One of the great outcomes of my wine and cuisine research are all the great people I am meeting and the different blogs that I am finding. I decided to make my next stop the Loire Valley, with a mission to try Vouvray.
I made a trip to my local Wine store, West Seattle Cellars, to see their selection and recommendation on a good Vouvray. The store is a gem! I met one of the owners, Jan Martindale, who took me under her wing – teaching me about the Loire Valley and showing me on a map the different subregions within this wine region. When I asked her if my choice of a Vouvray was a good representation of the region, Jan told me that each wine from this area was terrific, but since Vouvray was right in the center it was a good place to start.
Jan recommended the 2009 Francis Pinon Silex Vouvray – a wine considered one of the finest from the Vouvray region and was also a reasonable price. When I got home, I promptly looked the wine up on the internet and found it was one of the picks in 2011 New York Times written by Eric Asimov. In this article, he note the wine as:
“…tasting slightly of ginger, and the more savory Cuvée Tradition…”
I was so excited to find that I was tasting a wine recommended by the New York Times – it pays to seek the advice of an expert. Jan also pointed out a Rosé from Provence named after Pink Floyd (cool!), that would go well with ratatouille. I am going back definitely going back to West Seattle Cellars next weekend for more wine.
Now that I had my wine picked out, the next challenge was the food pairing. My first thought was seafood, but being that my wine was mid-region, and not coastal, it didn’t feel like the right fit.
That was when I stumbled upon a blog by “Chez Richard”, and found a wonderful blog post about Loire and Fricassée de Volaille au Vouvray. Chez Richard does a beautiful job of describing the Loire Valley, making me really wish I was there. I especially enjoyed his note about the wine from this region:
“Little Known Factoid: Did you know that the Loire is the longest river in France, and the wine appellations that stretch along it, from the Atlantic Coast to the center of the country, produce more white wine than any other region in France. Can you imagine. A cornucopia of white wines, plenty to drink for everyone! Maybe that’s Heaven?”
Chez Richard’s recipe for Fricassée was a bit more time-consuming than what I could manage this weekend, so I found a weekday recipe on the Easy French Food site.
I took the recipe from Easy French Food, substituting chicken broth for the water and Vouvray for the white wine, and it made for a wonderful dinner.
The Francois Pinon 2009 Silex Noir Vouvray was straw yellow in color. To me, it had a nose of honey, apples, citrus and pear, with a palette of honey crisp apples, honey and white grapes.
The wine was sweet, but not too sweet and went very nicely with the Fricassée. Since we used Vouvray in the stew, I could taste hints of the wine, which contrasted nicely with the earthy flavors in the dish. The Fricassee was also a nice meal on a cold, wet winter day, and something I will add to my repertoire.
And so, I am now off to my next adventure – Rhone, followed by Provence. Cheers!