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.
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 – 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?
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.
News from the Loire – Chateau des Vaults open 7 days a week
From the 1st May until the 31st October 2018 Chateau des Vaults (Domaine du Closel) is open every day, 7 days a week for visits to the park, vineyard and tasting room.
In the centre of the pretty village of Savennières, Chateau des Vaults makes fine white wines from the Chenin Blanc grape.
Wine Education – ageing wine on its lees
Often you hear winemakers talking about ageing wine on the lees, the yeasty deposit that falls to the bottom of the tank or barrel when the alcoholic fermentation has finished. But what is to be gained by leaving the wine on its lees?
Technical wine and vineyard vocabulary demystified – malo-lactic fermentation
In the production of wine we talk about 2 separate fermentations. The first fermentation (with which I’m sure you are all familiar), is alcoholic fermentation.
News from the Loire – Jazzy Soucherie Friday 8th June
Live Jazz and restauration sur place at the lovely Chateau de Soucherie. Jazzy Soucherie is a lovely annual event at this organic estate with amazing views over the Layon valley. Perfect for a summer’s evening.
What’s in season in the Loire? Asparagus
Possibly my favourite vegetable of all time. Asparagus has a short season and when it comes in it will be on our table frequently. Healthy, easy to cook, versatile and delicious. Here are a few of my favourite ideas for cooking with asparagus.