Winery Spotlight Series: Feb. 24th E.Guigal

Guigal Logo
Virtual Wine Tasting Event on Zoom and Facebook LIVE

E. Guigal

Rhône Valley, Ampuis, France

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
6:00pm CST / 7:00pm EST

Join us for a virtual wine tasting event, featuring E. Guigal wines from Rhône Valley, with guest speaker Patrick Will, Vintus VP of Brand Management. During our virtual event, Patrick will be guiding us through a tasting of the following 7 wines:

Zoom Facebook Live

  • Côtes du Rhône Rosé
  • Côtes du Rhône Blanc
  • St. Joseph Blanc
  • Crozes-Hermitage Rouge​
  • Côtes du Rhône Rouge
  • Gigondas
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Be sure to RSVP at your local WineStyles location or on Eventbrite.  Pre-order your wines in advance at your local participating WineStyles location and taste alongside Patrick with a front seat on Zoom! Or watch on our Facebook LIVE event.

Guigal WinesAbout E. Guigal:

The Guigal domain was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in Ampuis; a small, ancient village at the heart of the Côte-Rôtie appellation. It is overlooked by unique vineyards where vines and wine have been celebrated for over 2,400 years. The founder went on to make wine for 67 vintages in the Côte-Rôtie appellation. Today, Marcel Guigal and his son Philippe Guigal, along with their families, are the guardians of this exceptional domain which combines history, devotion and a sense of togetherness. A breath of inspiration for generations to come. Learn more about E. Guigal here.

Vineyards:

The Maison Guigal upholds the highest level of respect for their vine through their relentless commitment to the preservation of each ancient plot. In each season, growers pay close attention to the maturation of the grapes. From budding through to harvest in September, they tend the vines to ensure that each plant survives the winter months unharmed and are nourished by the sun and the rain once spring arrives. Every measured and precise act of care and attention has been handed down through the generations who have looked after this first-class terroir. Learn more about their vineyards here.

About Patrick T. Will,
Vice President, Vintus Brand Management and Development
Patrick T. Will

Patrick T. Will

Patrick joined Vintus in late 2010 when Vintus purchased his national importing company Ex Cellars Wine Agencies, Inc., and merged two dynamic portfolios.  Prior to joining Vintus, Patrick had extensive experience in the wine trade, including time in both retail and winery production. From 1988 to 1996 he was General Manager of Firestone Vineyard in Los Olivos, CA, where he worked with consultant André Tchelistcheff.  Patrick served as President of the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association from 1991-1994.  In late 1996 he formed Ex Cellars with Fred Ek, and spent nearly 15 years developing and managing the US sales as the exclusive importer of E. Guigal, Domaine des Baumard, D. Milhade, Domaine Talmard, and Dog Point Vineyard, among others.  In 2008 Patrick was inducted into the Echansonnerie des Pâpes, the wine brotherhood of Châteauneuf du Pape, and he was honored as “Person of the Year” by Hospice du Rhône in 2011, recognizing his long association with the wines of France’s Rhône valley.  He is a frequent guest lecturer on the Rhône Valley and other topics at the CIA Wine School in St. Helena, California and he currently serves on the board of World of Pinot Noir.  Patrick wears “multiple hats” at Vintus: he oversees sales in 5 states, manages 10 brands within the Vintus portfolio, and supplies educational assistance as needed. Patrick lives in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife Donna.  He reports to company President Michael Quinttus. 

Let’s Taste, Learn and Enjoy® together! 

Contact your local WineStyles to RSVP for this tasting event.

E. Guigal
Ampuis, France

Cheers!

WineStyles.com

January Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubAntech Brut NatureAntech
Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
Limoux, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“Our Brut Nature wines are made with “zero dosage”, which means that no “expedition liqueur” (sugar) has been added to the bottle. They respect and reveal the purest expression of our painstakingly selected grapes and our blends — berries, linden tree flowers, crisp green apple, anise, etc. — depending on the cuvées.” – Antech

This wine has not received any dosage and thus it expresses the purity and liveliness of the wine. With a crystalline yellow color and golden highlights, the fineness of the bubbles are delightful. The intense nose offers delicate aromas of hawthorn and a pretty fresh mouth of citrus aromas with a very harmonious finish, where the wine can express itself. Taste it as an aperitif or along with the meal. Serve chilled (45-47°F).

Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 90% Mauzac, 5% Chenin, 5% Chardonnay
Vinification: Traditional Method, exclusively handpicked harvest. Direct pressing of the grapes and selected musts are set for a first fermentation in inox vat under controlled temperature. Finally, blending and a second fermentation are completed in capped bottles on lattes for around 18th months in air conditioned cellars.
Critical Acclaim: 90 points from Decanter

VINEYARD:
This wine is grown with an oceanic influence in a Mediterranean climate on hillsides and terraces with gently sloping clay-limestone soil. On average, the vine age is about 20 to 40 years old and yields less than 50 hectares. For over five centuries, Antech has tamed this magical terroir to make fine sparkling wines. The secret of their character lies in the wise combination of Limoux’s three terroirs, which form the backbone of their cuvées: freshness from the Pyrenees, vinousness from the ocean and roundness from the Mediterranean. Limoux is a lovely little Languedoc town in the heart of Cathar country.  Learn more about their vineyards here.
ABOUT THE WINERY:

Family owned and independent for 6 generations, the Antech Estate dedicates itself to the elaboration of sparkling wines in Limoux, legendary sparkling wine area. Forerunner in the regional anchoring and the revival of the traditions, the Antech Estate distinguishes itself by a distinctive style, from the elegance of its bubbles to the commitment of its action.

Do you speak bubbles? Learn the lexicon >


CollectionDomaine Charles Baur
Crémant d’Alsace Brut
Eguisheim, Alsace, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

Crémant is a style of sparkling wine from France, with strict regulations that govern the production methods. Alsace, as a Crémant producing region, dates back to the 19th century and typically have fine mousse (bubbles).

This Crémant, or Brut sparkling white wine, offers a complex nose of apples, pears, white flowers, and a touch of melon. On the palate, this sparkler is fresh, delicate, well-balanced, and provides a fantastic mouthfeel. It pairs nicely with seafood, oysters, and desserts, but can also be enjoyed on its own any time.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 80% Pinot Blanc, 20% Chardonnay
Appellation: AOC Crémant d’Alsace
Harvest Method:
Manuel harvest with sorting
Vinification:
Pneumatic pressing of whole grapes with selection of juices. Prize de Mousse in bottles at low temperature. Stored, then disgorged.
Critical Acclaim:
92 points Wine Enthusiast 

VINEYARD:
The vines are located in Eguisheim and the surrounding area. Predominately clay-limestone, the slopes of Eguisheim have weak to steep slopes. Protected by the Vosges, rainfall is low, which promotes maturation and limits disease. To learn more about Domaine Charles Baur’s Vineyard, click here.

Alsace wines Charles Baur Eguisheim_ Crémant d'Alsace Brut

Photo by Domaine Charles Baur

ABOUT THE WINERY:
Located in Eguisheim, in the heart of the Alsatian vineyard, the Charles Baur family cultivates vines located on the slopes of Eguisheim and its immediate surroundings. Their beautiful wine heritage is made up of several plots located on the Grands Crus Brand, Eichberg and Pfersigberg. With the aim of producing great Alsace wines, they seek moderate yields and harvest and sort all of their production by hand. In order to ensure a high level of quality every year, they exclusively produce wines with their own harvest grapes. The Charles Baur Winery develops the entire range of Alsace wines, a very wide range of Grands Crus and several Crémants d’Alsace.

Bubbly Wine ClubLearn more about our Bubbly Club >

December Bubbly Club

Bubbly Wine ClubChampagne Collet RoseChampagne Collet
Brut Rosé
Aÿ-Champagne, France

BUBBLY WINE STYLE

“This Brut Rosé Champagne seduces with its intense pink color, its tenderness and harmony.”

