Thursday, 7 July 2011

Choosing wine

I mentioned in our last blog that we were going off on Tuesday to buy some wine from local producers. We have gradually decided on the wine from our area (Touraine) that we like, and, as we needed red, white and rose, thought we were due a day off from game producing to go off and replenish stocks. Touraine is an area often overlooked by wine 'buffs', and whilst the wine cannot compare with the robust Bordeaux or Cote du Rhone, it does have a number of very nice 'drinkable' wines. Our friend, Gaynor, wrote about a trip we took earlier this year to Reuilly and Quincy in her blog. These wines (mainly white) come from a very small area in the east of the Loire, and they compare most favourably with whites from other regions of France - if not the rest of Europe, but then we are biased!

Our first stop would be up near Onzain on the Loire for some Touraine Mesland, a nice light red. I had telephoned ahead (always a good idea) to our normal supplier, only to be told by the lady on the other end that a visit in the morning was not possible (very strange, as usually the wife of the vigneron normally does the selling!). Not to be outdone, I found another grower in the same part of the village, so we set off. We stopped for coffee in Cere la Ronde which is a very tidy little place, just south of Montrichard. We noticed most of the villages and verges along the way had been spruced up and it didn't take us long to work out that the Tour de France is due through the area tomorrow (Friday), so they obviously wanted the places to look their best on international television!

We continued on to Onzain and visited Domaine Chollet where we tried some very nice Rose demi-sec (we bought 3 bottles for stock) and also some Touraine Mesland Vielle vignes (red wine from old vines). This was so good we bought 2 x 10 litre boxes. We also asked for Etiquettes (labels) which means we can bottle the wine (remember the corker John bought at a recent Brocante!). It works out a very reasonable 2,60 euros a litre!

Our next stop would have been to Francois Cartier in Pouille on the Cher, but as we were a little late for our appointment, I re-arranged it for the afternoon, so we called at our Sparkling Rose supplier in Seigy. Their wine is lovely - need we say more! We also bought some Cuvee d'Automne which is a semi sweet white and perfect for aperitif drinking.

Lunch was in the small cafe in Chateauvieux, which offers a 10,00 euro 4 course meal including wine! Can't go wrong really.

Suitably fortified, we then headed for Preuille and bought some of the rose - Pineau d'Aunis, again in a 10 litre box with labels so we can bottle ourselves.

Our last stop was to Domaine de la Girardiere, near St Aignan, where Patrick Leger makes some very good Sauvignon blanc. Try the link below to read about him and his wine-making (it's in English to make it easy for you!)

We had a lovely day out - and so did our gite clients, who also bought some wine to take home with them. The price from the vigneron is so reasonable, and you have the added opportunity to try before you buy.

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