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.
Recipes from Le Tasting Room’s kitchen – pastry for quiches and savoury dishes
You can buy pastry in any French supermarket and I certainly don’t judge anyone for using it as it saves time, comes rolled and is ready to slide into a tin. But, it’s not quite as good as homemade. Probably because when I make my own I use rather large quantities of really good fresh butter
What are we drinking this week? L’Enthousiasme 2014 from Domaine Ogereau
We have a really soft spot for the appellation of Savennières. Home to fine white Chenin Blanc wines, full of character and minerality from impossibly shallow top soils sitting above the schist and slate of the Massif Amoricain.
Recipes from Le Tasting Room’s kitchen – Puy lentils with lardons and thyme
We often serve these lentils as a side to duck confit, roasted Toulouse sausages or griddled salmon. As time has gone by I have modified the recipe to make it easier and less time consuming. You can make them the day before and reheat gently when serving so they are great to do when you have people over.
Wine Education – sediment in red wine, should I worry?
Sometimes as you pour the last glass or two from a bottle of red wine you find sediment in your glass. Should you worry about that?
Wine Education – the appearance of wine
There is a lot you can gather from just looking at a wine. Tip the glass at an angle of 45°C preferably against a white background and take a look. What can you see?
Les Grandes Tablées du Saumur Champigny 1 & 2 August 2018
For two nights in August, the centre of Saumur becomes the biggest restaurant in the world as thousands gather for the annual celebration of Saumur Champigny and its wines over a delightful open air dinner on the banks of the river Loire.
What’s going on in the Loire valley vineyards in May?
Growers have been under time pressure to tie down the vines that were left upright in many appellations in an attempt to avoid frost. Normally this is done by mid April but no chances were taken this year.
Recipes from le tasting room’s kitchen – Clafoutis
Clafoutis is a classic French dessert and one that I cook on a regular basis throughout the summer. I have various versions but this one is a particular favourite as it contains ground almonds in the recipe and can very easily be multiplied up or halved to make large or smaller quantities without compromising the final result.