This Brut Rosé Champagne is intense and luminous peach-pink color. On the nose it first gives off floral fragrances, which give way to fragrances of orange, mandarin, yellow peach and red fruits – mulberries and raspberries. It has a beautiful freshness and a delicate nose with notes of brown sugar. Enjoyment and elegance describe this cuvée Brut Rosé. A richness of fruits – mulberry, blackcurrant, and peach – and a note of cocoa, make a round, supple, velvety wine. This wine has a beautiful, silky texture, sustained by a tender effervescence.

Brut Rosé will delight the palate as an aperitif, but also lends itself perfectly to a buttery lobster or a red fruit dessert.

Analysis: 12.5% alcohol / volume
Varietals: 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier
Closure: Natural Cork
Critical Acclaim:  91 pts. Wine Spectator

VINEYARD:
The grapes in this wine have their origin in 20 Crus from the Grand and Premier Crus sites of the Champagne region. The Chardonnay comes predominantly from the Premier Cru of Vertus and gives the wine freshness and lemony notes, while the mineral dimension and flinty aromas, come from the Cru of Villers-Marmery, which has a limestone soil. The Grands Crus and Premiers Crus villages, such as Chouilly, Avize, Oger and Vaudemange, complete the blend with great complexity. The Pinot Noir comes from the Grands Cru and Premiers Cru villages of Ay, Hautvillers, Avenay Val d’Or and Louvois; it produces light, tender and fruity wines, while the Pinot Meunier imparts a roundness and suppleness. This unique blend of terroirs, producing a unique Rosé Champagne.

Brut Rosé

Photo by Eric Vanden at Champagne Collet

ABOUT THE WINERY:

Since 1921, Maison Collet has been creating distinctive champagnes that appeal to a clientele of demanding wine connoisseurs in search of authentic, elegant and refined champagnes. Established in Aÿ, in the heart of the Champagne region, Maison Collet uses primarily Premier and Grand Crus in its wines in order to reflect the diversity of the Champagne terroirs. Champagne Collet is a gastronomic wine and every cuvée has been created to complement various fine dining and fine drinking experiences, whether served as an aperitif or paired with the most sophisticated of dishes.

Raoul Collet became Director of Champagne Collet in 1928. At the time he was a wine producer in Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and had created his eponymous brand in 1921. Over his lifetime (1896-1960), he dedicated 30-years of work to Maison Collet, which he took to the most important French and international exhibitions. He was the instigator of property investments and was behind the brand’s first advertising campaigns. During his tenure as director, he lived in the Villa Collet with his family.

This spirit of the “Roaring Twenties” lives on at Maison Collet today and is reflected in its rich heritage and its elegant, Art Deco-inspired visual identity. The elegant transparency of the Champagne Collet labels gives the brand a contemporary feel and is an expression of the brand’s sincerity and taste for innovation. This design universe has been applied to all the Champagne House’s creations, from the champagnes’ packaging, gift boxes and cases, to the decor of Villa Collet, our “brand home”. Learn more about Champagne Collet here.

Bubbly Wine Club Learn more about our Bubbly Club >

Pairing Recipe August Wine Club

August Wine Club

Abbotts and Delaunay
A Tire d’ Aile
Grenache, Syrah, Carignan
Cotes Du Roussillon
France

Cotes Roussillon bottleStemmed from the encounter of two passionate winemakers, Abbotts & Delaunay wines embody the know-how of Nerida Abbott and Laurent Delaunay.

A Tire d’Aile is a range of delectable, balanced and elegant wines from classic appellations in the Languedoc region. Respecting both the soil and the vines, healthy grapes are produced with good concentration much to the delight of the birds that live in the plots.

The grapes for this wine hail from three of Roussillon’s famed terroirs; Montner (a temperate zone producing grapes that lend depth to the wine), Tautavel (a hot, dry terroir whose grapes add complexity) and Caramany (a cooler area with grapes that lend elegance). The grapes are handpicked. The Syrah and Grenache grapes are vinified traditionally while the Carignan undergoes whole bunch maceration. Pairs great with grilled meats, poultry in puff pastry and Mediterranean cuisine.

