This month in December the #winophiles are in Vouvray, Loire Valley, France. The Loire Valley is one of France's largest wine making areas but don't let the size sway your opinion. The Loire Valley and it's various AOCs are nothing to sneeze at. Some of the top wines come from there... Muscadet and oysters for a breakfast snack, anyone?! And that's just one example of the specificity of the Loire and its wines. Vouvray, as another example, is mainly about Chenin Blanc... chances are that unless you're really looking under every stone in Vouvray, that is exactly the grape you'll find bottled even though Arbois is very much allowed. Read an intro to Vouvray and the #winophiles here, where our December host Jeff Burrows offers a primer on it all!
Things have been a bit frenzied around here - in the best way possible. Besides work and contracts and proposals I've been designing our new master bathroom and it's been most fun. From the 3D model I made to help visualise the design to picking out the tile, finishes, light switches, and designing a half-wall to hang a barn door, it has all been fun. I've always done my best work with a tight timeline and this was no different.
In the middle of all that, I had to come up with something special for my better half's birthday. Those who don't know him don't know that as blasé as I am about my birthday, he's the polar opposite. Questions about birthday gifts begin at least 6 months in advance, and questions about plans for the day and the champagne we'll drink start floating about a quarter year in advance. Needless to say, the pressure is on! Last year we went on a terrific bourbon country road-trip with friends. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do this year since we'd had a barrage of parties, eating out, networking things, and other scheduled events. I couldn't bear the thought of yet another eating-drinking-hobnobbing event at a restaurant, winery, or hip tech company office. Besides, we're off to Paris for a few days in January and Death Valley after that, so that's plenty of doing for the first quarter of the new year!
So we opted to have an evening in. No fussy meal or going anywhere, just a fun evening at home with a fire, music, conversation, books, sparkling wine - and since I had to plan a meal - Laura Chenel garlic and herb chèvre, and potato crisps. As we were in mid-December, the wine of course, was on trend with the December #winophiles Vouvray topic. Bubbly French wine generally means a cooler vintage workaround if you're a winemaker, but for most of us it means celebration! We started with a half-bottle of champagne and for after I'd selected a sparkling Vouvray. Domaine du Petit Coteau Vouvray Brut, to be exact. Both wines were a hit with the birthday guy... as evidenced by the one lonely photo of the evening!
At the beautiful organic - and rather compact - Domaine du Petit Coteau, the wines are made exclusively from Chenin Blanc in varying degrees of sweetness, generally dependant on the location of the grapes. The grapes for this wine were harvested from vines planted in the classic Vouvray sandy clay soils over tuffeau.
We had a Brut, with less than 12 g/L residual sugar, and it was splendid with the salty crisps and the creamy-salty chèvre with a whisper of garlic. Who said crisps and chèvre isn't a full meal?! The wine is dry and juicy with overt notes of just-ripening yellow pear, honeysuckle, and caramelised apples with a medium finish. It is not too complex but it is a delight in any season!
|Mono Lake, July 2019|
Do see what my #winophiles friends are sharing about Vouvray this December!
- Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “Pairing a School Assignment with a #Winophiles Project: Moqueca + Gautier Vouvray Argilex 2012”
- Lynn at Savor the Harvest shares “Why I Chose This Wine as A Holiday Favorite”
- Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles shares “The Multiple Expressions of Vouvray!”
- Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm shares “Creamy Clam Dip with a Sauvion Vouvray“
- Lauren at The Swirling Dervish shares “Monmousseau Ammonite Vouvray: Gussying-Up an Ad Hoc Holiday Feast“
- Gwendolyn at Wine Predator shares “Carême Organic Vouvray and Lunch at Chateau de Pray“
- Nicole at Somm’s Table shares “Champalou Vouvray Brut and a Very Lazy Cheese Night”
- Jane at Always Ravenous shares “Vouvray with an Indian-Inspired Dinner”
- Linda at My Full Wineglass shares “Dry and Delicious Vouvray for Easy Weeknight Dinner”
- David at Cooking Chat shares “Spicy Lentil Soup with Wine Pairing”
- Susannah at Avvinare shares “Vouvray’s Singular Moelleux Wines”
- Payal at Keep the Peas shares “A Birthday and a Vouvray”
- Liz at What’s in That Bottle? shares “Va-Va-Va-Vouvray! Get to Know These White Wines from the Loire”
- Jeff at Food Wine Click! shares “Vouvray Pairs with Cream”