This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the December #Winophiles event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.
This month, Lynn of Savor the Harvest, is hosting the French Winophiles as we celebrate the holidays French-style. You can read her invitation: here. Merci beaucoup to Michèle Piron, Vinconnexion, and Vignobles & Signatures, our generous event sponsors!
I received four beautiful bottles of French wine and will share all of them in turn, but for this French Winophiles Fête, I'm sticking with a quintessential classic: Champagne. This bottle from one of the event sponsors Drappier.
Here's the #Winophiles' French-Style Season offerings...
- Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla whips up A French #Winophiles Fête: Foie Gras, Pain d’Épices & Champagne Drappier.
- Jill shares from L’Occasion shares How To Bring French Holiday Traditions Home.
- Gwen at Wine Predator has Season’s Greetings French-Style.
- Wendy at A Day In The Life On The Farm gives us A Holiday Gathering with FrenchFoods and Wines.
- Martin at ENOFYLZ Wine Blog shares A Taste of French Inspired Holiday Food and Wine.
- Deanna from Asian Test Kitchen tells writes about Ants Climb a Tree with French Wine.
- Lauren at The Swirling Dervish tells us about Parisian Holiday: A Few of My Favorite Things.
- Michelle of Rockin Red Blog writes about A French-Inspired Holiday Alsatian Style.
- Kat from Bacchus Travel and Tours writes about Noël en Provence.
- Jeff from FoodWineClick! discusses What is French-Style Season?
- Payal writes at Keep The Peas shares Bonnes Fêtes à la #Winophiles.
- Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles entices us with Un repas de Noël pour les fêtes de fin d’année (A Christmas Dinner for the end of the year celebrations)…with wine.
- David Crowley from Cooking Chat shares FestivePairings for Pouilly-Fumé and Other Special French Wine.
- Lyn writes at L.M. Archer tells us about The Hedonistic Taster: French-Style Season Edition.
- Jane cooks things up at Always Ravenous shares AFrench Inspired Winter Dinner.
- Nicole from Somms Table shares Crocus l’Atelier Malbec de Cahors with Château Mercuès Saffron Chicken Soup.
- Liz from What’s In That Bottle tells us how to Frenchify Your Festivities with Fun Wines.
- Rupal from Journeys of a Syrah Queen shares French Inspired Holiday Wines.
- And on Savor the Harvest, Lynn shares how to Give a Little Touche Française to Your Holiday.
As for me, I decided to do something I love: combining sweet and savory. And I also decided to do something I don't usually do: eat foie gras. Don't get me wrong, it's not the foie gras controversy that keeps me away (remember, my state of residence has banned foie on and off for years); it's just not something I usually buy. In fact, when something is banned - say a book or a food product - I am more apt to hunt it down and partake. Really. Besides, many a French holiday meal typically starts off with foie gras.
You might ask: is it ethical to eat foie gras? I say, yes. In this country, foie gras is produced by just a handful of farmers who have the highest of standards and practices for their animals. This foie gras is from Hudson Valley. If you're curious, you can google them. They have some nice clips about their process. And when compared to the mass-produced nightmare that is factory farmed meat, foie gras looks idyllic.
I've had foie gras seared. And I've had it with a slice of toasted brioche. I love that combination. But when I read about pairing an unctuous slice of liver with grilled gingerbread slices, pain d’épices, I was sold. I made small gingerbread squares, places seared foie gras on top of the cookies, then added a smear of lemon marmalade for a rich, spicy, tart holiday nibble.
Ingredients makes lots more cookies than needed!
- 1 C butter
- 1 C organic dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 C unsulphured molasses
- 6 C flour + more as needed
- 1 C ground almond meal (or almond flour)
- 2 T baking powder
- 1 T ground ginger
- 2 t ground cinnamon
- 1 t ground nutmeg
- 1 t ground cloves
- 1/2 t ground allspice
- 1/2 t ground white pepper
- 1/2 t ground cardamom
- Also needed: cookie cutters (I used a small rectangle), parchment paper, rolling pin
ProcedureMelt the butter and whisk in the molasses, sugar, and eggs. Add dry ingredients and blend till you have a stiff dough. Split dough into quarters and roll into a ball. Wrap tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper to about 1/4" thick. Use cookie cutters and place the cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place the trays in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes before baking.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on thickness. They should be firm and nicely browned. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for a minute or so before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining dough.
Drappier is a Champagne producer based in the Urville region of Champagne, at the heart of the Côte des Bar. Founded at the beginning of the 19th century, Drappier Champagne produces both vintage and non-vintage cuvee. And this one - Brut Nature - is a no added sulphur, 100% Pinot Noir wine.
To the eye, it's a beautiful golden color with flecks of rose. On the nose, I get citrus. And, on the tongue, it has a generous array of herbs and stone fruit. This is a lovely Champagne that paired beautifully with the foie gras.
And because I didn't want to leave the boys out of this fête, I tracked down some sparkling apple-pear juice from France.
Two more things are needed for a truly fabulous French-style feast, in my opinion: cheese and dessert. So, in addition to the foie gras, I served warmed Camembert with slices of bread. That's always a hit.
And for a truly French-style seasonal dessert, I would present a Bûche de Noël. I didn't make one for this post, but we make one every year for our Christmas baby. And you really can't go wrong with a Bûche de Noël. Ever. This was our Nutty Bûche de Noël from a couple of years ago. And the one below was posted here.
Well, that's a wrap on our 2018 French Winophiles event. Thanks to all the bloggers who have sipped, posted, and taught me so many things this year. Join us, again, in January when we are exploring the Biodynamic Wines of France with Gwen of Wine Predator leading the conversation. À Notre Santé...Joyeuses Fêtes!