Deep in color with carmine hues, this wine has aromas of raspberry, violet, licorice and blackberry underscored by spicy notes. Full-bodied from the start with soft tannins and long on the finish.” – Laurent Delaunay, winemaker

 

Rustic Sausage Kale Pasta

Pairs well, complementing the earthy, fruit forward flavors in a Languedoc red.

Rustic Sausage Kale Pasta plate

INGREDIENTS:
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 1b mild Italian pork sausage
• 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
• 1-½ cups baby kale
• 7 oz. canned Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 lb dried penne pasta
• pinch red pepper flakes, optional
• salt and freshly ground pepper
• 5 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more for serving

DIRECTIONS:
• Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
• In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the pork sausage, breaking it up and cook until browned. Add the red onion slices and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn heat down to low.
• Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup pasta water.
• Drain the pasta. Add the beans to the sausage mixture, pasta, Parmesan cheese and reserved pasta water. Stir to mix and gently mix in the baby kale. Serve with extra cheese. Serves 4.  © Photo and recipe Always Ravenous, adapted from French Country Cooking by Mimi Thorisson.

Grenache Blanc Pairing Recipe

Fish Lasagna
fish-lasgana
INGREDIENTS:

•  Lasagne sheets
•  18 – 21 oz (500-600g) varied fish fillets (salmon, mackerel, Pollack, etc).
•  2 jars tomato sauce (home-made tomato sauce is best)
•  1 tub of soft cream cheese flavored with tomato
•  2 tablespoons crème fraiche (thick, heavy creme with buttermilk)
•  2 tablespoons mustard
•  grated Gruyère (or mozzarella)
•  salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Cook the fish in a court-bouillon or steam it (or even microwave it).  Mix the flaked fish with cream cheese, mustard and crème fraiche, season with salt and pepper.

Start to assemble the lasagne; a layer of tomato sauce, a layer of fish mixture, a layer of lasagne sheets….and repeat the process.

Finish with a layer of tomato sauce and sprinkle over grated Gruyère or mozzarella.

Bake in the oven at 390°F (200°c) for around 35 minutes.  Serves 4. Recipe courtesy of Vinadeis of France.

Chx-Tour-de-Montredon_Blanc_SMSilky_StickerTour de Montredon
Grenache Blanc
Corbieres, France

The Montredon Cooperative Winery was established in 1938. It is situated in a splendid location of the Corbieres region amidst impressive surrounding hills. The vineyards cover 8 hectares near the Labade Hills. The parcels are sheltered from the wind; this enables the grapes to reach exceptional levels of maturity and concentration. The vines are grown on a mosaic of terroirs with many geological nuances – limestone, clay, shale and pebble.  Winemaker Dauga, can also be viewed as an artist and an author, expressing the terroir and producing real, authentic, well-made styles of wine. Enjoy this Grenance Blanc with fish, shellfish and seafood.

winemaker-Olivier-DaugaA beautiful pale yellow color. The nose developed aromas of flowers and anise.  Fresh and fruity, this wine is long and rich on the palate”, winemaker Olivier Dauga.

Winemaker: Olivier Dauga
Appellation: Corbieres, France
Varietal Blend:  60% Grenache Blanc, 20% Roussanne, 20% Marsanne
Analysis: 12% alcohol / volume, 3.1 pH, 6.9 g/l TA
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

 

September Wine Club pairing recipe

Pork Chops with Dijon Sauce
pork-chops-dijon
INGREDIENTS:

•  1 tbsp butter
•  1 tbsp olive oil
• 4 center-cut rib or loin pork chops, boneless or bone-in (whatever you prefer), about 1 ½ inch thick
• salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• ½ cup chopped shallots or green onions
• 1 cup dry white wine
• ¾ cup chicken stock*
• ¾ cup heavy cream
• 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)
*For gluten-free, use homemade chicken-stock or gluten-free packaged stock

DIRECTIONS:
Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over them. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the butter. As soon as the butter has melted, add the pork chops to the pan and sear them, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat slightly if the chops brown too quickly.

