26 July 2014

Bergerac: Le Tour, a time trial and a biodynamic red wine.

The Tour de France 2014 is coming to an end. Today, a time trial will likely decide the minor placings, but probably will have no bearing on riding down the runaway winner Vincenzo Nibali.

No problem, there is still the beautiful scenery to enjoy and the last wine of our Taste the Tour Pack. Tonight's Tour wine is classic of the Bergerac region from a famous biodynamic producer. 

And even though the tour is almost over for another year our Tour wines are still available to enjoy.  If you are looking for some value wines that introduce the wines of the south of France this pack is it! 

Here are the notes from our Taste The Tour pack....

Stage 20: Bergerac
Saturday 26 July - Time Trial Bergerac : Périgueux 54km

What happens in the organisers' dreams? The final winner is decided in this 54 km time trial.  Bergerac, the second city of the Dordogne area has only been visited by the tour twice before but has a long history of wine making.
The Bergerac region is picturesque and historic with bastides (walled towns) medieval cities, chateaux, Romanesque churches and abbeys and gorgeous stone villages full of character and history and some exciting wines.

A classy Merlot/Cabernet (60:40) blend from a sought after biodynamic producer.  This complex beautifully balanced and satisfying red wine is from one of Bergerac’s renowned producers, Luc De Conti. Layered fruit and lovely tannin structure to the wine. Very classy wine at this price.

Suggestion: This is a superb tasty wine that goes well with game, duck, stews and cheese. We will be cooking a porterhouse steak and topping it with some Café de Paris butter. Its one of our favourite recipes and so easy! We make a big batch of Café de Paris butter in summer when we have fresh herbs in the garden, and keep it in the freezer to use as required. We often use Myrtleford Butter Factory butter as the base.  Neil Perry's recipe is our favourite version. 

25 July 2014

Tour de France and the wines of Madiran

The Tour de France is turning north to Paris. Today it   passes through a beautiful region in the foothills of the Pyrenees. A region crossed for centuries by pilgrams heading to Campostella de Santiago on the coast of Spain. They feel in love with the wines of the region and were said to carry them onwards on their journeys. (Some say this was the origin of alter wine- must have mighty fine alter wine if you ask us!) 

We included an excellent red wine from the Madiran region in our Taste the Tour 6 pack. Although the Tour is nearly over, these 6 wines will give you a great introduction to the wines of the region, to enjoy at your leisure.

Stage 19: Madiran
Friday 25 July - Maubourguet Pays du Val D’Adour : Bergerac 208 km
The tour leaves the mountains of the Pyrenees.   Today’s departure is from Maubourguet Pays du Val D’Adour in the foothills of the Pyrenees. An area of plains and hills, the Pays du Val D'Adour is at the crossroads of the Béarn, Bigorre and Gascogne cultures.  Maubourguet, the name of the common was chosen by its inhabitants to inspire fear to possible invaders. But the “Bad Village” will certainly be far more hospitable to the riders.  This 208 km stage is completely devoid of any real difficulties and, on paper at least, should smile upon the sprinters.  There could be a surprise breakaway.

Wine 5 Domaine du Crampilh, Vignes Vieilles, Madiran Rouge, 2009

This is a powerful multi-award winning wine from a well-regarded producer in the Madiran region. This domaine aims to produce a wine “in a style that brings out the heart and soul of south-west France”. The wines of this region date back to Roman times but were made famous by pilgrims passing through the region.  Made from 70% Tannat and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. A beautiful deep purple colour. An intense and savoury nose with black fruits, vanilla and leather. A concentrated palate with rich black fruit and peppery spices balanced with great structure, fine chalky tannins and acid. Intense, powerful but great length and balance.

Suggestion: Perfect with lamb shanks or duck breasts. We found this excellent recipe on the SBS Food website for beef checks braised in Madiran- we used some chuck steak instead and a bouquet garni from the garden. Delicious!  

