Recipes from Le Tasting Room’s kitchen – sweet pastry
Sweet pastry that crumbles in your mouth like shortbread. This is the pastry I use to make all our sweet tarts here at Le Tasting Room and it freezes like a dream.
Loire valley vineyard update 11th June 2018
The weather has been dire over the past week with huge quantities of rain making vineyards practically inaccessible. This is worrying as the damp, humid conditions lead to mildew (downy and powdery) which requires treating on a regular basis, especially if you are working organically.
Wine education – flowering in the vineyard (a little more detail)
Flowering is an important stage in the vineyard year. Vines further east have flowered and the fruit has set whereas here in Anjou, our vines are in full flower.
Recipes from Le Tasting Room’s kitchen – warm smoked chicken salad with roasted summer vegetables
This is an unusual smoked chicken salad that can be adapted to use whatever vegetables are in season. Yesterday I used red peppers, sweet potato, aubergine, fennel, red onion and asparagus as they are all looking fantastic at the moment.
Loire valley vineyard update 4 June 2018 – Flowering
Both the Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc are flowering here at Le Tasting Room. Here in Anjou we are always a little behind the vineyards further east where many vines have finished flowering and the fruit has set.
What are we drinking this week? L’Envolée 2011 from Gérald Vallée
As it’s been warm enough to eat outside this week we enjoyed a simple dinner of home made burgers, roasted garlicky plum tomatoes and a fresh green salad. L’Envolée from Gérald Vallée was our wine of choice.
Recipes from Le Tasting Room’s kitchen – confit of duck the easy way
Many of you will have enjoyed confit of duck here at le tasting room. The ultimate comfort food, tender duck with super crispy skin, served either on a bed of duck fat roasted potatoes and rosemary or with lentils and smoky bacon.
Wine Education – crystals in my white wine
Sometimes, as you near the end of a bottle of white or rosé wine there appears to be what looks like crystals of glass or sugar in the bottom. What is it and should I be worried?
What’s on the cheeseboard this month? Le Crottin de Chavignol
Le Crottin de Chavignol is the most famous goat’s cheese from the Loire valley. It takes its name from Chavignol, a little village just a few kilometres from Sancerre where cheese has been made since the 16th century.
Tips from Le Tasting Room’s kitchen – freezing egg whites
Egg whites freeze really well and it’s very useful to have them on hand. When I make a recipe that requires just the yolks, I pop the whites into a bag, note the number of whites and pop them in the freezer.
Technical wine and vineyard vocabulary demystified – ébourgeonnage, épamprage
At this time of year growers make a second pass through the vineyard to remove excess buds or shoots from the vines. This process is called ébourgeonnage in French and consists of removing excess shoots from the growing vines.
Personal News – my life in the Loire 27th May 2018
Yesterday, after a rather odd day when it was cool in the morning and really hot in the afternoon, the skies turned black around five o’clock and then suddenly, a violent storm accompanied by hailstones, battered the house and garden for about a quarter of an hour and then stopped, just as suddenly.