Remove the pork chops from the pan and pour off most of the fat. Add the green onions or shallots and cook them on med-high heat until softened, about 1 minute. Add ¼ cup of the wine and bring to a boil, deglazing the pan by scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the stock and return chops to the pan. Bring sauce to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook until chops  are cooked through (145°F internal temp), about 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the pork chops to a warm platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Add the remaining half cup of wine. Increase the heat to high to boil the pan juices. Reduce the juices by half, about 3 minutes. Add the heavy cream and boil 3 minutes more,until sauce reduces and thickens, and scraping the pan with a wooden spoon leaves a trail. Remove from the heat and whisking the mustard and parsley. If you want, add more mustard to taste.  Place chops on a bed of sauce and serve. Serves 4.  Recipe courtesy of Simply Recipes.

Black-Réserve_JONQUIERESBold_stickerChateau de Jonquieres
Cuvee Eole Grand Reserve
Grenache Syrah
Corbieres, France

Located just outside Narbonne (ancient capital of a Gallo-Roman province), Château de Jonquières stands in the middle of the Mediterranean scrubland. The vineyard is classified as appellation Corbières, a land of gorges and wild hills, a landscape of contrasts with rocks sculpted by the wind. Château de Jonquières is the property of Val d’Orbieu. Olivier Dauga, winemaker, accompanies winegrowers and oenologists to create these exceptional cuvées to embody the values of character, dynamism, roots and generosity in these wines, a pure product of the viticulture of the Languedoc. We invite you to discover these black diamonds, the first in a long line of exceptional vintages from Val d’Orbieu. Pairs well with pork roasted herbs, steak au poivre, or rabbit with mustard.
winemaker-Olivier-Dauga“With a beautiful deep ruby color, this wine offers a fine, delicate nose with aromas of red berries and a hint of oak. Clean and elegant on the palate, it reveals classic fruit flavors and soft notes of spices and oak”, winemaker Olivia Dauga.

Winemaker: Olivier Dauga
Appellation: Corbieres, France
Varietal Blend:  59% Grenache, 41% Syrah
Analysis:
14.5% alcohol / volume, 3.6 pH, 6.2 g/l TA
Critical Acclaim:
87 pts. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 2014. Reviewed and approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

Day 6 – Cruising on the Seine!

Picturesque View of the Seine Valley

Tiffany and Michael – Picturesque view of the Seine valley

Bonjour! 

Emily and Alex Serving Normandy Lunch

Emily and Alex serving Normandy lunch

Selection des Frommages

Selection des frommages

Chef Stefan Serving Lamb Shank Normandie

Chef Stefan serving Lamb Shank Normandie

Day 6 on the Seine began with another informative wine education presentation by Barry Wiss. We learned of the humble beginnings of the Trinchero family in Napa and its continued dedication to responsible agribusiness, producing wine using biodynamic practices to conserve energy, recycle, and re-purpose by-products. Barry also explained how to read French wine labels, from discerning AOC from AOP to which varietals are affiliated with Bordeaux and Bourgogne. Finally, we played “What’s Your Wine?”, and learned that the true parent grape of Zinfandel is not Primitivo from Italy but Crijenak Kastelanski from Croatia! Afterwards, Chef treated us to a Normandy Lunch, celebrating the various dairy, apple, and seafood products indigenous to the region. All week we have witnessed our Hotel Manager Markus return from the villages with a smile on his face and his arms full of fresh produce, shellfish, and baked goods! Bon Appetit!!

Petit Andely

Petit Andely

Peter's Cricifixion Notre Dame Stained Glass

Notre Dame Stained Glass – Peter’s Crucifixion

Petit Andely Village Corner

Petit Andely Village Corner

Our afternoon excursion took us to the cobblestone streets of Les Andelys, made up of Grand Andely and Petit Andely. In Grand Andely, we toured another Cathedral of Notre Dame, this one built for the queen in the 14th century. The stained glass in this cathedral is nothing short of spectacular! Les Andelys is a picturesque mosaic of early Norman architecture, idyllic natural scenery, and the sensory delights of a cozy French village.

