Welcome to the June event for The French Winophiles, a wine-swilling, food-loving group coordinated by Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva. We've made it around France. And by clicking on the following regions you can read my recipe post that includes the #winophiles round-up as well. So far, we've traveled - by tabletop and goblet - to the Loire Valley, Corsica, the Southwest, Languedoc-Roussillon, Côtes du Rhône, Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy, and Alsace.
To the Central Loire Valley
Now that we've made the rounds, we're revisiting regions with a little more specificity. So, today, the crew is heading to the Central Loire. These are the villages of Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume, Menetou-Salon.
The Loire Valley - southwest of Paris - was historically the stomping grounds of French monarchs and is renowned for its many vineyards. In fact, it's France’s third largest wine region and is the second largest region for sparkling wine, after Champagne, of course.
Join us for a live Twitter Chat Saturday, June 18th at 11 am EST/8 am PCT. You may join in the revelry by following hashtag #winophiles. Here's where we're headed next..
- July 16th - Medoc, Haute Medoc
- August 20th - St. Emilion/St. Emilion Satelites
- September 17th - Graves and Entre-Deux-Mers
The Other Winophiles...
- Camilla from Culinary Adventureswith Camilla shares “To Sancerre with a Tomato Salad with Parsley &Shallots”
- Jeff of Food Wine Click tells us about “The Red-Headed Stepchild of Sancerre”
- Jill from L’Occasion brings us “Central Loire: Fulfilling a Fantasy”
- Martin of Enofylz WineBlog shares “2015 Domaine Franck Millet Sancerre Rose”
- Michelle from RockinRed Blog brings us “Diving into Loire Valley #Wine with #Winophiles:Sancerre & Pouilly-Fume”
- Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm shares “Domaine Daulney Sancerre 2015 for #FrenchWinophiles”
- Christy from Confessionsof a Culinary Diva shares “Loire Valley Reds: Domaine du Pre SemeleSancerre”
Given the summer season, I opted for a Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre. This pale straw yellow 2013 Patient Cottat comes from fifty-year-old vines and is completely aged in tanks. Playful and medium-bodied, I detected intense aromas of citrus and grassiness with summery notes of melons and figs. And while there was a decided richness, it was simultaneously fresh and lively. I've read that the coolness of the region results in wine with a higher acidity. What a treat!
Most Sancerres are dry, low in alcohol, and not heavily oaked which makes them wonderful with seafood, fish and poultry dishes, and acidic items like vinaigrettes and tomatoes. I had some lovely heirlooms from the market, so I went for the latter on our plates.
I've always assumed French recipes were unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming. This was as simple as any Italian caprese that I whip up throughout the summer when tomatoes are sun-kissed and herbs are abundant.
Tomato Salad with Parsley and Shallots
- 2 to 3 shallots, minced
- 1 t Dijon mustard
- ½ C olive oil
- fleur de sel
- freshly ground pepper
- 5 to 6 ripe heirloom tomatoes, sliced ½" thick
- fresh parsley, roughly chopped
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together shallots, Dijon mustard and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arrange tomatoes on a serving plate. Drizzle shallot vinaigrette over tomatoes and scatter parsley on top. Serve immediately.