Tuesday 16th July 2013 was the second birthday of my blog and who wouldn't love a birthday party. The components would include a dozen or so people, delicious food and perfect wines to match.
When I was invited to an evening of food and wine pairing by Touraine, Vins De Loire on that day I thought what a perfect blog birthday party! The event was well organised featuring Fiona Beckett, food and wine journalist and columnist for the Guardian. She is particularly interested in food and wine pairing.
A simple statement to keep in mind is that what grows together goes together, e.g. Muscadet & oysters! Loire wines are fresh and aromatic, great for sipping in the summer and for drinking with food.
The old rule of red wine with meat and white wine with fish is now passee and you drink wines that you like factoring time and occassion into your choice.
To start the party Fiona talked to us about wines from the Loire region in France and the sort of foods and flavours that they went with and that complimented them. Then the party began!
We had a feast of food and matching wine, one after the other;
To start we had crostini topped with goats cheese and broad beans. To match this
Tesco Finest, Les Chaumes, Touraine Sauvignon, 2012, white a fresh citrusy taste going really well with cheese &
Lionel Gosseaume, Les Marcottes, Touraine, 2012, red, light and fruighty beajolais which can be served chilled in the summer for a refreshing change.
Then Vitenamese prawn and rice noodle salad with
* Thierry Delaunay, Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, 2012, white retailing at £8.99 and available from Majestic Wines. 2012 was a great vintage year. This has an elderflower tone.
Morrisson's, Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, 2011, white at a price of £6.99, fresh and zingy, 2011 was a good but standard year,
The 'party' continued with Sole goujons and chips with
Calvet, Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, 2012, white from Tesco and £8.99
Domaine Guenault, Famille Bougrier, Touraine Sauvignon, 2011, white from The Wine Society and only £6.95
Each time we had a plate of food we discussed the two wine choices that were served with them. There were the usual spitoons on the tables but I prefer to sip and swallow. I don't waste - I don't spit!
A lovely rare seared tuna with a sesame crust was next (one of my favourite fish) and served with
Domaine Pre Baron, Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, 2012, white from Majestic Wines, summery and lightly elderflowery.
Domaine Gul Allion, Les Quatgre Pierres, Touraine, 2010, red - a Cabernet Franc grape and from The Oxford Wine Company. This is wild fruit and very intense raisin. Great with chicken and lamb.
Our final tasting plate was Smoked Venison (I don't usually eat venison preferring not to consume Bambi's relatives! And with this we had two great examples and the second red which was my favourite!
Domaine Gul Allion, Les Quatre Pierres, Touraine, 2010, red available as above
* Henry Marionnet, Vinifera, Touraine, 2010 red again available from The Wine Society. When this wine came into contact with the venison there was a spice explosion in your mouth!
The final dish was a Surprise Dish which was served with Domaine Pagtes, Sparkling Rose, NV - such a nice freshness with a subtle taste of white flowers, apples and honey.
The best blog birthday dessert - a buffet table of wonderful things like whipped cream, fresh raspberries and strawberries, shortbread biscuits, mini merangues, peaches, sauces and so much more and we helped ourselves and created our perfect pudding to go with the sparkling rose. Pudding heaven!
Then we were challenged with two bottles of wine to take home (a blog birthday present perhaps?) and create something to eat that goes really well with one of the wines.
I was lucky that the two bottles I received (see *) were my favourites of the evening!
As it happened I had 500g of uncooked prawns in the freezer (yummmm) so I got everything ready to make a lemon and prawn risotto to serve with my Thierry Delaunay, Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, 2012, white.
This wine comes from the Loire region in France and is made of the grape variety Sauvignon Blanc. It generally goes with crab, risotto, grilled prawns, fish and chips, BBQ fish like sardines and mackerel and loads of different street foods.
It is very crisp and lemony and a background flavour of a hint of tropical fruit. I love a crisp, dry white wine and this one hit all the notes and rang all the bells!
My other bottle of wine, Henry Marionnet, Vinifera, Touraine, 2010, red. This is a medium to full-bodied wine and is made from the grape variety, Malbec and Cot, lighter than an Argentinian Malbec, ready to drink young or for laying down.
Generally this wine goes with roast, grilled or barbequed meat and I am planning on serving it with a veal roast.
I learned a lot about the wines of the Loire area in France which has always been one of my favourite anyway. Thanks to Touraine, Vins de Loire for a great evening and amazing 2nd blog birthday party!