 

Grazing Sheep

Grazing Sheep

High above the village lie the ancient ruins of Chateau Gaillard, a castle built by Richard the Lionheart in 1198 to protect Rouen and the rest of Normandy from King Phillip II and the French. Hewn from the chalk white limestone cliffs that adorn the river valley, Chateau Gaillard was the strongest fortress of its age. After Richard’s death, Phillip finally laid siege to the castle and captured it in 1204. It became a French historical monument in 1862.

Taste, Learn and Enjoy,

Tiffany & Michael of WineStyles Greensboro, NC

 

Entrecote a la Bordelaise Bordeaux Pairing Recipe

Entrecote Bordelaise is a classic French meat dish that marries well with a good bottle of Marquis de Lalande, Bordeaux Rouge.  Serve with sautéd potatoes or fries and green beans.

french-steakINGREDIENTS:
• 2  New York Sirloin cut steaks
• 7  tablespoons of butter
•  2 shallots, finely chopped
• 1/2 cup of red wine
• 1 cup of beef stock
• 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
• salt / black pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the pan to smoking point and add half the butter. Place the steak in the pan and brown it on both sides – give it about two to three minutes on each side to sear it first, and then let the meat cook through to your taste. Prepare both steaks in this way and then set them aside.

In the same pan, (drain excess butter if needed), cook the shallots. Put them in the pan and stir from time to time until they are soft and starting to turn golden.   When the shallots are done, add the red wine to the pan and give it a good stir to deglaze the pan.

Now, add the beef stock to the pan and stir until everything is blended. Let it to simmer for 5 minutes or until reduced.  Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and add them to the sauce one at a time, mixing so that they melt into the mixture: this will give the sauce a rich flavor and give it an appetizing glossy finish.

Cut the meat across the grain into thick slices and arrange them on a plate.  Add some chopped parsley to the sauce, and then pour little of the sauce over each steak.  Serve the rest of the sauce in a gravy boat.   Serve with sautéd potatoes, fries and some green beans. Recipe courtesy of Food.com

Marquis-de-Lalande-Bordeaux-RougeMarquis de Lalande
Bordeaux
Bordeaux, France

Armand Lalande, great economist, member of the Medoc and Consulate of Austria-Hungary, founded the house wine trade “A.LALANDE & CIE” in 1840.  As one of the jewels of Bordeaux located in the historic district Chartrons, House A. Lalande & Co. specializes in the breeding and trading of Bordeaux wines worldwide. This Bordeaux rouge is made from select Merlot grapes; a blend of young wines providing fruit and richness, and older wines accounting for depth, complexity, and a beautiful structure. After bottling, the blend is cellared for several months in order to achieve a fine balance.  Beautiful, brilliant, rich, cherry-red color, that already displays slight bricking on the rim. Starts out full-bodied and rich on the palate, going on to reveal an elegant tannic structure and spicy red fruit flavors.

DougFrost“This vintage in Bordeaux is a newbie and the best examples show black cherry fruits allied with minty, savory notes; combining fruit and herbs to create classic Bordeaux complexity.” – Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

Appellation: Bordeaux Controlee, France
Varietal Blend:  100% Merlot
Analysis: 12.5% alc/vol

Stuffed Tomatoes Pairing Recipe

INGREDIENTS:
• 4 ripe beefsteak tomatoes (or zucchini, red peppers, potatoes)
•  1 pound ground beef
•  1/2 cup bread crumbs
•  1 yellow onion
•  1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
•  1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
•  1/4 cup olive oil
•  1/3 cup Gruyere
•  Sea salt
•  Pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 400° F.  Cut the tops off of each tomato and reserve the top. It will become a little hat, or as the French say, le chapeau.  Using a spoon, remove the seeds and scoop out the innards being careful not to pierce through the tomato flesh. Sprinkle tomatoes with sea salt and turn them upside down so that the excess water drains out.
With the exception of the olive oil, mix together all the other ingredients by hand until combined.  Place the stuffing in each tomato, sprinkle with Gruyere, and cover with the cut tomato top. Drizzle a little extra olive oil on top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.   Bake uncovered for 40 minutes, then allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve with a side dish of rice or mushroom risotto.  Recipe compliments of Château Rouchereau.

