The French Reception. Welcome Your Guests with Bubbly and Crisps.
Be very French and welcome your guests with a glass of bubbly and a bowl of potato chips (known outside the USA as 'crisps'). Great Champagne is nice or a bottle of méthode originale Chennin from the Loire Valley, But may we suggest a naturally sparkling cider? Any combination will work, but with fall right around the corner, we are crazy about the 2017 Darling Creek paired with barbecue potato chips. This smokey, tannic cider with loads of fruit combines with the sweet-tangy-spicy chips in a way that will blow your mind. It's so good.
As part of her sabbatical in the world of grapes and wine, Autumn finds herself in southern France studying wine making with the great Louis Barroul on his Gigondas Estate, Chateau St. Cosme. Named after the 2nd Century Roman chapel nestled in among the terraces of vines, the winery has been in Louis' family for thirteen generations and it's not hard to see why he is such a rock star. Not only does Louis make great wines from one of the top appellations in the Southern Rhone Valley, he also farms his grapes organically and is passionate about keeping the forests of Gigondas preserved forever. It's this deep reverence for nature that allows his wines to be a direct conduit to place they were grown..steep limestoney hillsides surrounded by pine forests and garrigue- wild thyme, lavender, rosemary, and juniper.
For 10 days Autumn worked in Louis' vineyard and cellar and learned the very traditional ways he makes wine. Each day after work, she walked to the 'La Poste' vineyard by the chapel and ate insanely delicious ripe figs from wild trees growing the hedgerows. And each evening she was received graciously by her generous hosts in their beautiful stone house on the estate.
Making great wine is a crazy, busy job, but the Barroul family still finds time to have dinner with friends. Often. Part of the reason is because the French are so good at life...and what is life with out great food, great wine, and friends and family to share it with? Part of the reason is because Mediterranean cuisine is fast fresh. While you light the grill for the sausages, pick tomatoes from the garden. And while you throw together the salad, put crisps in a bowl and pop open a bottle of bubbly as your guests walk in the door. It's easy to be French!
Do It Yourself
What are you waiting for? Summer is almost over, and markets are overflowing with seasonal produce. Invite friends over today. Keep it really simple..fresh food, great wine and don't forget to welcome your guests with cider and crisps!
If you want to have a revelatory wine experience, pick up a bottle of Chateau St. Cosme. These wines will be an amazing experience. If you have 18 years to stick them in the cellar, you may even cry like Autumn did when she tasted the 2000 Côte-Rôtie pictured above.
About The Pairing Issue
If I popped into your house, would I find cider at your table? For a growing number of artisan beverage lovers, the answer is yes! But giving cider a seat at the table continues to keep me up at night. The Pairing Issue is a monthly "how-to" about bringing cider into your life through daily meals and simple friendly gatherings.