Friday, 26 June 2015

Day 5...wine tasting in Chateauneuf-du-Pape

I am not a wine expert, but do appreciate good wine. France is probably the place to be if you would like to pamper yourself with some delicious wine. The area we are staying is full with wine yards and wineries and the choices are endless.....

Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a very famous wine district and well known to the world...well, to the world where people appreciate a good wine. I have to admit I was not familiar with this area or wines till today. It was my husband, who has a solid knowledge about wines, suggesting to do some wine tasting in that area...and so we did. The village is about 45 km from us away and I guess all wine experts would understand why a small visit there is a must.

The landscape, on the way there, changed a little....the lavender fields as well as all the fruit and olive threes disappeared and you could only see the wine yards, as far as your eyes could reach...


We visited two wineries and bought a bit more wine as initially thinking. Obviously there are millions of wineries there and you will find yourself in the situation to choice.....we agreed to visit one winery we found recommended in "tripadvisor" and then just see what else will appeal to us. 

The first winery we visited with a lovely name "Domaine Juliette Avril" is a small family operated winery, run by mother and son. We were welcomed for a wine testing by Stephan (the son and the owner) and his son. He explained us some rules and regulations about wine, what can be eaten to what, what price shall we pay and which not and how best to enjoy the exclusive wines. While we grown ups where enjoying the wines and the nice conversation, our kids found each other and were having the time of their lives too....running, laughing and chasing each other over the whole cellar. I think Pablo even picked up some more french words too. It was an unforgettable experience, very familiar, cosy and lovely. We bought some bottles of wine, the kids shared some last cookie and then we were off. Before we took of Stephan gave us a promise, he said we will come here again...once we will open the wines, we won´t be able to resist he said....I hope he is right as I would love to see us here again too.....


The second winery we visited was a recommendation in tripadvisor...called: OGIER. A bit more bigger, with a huge assortments of wines and a bit more commercialised, but still very nice and charming. The girl who did the wine tasting with us was as lovely as the whole experience....you could see so much that she really enjoyed what she was doing, which gave a special note to the wine tasting. She also shared some tips and tricks with us, told us her favourite wines and recommendations...I am embarrassed to say, but after trying additional 5 or 6 wines, I was a bit (or bit more) drunk by the time we were finished. I know you should not necessary drink all the wine, but they all were so delicious I found it a pity to spit it out....


We made our way to the centre of the village to have something to eat and to do some sightseeing. This town as well is small and very charming, filled with many cellars where you could buy even more wine.....we did not dare though, as our car was filled with (too many) bottles already. 


Coming back home, the boys took a short dip in the jacuzzi pool to relax and cool down from the trip. I went to the kitchen prepare the food for the dinner.... We decided to do some barbecue in the garden, as we bought some sausages by the local butcher and we still had plenty of vegetables from the market. For the starter I decided to go with "tarte tatin de tomates cerises" and for dessert "crêpes avec du sirop de lavande". Day five of my challenge, today with a starter and the world famous french dessert recipes...


Tarte tatin with cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 boxes cherry tomatoes
  • puff pastry (bought from store)
  • salt, pepper, sugar, olive oil, balsamic vinegar
  • chevre cheese
  • fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 200 C. Put the tomatoes into the hot pan (which can be put in the oven later) covering the whole pan. Season with salt, pepper a bit of sugar and have a good splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Cut a round circle out of the puff pastry dough, big enough to cover all the tomatoes. Put it over the tomatoes and push the edges gently down with a wooden spoon. Take the pan from the heat and put it into the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes till golden brown. Take the pan out...you might have some juices coming out which can be decanted before you turn over the tarte to a plate. Take a plate big enough to cover the pan and turn the pan over.... Serve it with some fresh chevre cheese crumble all over, fresh basil leaves and another splash of olive oil....


Since we are surrounded by the lavender... I try to use it as much as I can. We liked the light perfumed taste of the lavender in the galette d´abricot so much, I decided to do a lavender flavoured syrup for the crepes for our Provence inspired desert....

Lavender vanilla syrup
  • 1-2 cups of water
  • 5-7 branches of fresh lavender
  • 5-8 spoons of sugar
  • vanilla sugar
Put water, lavender, sugar and vanilla sugar in  a pot, steer briefly and let it cook on a high heat for some minutes. As soon as the water starts to bubble put the heat to medium-high and let it cook for additional 20 minutes or so....till you will get a think syrup...

Meanwhile you can prepare the crepes....you can use the recipe from one of my previous posts...here
Serve the crepes with some fresh fruits or berries, a small dollop of creme fraiche and plenty of the delicious lavender syrup....



Enjoy!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...