Rocher-LideyreChateau Lideyre
Cotes de Castillon
Bordeaux, France

Merlot is the main grape variety in the hillside vineyards located next to the Saint-Emilion appellation. This is blended with the other great Bordeaux grape variety, Cabernet Franc.  Philippe Bardet comes from a long line of wine growers and has been applying an environmentally-friendly approach with just the right technological balance in his vineyards for over fifteen years.  Bardet is always among the last to pick his grapes, which are entirely hand-sorted. Automated temperature fermentation control systems make it possible to keep the wines on the skins for a long time while maintaining perfect control of extraction.  Depending on the wine’s age, it goes perfectly well with grilled meats, duck and lamb chops, as well as roast chicken and medium-strong cheeses.

winemaker-eric-marin“Intense garnet-red color with crimson highlights and a full-bodied, subtle bouquet featuring berry fruit, very ripe black currants and violets.  The  after taste follows through with aromas of toast and spice.” – Eric Marin, winemaker

Winemaker: Eric Marin
Appellation: Cotes de Castillon Controlee, France
Varietal Blend:  87% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc
Analysis: 13.6% alc/vol
Aging: 75% American Oak, 25% French Oak, aged 14 month

French Wine Cruise – Paris to Vernon

Escargot! Bon Appetit!

Escargot! Bon Appetit!

Bonjour to our WineStyles family!

After a fabulous day and a half of eating, drinking, and sightseeing our way through the romantic city of Paris, we were warmly welcomed aboard the river cruise ship AMALegro.

The Louvre at Night

The Louvre at Night

We checked in to our beautifully appointed stateroom, and, after meeting Captain Franck and his crew, dined with new friends, enjoying a 6-course welcome dinner including a salmon and crayfish appetizer, Normandy mussel soup, grilled fillet of butterfish and prawn with Pernod sauce and saffron risotto, and, of course, a glass or two of Beaujolais!

Shimmering Eiffel Tower

Shimmering Eiffel Tower

After dinner, the ship set sail on the Seine, pausing at the Eiffel Tower for us to watch a delightful light show, as thousands of bulbs affixed to the tower lit up the nighttime sky over Paris in synchronized splendor.

Seine River at Night

Seine River at Night

Despite a chill in the upper deck air, our hosts kept us warm with “vin chaud” (hot wine), roasted chestnuts, and their gracious hospitality.

Bartender Plamen with French Varietals

Bartender Plamen with French Varietals

We ended the evening with a glass of Prosecco at the piano lounge, where we got to know the most important person on the ship besides the captain, our Bulgarian bartender Plamen!

On Friday morning we found ourselves well into Normandy Provence, marveling at the precision with which our floating hotel was navigated through the narrow locks system on the Seine.

La Roche Guyon - Romme's HQ

La Roche Guyon – Romme’s HQ

On river right, before arriving at Vernon, we viewed La Roche Guyot, complete with castle ruins and the stately residence which at one time served as the German General Rommel’s headquarters during the Nazi occupation of France.

Barry Wiss of Trinchero Family Estates

Barry Wiss of Trinchero Family Estates

After a briefing from our Cruise Director John on the many exciting excursions planned for our journey on the Seine, we were treated to our first educational wine presentation from Barry Wiss, Vice President of Trade Relations for Trinchero Family Estates in Napa Valley, California.

Fruit & Cheese from the Galley

Fruit & Cheese from the Galley

His opening topic addressed the important role aroma plays in the enjoyment of wine, and how to most effectively sniff and swirl in order to identify primary, secondary, and tertiary aromas.

We got to practice on two very nice Napa selections, Gott un-oaked Chardonnay and Sea Glass Pinot Noir.

Riverbank Chateau

Riverbank Chateau

Presently, we are off to visit Chateau Bizy in the riverfront village of Vernon, our first port of call.

Griffin at St. Michael's SquareBe sure to check in with us tomorrow on the WineStyles blog, where you can hear it through our grapevine!

 Cheers,
Tiffany & Micheal Reynolds
WineStyles Greensboro, NC