24 July 2014

Prune Tart, Gabriel Gaté, the Tour de France and Chateau Jolys Cuvée Jean: French classics!

The Tour de France is moving towards a climax of racing in the Pyrénées! We are looking forward to the mountain racing, enjoying the wonderful scenery and  sipping a classic wine of the region. This excellent not-too-sweet dessert wine is being poured by some of the most famous restaurants in Australia. Recently wine critic Huon Hooke awarded it 95 points! Its available to enjoy as part of our Taste the Tour 6 pack.

Stage 18: Jurançon
Thursday 24 July -
Pau : Hautacam
145.5 km
Today the riders start in Pau the city of Henri IV - who was baptised with the wine of Jurançon. Pau has welcomed the race in style, 65 times, which puts it on the podium with Paris and Bordeaux as the most visited cities of the Tour. Today they climb the Col du Tourmalet, always a challenge. Next up, the final climb up Hautacam, which has earned a hallowed place in the history of the Tour.  Sit back and enjoy the ride with one of the famous wines of Jurançon. 
The nose presents notes of honey, apricot and peaches.  The palate is fresh, powerful yet smooth.  Petit Manseng at its very best with fabulous length and balance.  This wine, like many from Jurançon, is pleasantly sweet without a cloying finish.  Best served with one of the classic cheeses of the region or a fruit gateau.
Suggestion: This wine was matched with a gorgeous Gabriel Gaté tart on an episode of Taste of the Tour. If you don't have a chance to macerate some prunes and bake a tart, a cheese or fruit platter would be a perfect late night #tourdesnack.

22 July 2014

The Tour de France, Basque Chicken and Chateau Jolys Jurançon sec white wine

The Tour de France finally heads into the beautiful Pyrénées. We look forward to sitting back and enjoying the gorgeous scenery (and the wines of the region, contained in our Taste the Tour Pack.) 

To get in the mood, we have prepared a delicious Basque chicken casserole typical of the region (using the recipe on the SBS website originally published by Margaret Fulton.) We modified it a little by adding some powdered Pimento de Espelette that we had squirrelled away in the pantry. We bought a small container during our last trip to the south-west of France. It adds a gentle warmth and smoky depth of flavour. A tiny bit of chilli powder would be an alternative.  

And just in case we are still hungry late in the evenings, we have picked up some delicious hard sheep's milk cheese from our friends at Jones the Grocer. 

We are planning to enjoy this with one of our favourite (and best-selling) wines. The versatile and award-winning Chateau Jolys Jurançon sec- a perfect match with the chicken, the cheese, or seafood, or a few nibbles or just to match the scenery! ....

Stage 17: Jurançon
Wednesday July 23 - Saint-Gaudens : Saint Lary Pla d’Adet 124.5 km 

At 125 km, the shortest stage comes just after the longest. A difficult stage through the Pyrenees mountains. Three category one climbs including the Col de Peyresourde before finishing in the mountain ski resort town of Saint Lary Pla d’Adet.
A delightful, complex, fruity but dry wine. From the excellent 2011 vintage, this wine is from one of the most beautiful and under rated regions in France. 92 points Huon Hooke. A great alternative to sauvignon blanc. Tropical fruits and citrus on the palette. Crisp dry finish. Our best selling white. 
Suggestion:  It would be a perfect match with seafood and shellfish, but also goes down a treat with pre-dinner nibbles and dips as you watch the highlights.

16 July 2014

"Braising the Steaks' Dinner Chophouse Sydney July 30th 2014

It's the perfect Winter wine dinner at Chophouse, one of our favourite Sydney CBD venues. 

Four courses of deliciously braised meats with extraordinary wines to match.
$95 includes four courses with matching wines. 

Call 1300 246 748 to make a reservation.

