Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Our favorite Wine selections from the Paris - Foire aux Vins

Preston MOHR gives us some great recommendations for selecting wine while shopping in Paris. He teaches regularly the Champagne Day Trip in Reims, the French Wine Tasting Class and the Cheese and Wine Tasting Class at Cook'n With Class.

It's fall in Paris and the time has come for the big supermarkets of Paris to have their annual “Foire aux Vins” or wine festival, offering a larger and improved selection of what most supermarkets offer during the rest of the year. In general, you can find great wine in French supermarkets if you know what you're looking for, but the Foire aux Vins is the best time to go.

These large companies have great buying power and order in much larger quantities than your typical neighborhood caviste that they are able to price their wines very competitively during the Foire aux Vins.

Here's a short list of some of my favorite selections from Monoprix Foire aux Vins (now until September 16th at all Monoprix stores):

Pouilly-Loché Clos des Rocs 2010 – 14.95
Pouilly-Loché Clos des Rocs
This lesser-known appellation from the Maĉonnais region of Burgundy offers great value for lovers of Chardonnay wines.  This wine offers the richness, density and finesse that one could expect from a wine twice its price. Rich and appropriately oaked Chardonnays of this quality make for great food wines. Pair this one with a savory leek tart, pâtés, roast chicken or with creamycheeses such as Brillat Savarin or Chaource.

Saumur Soliterre 2011 – 12.50
Saumur Soliterre
Zesty and refreshing, this Loire valley white from Saumur (grape variety Chenin Blanc) explodes with green apple, lime zest and white pepper. A wonderful wine on its own before dinner or with coquilles St. Jacques in a citrus sauce, simple seafood dishes or would make a satisfying partner for goats cheeses or chicken in cream sauce with wild mushrooms. 

Brouilly Château Thivin 2011 – 8.90
Brouilly Château Thivin
When I'm in a hurry and forced to make quick wine decisions in a supermarket, I will often go for one of the 10 crus or villages of Beaujolais, such as Brouilly, that make the highest quality wines of a region otherwise associated with cheap plonk. These wines are always affordable and offer an excellent value when from a good producer such as Chateau Thivin. This is the epitome of a “week night” wine for me: juicy, refreshing, not too complicated but very satisfying and it goes with absolutely any kind of cooking. This example is rich in raspberry and cherry with a hint of licorice.

Crozes-Hermitage La Matinière Ferraton Père & Fils 2010 – 9.95
Crozes-Hermitage La Matinière
Heading down towards the sun of the Rhone Valley, this Crozes-Hermitage is an explosion of aromas. Spices such as black pepper, cinnamon, clove and licorice dominate the nose. The palate consists of dried herbs, stewed plums and jammy blackberry. This would make a great pairing with a daube de boeuf or grilled steak, long-cooked lamb or aged cheeses, a wine well suited to the comforting cuisine that the French do so well.

1 comment:

Cathy Henton said...

Lovely to see a great Chenin blanc from the Loire in your recommendations Preston. Just perfect with seafood!