Monday, 6 August 2012

Under The Volcano

If we're talking 'terroir' than it doesn't come more distinctive than ash and tufa does it? In fact the vines of the Auvergne don't cascade down the sides of the region's extraordinary volcanoes like lava. Instead they are mainly in the fertile valleys. This rosé was the perfect dish to set us up for the steaks we cooked under the pine trees camping next to the volcanic Lac D'Aydat. It's a bit like a Bordeaux rosé, quite full-bodied and dry. It's produced by a co-operative in the shadow of the long extinct Puy De Dome that towers weirdly above the surrounding landscape. I think I can detect a hint of the old fires in that lovely colour.

In Sancerre

The Sel De Grenier is one of those rather frilly French restaurants which can put you on edge until you realise all the diners are much more relaxed than the staff. And what could be more unstressed than eating in the garden at the heart of the lovely historic quarter of Montlucon in the Bourbonnais. That's close enough to the Loire for me to order a Sancerre. Not the classic steely white of that region, however, but this lovely cherry red. It went beautifully with some classic French food avec une twiste:  beef carpaccio with a basil sorbet, par exemple.