery – this was recommended by my friends who live in this area of France. This wine is very good with shellfish.

These wines are available online, although some may not be available right now.

I can also recommend the expertise of Patrice at Le Bon Vin :