15 July 2014

DiscoverVin in the Pavilions des Vins at Brisbane French Festival July 2014

Yummy French Treats.
 DiscoverVin spent the weekend before Bastille Day at the Brisbane French Festival.  A wonderful celebration of all things French organised by a great time of Brisbane Francophiles.
The team behind the Brisbane French Festival

Chateau Rollan de By Cru Bourgeois Rouge from the Médoc was one of the most popular wines on the day.  The customers enjoyed the lifted nose with  gorgeous mouth feel, soft, round and long with great balance. 
We think this is wine with a WOWfactor for taste and value for money. 
Currently being served on Air France A380 Business Class, so BBR visitors were happy to sip, taste and imagine the flight to Paris.

People were interested to taste wines made from indigenous varieties such as Tannat from Madiran in the Domaine Du Crampilh rouge.

Women in Berets on a Sunny Saturday in Brisbane

8 July 2014

Damien Pignolet brings French Flair to 3 Weeds with Bastille Day Eve Luncheon

Celebrity Chef Damien Pignolet brings French flair to The 3 Weeds, Rozelle this Bastille Day Eve
And with it a special offer for DiscoverVin customers

Damien Pignolet- doyen of French cuisine
The multi-award winning 3 Weeds Hotel, nestled in the back streets of Rozelle will launch its inaugural Chef du Jour program on Bastille Day eve (Sunday 13 July) featuring celebrated doyen of French cuisine, chef Damien Pignolet...and a gem from DiscoverVin will be part it.

The Chef Du Jour series will expand the hotel’s culinary horizons and dining experiences with featured specialist guest chefs working in partnership with the 3 Weeds’ own executive chef, Nathan Jackson.  The exciting collaborations will bring a diverse offering of cuisines and styles that accentuate the personal flair of the respective chef du jour.

This first Chef du Jour event will begin with an inspired lunch menu created by legendary chef Damien Pignolet.  As an Australian of French heritage, Damien’s cultural culinary roots are celebrated. He is a specialist in both French and modern Australian cuisine and as a pioneer of the Sydney gastro-pub scene, teaming with the 3 Weeds is a natural fit. Pignolet’s impressive portfolio includes Claude’s Restaurant, Bistro Deux, Moncur Terrace, Cleopatra, and most notably, Bistro Moncur, the acclaimed institution which re-defined the standards of pub dining in Sydney.

Bastille Day Eve at the 3 Weeds will be a celebration of the French tradition of the leisurely Sunday lunch – and an evening of French indulgence shared by family and friends.

The menu begins with an amuse bouche, accompanied by an apero, followed by four sumptuous dishes consisting of; hors d’ oeuvres, potage crème, plat principal and salade, each paired with matching wines and liqueurs. Finally, Damien’s signature dessert will take centre stage with tea and coffee to follow.

The outstanding biodynamic 2011 Domaine Roche-Audran, Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre, Côtes du Rhône from DiscoverVin will feature with the plat principal.  

Do not miss this opportunity to experience the unique partnership of 3 Weeds executive chef Nathan Jackson alongside Damien Pignolet in a celebration of French cuisine.
The 3 Weeds 197 Evans Street 
Rozelle, Sydney
Ordinarily the prix-fixe offering, including a glass of French bubbles on arrival is $88 or with matched wines and liqueurs for $123 BUT FOR DISCOVERIN MEMBER THAT IS $110 PER HEAD COMPLETE WITH MATCHED WINES.   Reservations are essential as spaces are limited. For further enquiries and bookings, please contact the 3 Weeds Rozelle on  (02) 9818 2788.  AND mention you are as DiscoverVin friend.
The history of the 3 Weeds in the former working class Rozelle-Balmain peninsular exemplifies the Bastille Day motto of Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité’…. Freedom, Equality…and ‘mateship ’ 
although much has changed in the area since it was established in 1881. With the gentrification of the neighbourhood, the 3 Weeds has emerged as a front-runner of the Sydney gastro-pub scene and the perfect venue to catch up with mates.

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