Holiday clues are everywhere. Streets and store windows are decorated and all those holiday decisions are upon us, especially when it comes to wine and food. And Le Club Vignobles & Signatures is helping the #Winophiles with wine selections. Through travels, cooking experiences, and a little research we’re ramping up this French-style season with wine choices and food pairings to please any palate.
We teamed up with Le Club Vignobles & Signatures (Club V&S) and Vinconnexion pulling a range of wines from various French areas. This group of wineries established in 1984 represents most French wine regions as leaders. Red, white, champagne, and other types of wine and spirits, everyone can find something to like this season. We are thankful for their generosity supplying wine samples to many #Winophiles! Scroll down for more French wine, food pairings, recipes and tips from other #Winophiles.
Who Is Le Club Vignobles & Signatures? In brief:
- 17 domains / family businesses, “haute couture” wines
- 1,600 hectares of vineyards with 11 million bottle annual production
- Alsace, Rhone, Beaujolais, Bourgogne, Bordeaux, Champagne, Chablis, Loire, Juraçon, Languedoc-Roussillon, Bas-Armagnac, Calvados
- Camaraderie and solidarity between vintners and the love of a job well done
Season With A French Wine Touch
It’s easy for me to immerse myself in everything French. And that’s what I’ve done this month with help from the following four wineries. Disclosure: All wines were provided as samples. I received no compensation for this article and all opinions are my own.
Take me to the Jurançon with Domaine Cauhapé
Jurançon production is 99% white and it’s the sweeties that made a name for the area. Cauhapé makes them but was one of the first to produce Jurançon sec (dry style) using a combination of Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, Corbu, and historical grape varieties Camaralet and Lauzet. They pair nicely with aged and goat cheeses, mushrooms, grilled seafood, and white meats. But for the holidays, Cauhapé Sales Manager Pierre Simonet shared a favorite holiday pairing with Jurançon sec: smoked salmon appetizer. Here is a recipe video.
Domaine Cauhapé 2017 Chant des Vignes – Jurançon Sec – $16
60% Gros Manseng, 40% Camaralet
These lesser known grapes produce a refreshing citrusy wine with oat hay and light honeysuckle. Bone-dry and bright, balanced acidic structure, and medium body it’s a super alive glass of wine. We started our evening sipping but found it shined with food.
Find this wine through the following distributors:
Head To Alsace Valley With Domaine Paul BLANCK & Fils
Considered an Alsace ambassador, Domain Paul Blanck is north of Colmar in the picturesque town Kientzheim. Interesting to note 60% of the wines utilize screw cap closure to guarantee quality and 90% of their vineyards are organically farmed. They are a vigneron independent, meaning they are smaller and grow all their own grapes, similar to a grower champagne producer.
Domaine Paul Blanck Rosenbourg Riesling 2017 – $18
The wine presents slightly more body from spending 6-months in large barrels on lees. Lively, lime pith, wet stone and white blossom aromas; dry with a refreshing lime and crushed stone taste that lingers. I could sip on this wine all night, enjoy it with aperitifs, or even the roasted bird that often graces holiday tables. Outside of the holidays, it could pair with many things all year.
Find this wine through the following distributors:
Dramatic Pic Saint Loup and Domaine de l’Hortus
Between two distinctive peaks in the Languedoc – Montagne de l’Hortus and the Pic St Loup- you’ll find Famille Orliac since 1970. Here terrain and climate change becoming rugged. Transitioning from warmer coastal plains to the higher and cooler inland plateau means a variety of micro-climates. And this is where the Syrah grape is showcased in blends and most the soil has some form of limestone.
L’Hortus de Bergerie 2017 Classique – Pic Saint Loup AOP (Languedoc) – $15
60% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache – Hortus Syrah is on cooler, northeast-facing slopes under the Pic Saint Loup peak. Most of the wine aged 8-months in stainless steel tanks with a small portion in 2-year old oak barrels.
Clean, fairly subdued aromas grew as the wine sat: red and darker berries with a dusty quality (think the smell of a dusty trail in the wild west!), hints of licorice, pain d’epices, and savory caramel taffy in the background. Lower acidity than I though it would present, more upfront young but fine tannins, an overall balanced and versatile wine.
