Yesterday was a perfect sunday night. Mature cheddar & fresh baguette on a plate, warm pumpkin soup and a french cinema classic: Jules & Jim by François Truffaut. We had decided to be reasonable – for once – and exclude wine from our menu. Well, that was before we heard Jeanne Moreau’s dizzying reciting of some of our most famous appellations…
“French wines are the best in Europe, in the world even!”
Il est bien loin le temps de la vieille rivalité franco-britannique et des insultes désuètes proférées par dessus la Manche: “Perfide Albion!”
Il suffit de jeter un oeil à leur carte du jour pour avoir l’eau à la bouche et les babines humides…
Les plats arrivent en farandole, plaisir pour les yeux et régal pour la bouche… Je vous laisse découvrir en images.
*Velouté d’héliantis, foie gras & citron caviar*
Velours et fondant
*Champignons poêlés, stilton, amandes*
Mushroomy & craquant
*Filet de lieu jaune, purée de butternut et cacahuète, oeuf mollet croustillant*
Croustillant, fondant & surprenant.
*Filet de canette, confit de légumes, purée de cèleri-rave*
Cuit à la perfection.
*l’assiette de fromage*
Tellement appétissante que j’ai oublié de la prendre en photo !
Quant aux vins, une sélection irréprochable et abordable… certains sont sagement alignés sous nos yeux alors que les autres sont jalousement gardés dans cave.
Nous avons dégusté un minéral et frais sauvignon Cheverny 2011 du Domaine de Huards, un carignan très expressif Vdp naturel de la Sainte-Baume: “L’Antidote” du Domaine des Terres Promises 2010 et un très exotique “Sauvignon Blanc” Ned de Malborough en guise de dessert.
Bref, un régal en tout point, je vous le conseille vivement!
Y aller 80 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, Paris. Réservations recommandées au 01 42 46 02 44
This new year is a beast awaiting to be tamed…
… just like Paso Robles‘ Mourvèdre!
Therefore my wishes for 2013 are the following: may you be equipped with whips & wit but also persistence to beat resistance and win through this year. You will also need love and gentleness to tame the wild beast and a few glasses of good wines along the way… but I’m sure you’ll find this year will provide it all. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Or is it Wednesday? Oops.
Suppose every time you tasted a bottle of wine you had someone by your side whispering to your ear what music this particular wine would be… Well this is what happenned to me last week at another delicious Alsace dinner. I found that Nicolas ‘s musical approach was so original yet so cunning that I offered him to be a guest writer on the blog today. Enjoy !
“Last week, I had the opportunity to discover some amazing Alsace wines, thanks to Pauline that I often follow to wine-related events as her “First lady”!
In the beginning, the master of ceremony seemed a bit unsettled to have a non-blogger sneaking into the event but he finally got used to the idea of having a beginner among this circle of fine connoisseurs. In order to show my gratitude and since I don’t have any authority on the matter, I have decided to compare each wine with a song. Here’s the product of the awkward comparisons that I made this night.
THE BEATLES & JIMI HENDRIX
First we tasted a Domaine Loew Vérité Sylvaner 2010 along with a Riesling Clos Häuserer 2008, while eating some delicious oysters. The Sylvaner made me think about “Julia” from the Beatles. It was soft, non-violent, with after-tones that conveyed the dream-like softness in John Lenon’s voice when he sweetly sings the name of his mother. On the opposite, the Riesling immediately reminded me of “Crosstown Traffic” by Jimi Hendrix with its seducing heaviness, its brilliance loaded with utter sexiness.
MERCURY REV & PRINCE
Then we went on to discover two equally diverse white wines while indulging ourselves with mouthwatering foie gras. The Altenberg de Bergheim 2007 Domaine Marcel Deiss was a liquid version of “Spiders and Flies” from the ever surprising Texan band “Mercury Rev”. The experience was rich, baroque and confusing, but in a good way. I let this wine guide me to unexpected harmonies and intriguing rimes. As for the Pinot Gris grand Cru Sonenglanz, it “sounded” like “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” by Prince. Its taste was syrupy, tangy and complex, just like the song I used to listen to in loop as a teenager, fantasizing on the imaginary body of Dorothy!
BARBARA & CARLY RAE JEPSEN
While a plate of turkey was served to the participants, I became interested in a Pinot Gris le Fromenteau 2010. This one brought me some memories of my childhood, walking through a path lined by trees during the Fall while my mother was singing Barbara’s “Göttingen”. This song is very sad and melancholic but it is also about fraternity, peace and hope. The Pinot Noir 2009 Clos Saint Landelin on the other hand didn’t impress me. It was good, but a little bit like “Call me maybe” from Carly Rae Jepsen. Something you like to have for fun, you would probably watch the video on YouTube with guilt, hoping that no one sees you. But you wouldn’t recommend it to a friend.
BENABAR & SEBASTIEN TELLIER
After these mixed emotions I had to rinse my palate with some Crémant d’Alsace Rosé. This one was of the festive kind, like Bénabar “Le Diner”. A catchy song that’s fun to listen to… once. The Gewurztraminer Cuvée Bacchus on the contrary was all about blue skies and sunshine. Just like “Roche” by Sebastien Tellier, it was clear, solar and had a summer felling to it that went nicely with the Mango tart!
Wow, what an evening! It was a bit frightening to be an outsider at first but eventually I felt lucky to live this adventure though I wasn’t supposed to be here in the first place. Thank you les Vins d’Alsace! “
You know how you always associate spicy wines with Syrah & the Rhône Valley…? I know I do. Well, brace yourselves, here comes another grape variety that could make you sniff twice before announcing a wine’s main grape at a blind tasting: LE PINEAU D’AUNIS.
Also called Chenin Noir it is only grown in the Loire Valley and was very popular in the 13th & 15th centuries before slowly but surely being replaced by the popular Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon & Gamay varities. In 1997 though, a ‘Conservatoire du Pineau d’Aunis‘ was created & 20 hectares of the grape planted in the region of Vendomois. And it’s a good thing; here’s why:
Firstly, I hold dear things that are forgotten, vintage, left out… I have once bought a bag full of discarded family pictures from the 70′s on a flea market, just to keep the memories alive a little longer… Anyway, knowing that this grape could have disappeared -if not for a dedicated bunch of wine makers & Alliance Loire – makes me want to make an effort to appreciate its uniqueness.
Then, the Pineau d’Aunis makes easy-drinking & enjoyable wines. Light reds with red fruits & spices and crisp rosés with citrus aromas and again, the distinctive spices. Nicolas Emereau, Alliance Loire‘s ‘flying wine maker’, distinguished 4 different types of peppers that can be found in the Pineau d’Aunis various expressions!
Finally, I like the ambiguity of the grape’s name. It’s not pinOT like the famous & elegant Burgundian but pinEAU. And I’m rather hoping someone will purchase it by mistake and be pleasantly surprised!