This month’s Wine, Beer, and Food Pairing features Chef Eric Olson from CHOW Catering sharing  Duck Leg Confit with Israeli cous cous prepared with saffron, olives and pomegranate seeds atop roasted carrot puree and palisade cherry syrup. He, Carolyn Joy of Joy Wine and Spirits and I discussed this meal, his catering business, how he can prepare meals last minute off the top of his head, the creativity process, Carolyn’s Domaine Montcy red wine pairing and more.





Wines of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone are some France’s most recognizable and collected.  But, what makes the world of wine so fun, is finding what is most overlooked, or not yet discovered by the masses.   One of the largest and the most Northernly wine regions of France, the Loire, follows its namesake river from the Atlantic up to the center of France, known as the garden basket. The Loire is France’s longest and last wild rivers, running over 600 miles. It is the most diverse areas in terms of wine styles, from sparkling, rose, white and red, and dry to sweet.  Even though it is a huge area, until recently, we haven’t had much access to the diversity that the area offers.  While small amount of Pinot from Sancerre are exported to the states, most people probably associate the Loire with (white)  Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, which are made from Sauvignon Blanc.  However, the Loire is also known for Muscadet and Chenin Blanc (Vouvray).  In my opinion, the Loire is the most diverse area of France, and one that will keep wine drinkers of all types coming back.

This is the perfect time to explore the area, first, because Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir and Gamay are all excellent wines to pair with all Thanksgiving fixings.   Secondly, Loire offers an introduction to some of the varietals and style of Burgundy -Pinot Noir and Gamay- without the expense.  This is especially true now, before we start experiencing price increases as a result of the 25% tariffs on some French wine.  And, as the season for bubbles approaches, the Loire again, overdelivers as an alternative to Champagne.

TERRA LAURA  is entirely organic and biodynamic, where the winemaking is natural, with no added oenological products, no commercial yeasts or enzymes and minimum and controlled use of sulphites. The aim is to achieve maximum expression of the terroir.

Domaine Montcy Rouges is a blend of 60% Gamay, 35% Pinot Noir & 5% Malbec aged solely in stainless steel tanks for 12 months.  The Malbec here is quite different than what you would expect from Malbec from Cahors or Argentina.  The Malbec from Cheverny, called Cot, is much greener, leaner and has a lot more acidity, and just a splash added to this blend adds a brightness to the finish.  Vibrant cranberry and pomegranate notes make is a fantastic pairing for Thanksgiving.

Loire is an area definitely flying under the radar.  Its diversity is a blessing and a curse and tonight will just begin our journey to explore the Loire.


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