North of Montpellier in Languedoc where Hortus is located Cassoulet makes an appearance. Perhaps not a specific holiday item but certainly a fabulous choice when the cooler season sets in- you can’t get more French than Cassoulet!
This Cassoulet rendition with less beans and chunky carrots and potatoes is my pairing choice for the cooler winter season with Hortus Bergerie Rouge.
Find this wine at these distributors:
- Beaune Import (CA)
- Victory Wine Group (TX, FL)
- Polaner Selections (NY, NJ)
- Vanguard Wines (OH, IN, KY)
Champagne Drappier Brut Nature, Blanc de Noir – $57
Located south of Epernay, east of Troyes in the Côte de Bar region (within the Aube) were Pinot Noir dominates – this bottle is 100% Pinot Noir!
Not a newcomer (founded in 1808), here are some things you might not know about Champagne Drappier:
- Known for minimal sulfite use and low quantities of dosage
- Michael Drappier, his father and one of his children are allergic to sulfites
- Their primary grape is pinot noir
- They work with all allowed champagne grapes including the lesser know varieties Arbane, Petit Meslier and Blanc Vrai
- Have a strong focus on organic methods and a portion of their vineyards is organic
- First producer to release sulfite-free champagne
- First carbon neutral producer in Champagne
- Use 90% recycled glass and 75% of their electricity is sourced from solar panels!
- Considered a smaller (compared to the big champagne houses) yet large producer.
About This Champagne
Full and pure, clean and sleek, quince and peach give way to red and black berry juice and a hint of yeasty toast. Higher acid makes gives it an assertive, fresh and direct palate that’s dry without being overly so. This combo makes it a perfect winter Champagne and a natural match for oysters and shellfish, both are plentiful on French holiday tables. However Mark and I enjoy it anytime of the year.
The #Winophiles Bring You A French-Style Season December 15th
We hope you’ll join us on Twitter for a discussion about having a French-style holiday season using the hashtag #winophiles — 8am PT – 11ET – 17:00h France
- Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla whips up “A French #Winophiles Fête: Foie Gras, Pain d’Epices & Champagne Drappier“
- Lynn from Savor the Harvest shares “Give a Little Touche Française to your Holiday #Winophiles“
- Jill shares from L’OCCASION shares “How To Bring French Holiday Traditions Home“
- Gwen at WinePredator has “Season’s Greetings French-Style“
- Wendy at A Day In The Life On The Farm gives us “A Holiday Gathering with French Foods and Wines“
- Martin at ENOFLYZ Wine Blog shares “A Taste of French Inspired Holiday Food and Wine“
- Deanna from Asian Test Kitchen tells writes about “Ants Climb a Tree with French Wine“
- Jeff from foodwineclick discusses “What is French-Style Season?”
- Liz from What’s In That Bottle tells us how to “Frenchify Your Festivities with Fun Wines“
- Payal writes at Keep The Peas shares “Bonnes Fêtes à la #winophiles”
- Lauren from The Swirling Dervish shares “Parisian Holidays: A Few of My Favorite Things“
- David Crowley of CookingChat shares “Festive Pairings for Pouilly-Fumé and Other Special French Wine #winophiles“
- Kat from Bacchus Travel & Tours tells us about “Noël en Provence #winophiles“
- Jane cooks things up at Always Ravenous shares “A French-Inspired Winter Dinner”
- Nicole from Somms Table shares Crocus “l’Atelier Malbec de Cahors with Château Mercuès Saffron Chicken Soup”
- Rupal from Journeys of a Syrah Queen shares “French Inspired Holiday Wines”
- Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles entices us with “Un repas de Noël pour les fêtes de fin d’année (A Christmas Dinner for the end of the year celebrations)…with wine #Winophiles”
- Michelle of Rockin Red Blog writes about “A French-Inspired Holiday Alsatian Style”
- Lyn writes at L.M. Archer shares “The Hedonistic Taster: A French-Style Season“