Wine Quote of the Week

"Days of wine and roses laugh and run away,
Like a child at play"
Johnny Mercer

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wine tasting and food matching

Maison Guilhot

I had the pleasure of being invited to a soirée at Maison Guilhot in Perpignan last week where Olivier Pithon was present and spoke openly about his journey into wine in the PO. Originally from the Val de Loire where his brother produces some fine wines also, he moved to the Pyrenees Orientales over 10 years ago, inspired solely by Gauby whom he considers to be 'la référence' regarding quality wines in the Roussillon region.
You know it's going to be a serious evening when the proprietor and the chef introduce the night saying that they live for wine and food pairing. It is their all consuming passion they proudly declared .. oh and as well as their families they hastily mumbled.
The soirée was held in George's cave, in the centre of Perpignan, where he has a long ancient table which sits about 14 people at the back of the shop. Très convivial!

The wine and food menu was as follows ( in french):

PITHON, deux frères, deux terroirs:
Cuvée Lais blanc
Tartine de saumon fumé, crème épaisse au wazabi.

Chenin Blanc,Pithon-Paillé
Soupe de crevettes au safran.

D 18 blanc
Supions à l'ancre, sauce tomate séchée concassée.

Cuvée Lais Rouge
Brochette Agneau Orientale au Razalhanut.

Bourgueil Pithon-Paillé
Cassolette de moungettes cremeuses, dés de magret de canard , poivre de Madagascar, coulis de poivrons rouges.


Le Pilou rouge
Ganache légère au chocolat, coulis de poivron, framboise et son petit gâteau au chocolat.

Every course had been meticulously researched to match the wine exactly and that it did. One of Pithon's fans was completely awestruck and one stage blurted out ' I have not cried in 15 years, but I think I am going to cry now" while tasting the Cuvée Lais Rouge. Ok, at that stage, my companion and I had to hold back the giggles at his flagrant prostration but it was damn good for all that..

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sister Act

Article as appears in the Herald, Ireland
By Katie Byrne

Tuesday May 04 2010
Sisters Suzanne and Karen O'Reilly (below) hail from Limerick. Suzanne left Ireland at 17 to au pair in France. Karen, a qualified accountant, followed her over in 2002.
"When I visited Suzanne in 2002 she was just setting up her own company and I jumped at the chance to join her. We ran the very successful property business, Bidsinfrance, for more than six years and then we diversified and set up The French Tour Co. Wine tours are our most popular. It's a fun day out and we visit three or four vineyards and dine with vineyard owners.
"We also run other tours for larger groups: adventure tours, art and history tours, even 'Why French Women Don't Get Fat' tours! About 40pc of our clients are Irish. They are by far the easiest clients, quicker to laugh, spend and enjoy themselves.
Being fluent in French helps, although we have come across some extremely difficult bureaucrats. France does not really follow Europe, so European laws can be flagrantly abused when it suits them. I would advise anyone thinking of moving here to set up a business to get fluent in the lingo"
Karen and Suzanne O'Reilly run the French Tour Co, They are currently writing a book, 'Wake up and Smell the Croissants'. Follow them on their blog