Showing posts with label Nantes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nantes. Show all posts

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Lost in Muscadet Vineyard in Nantes. And a Simply Better Surprise.

Lost in Muscadet Vineyard in Nantes. 
And a Simply Better Surprise.
Lost in Nantes? Encore?

Domaine de la Fessardière  “L’Air Innocent” Muscadet Sevre et Maine (AOC) Sur Lie 2015, €18.65 Mary Pawle

Brittany Ferries opened the Cork-Roscoff route in 1978 and, for quite a few years afterwards, virtually every Cork driver visiting France got lost in Nantes. Happened to myself once and I ended up in the vineyards to the south-east of the city (not the worst of outcomes, quite recoverable). French roads have improved a lot since then and now most major cities, including Nantes, have either a rocade or a périphérique.

Like most early ferry travellers, we didn’t go too far in the first year or two, mainly to the south of Brittany around Concarneau, Guerande and Carnac. The supermarché (even the odd hyper) were the main attractions for the first (and last) few days of the hols with the male eyes concentrating on the bottom shelves and the bottles of Muscadet for less than punt! Got a lot of it then (also Gros Plant, even cheaper) and that cheap stuff put many off the fruit of the Melon de Bourgogne grape for years.

Bit by bit though we began to realise that two very important words on the bottle were Sur Lie, though only a year or two back the somm in a five star hotel in Kerry didn’t seem to know them. Glad to say that this bottle is Sur Lie (raised on lees) and is a splendid offering via Mary Pawle Wines.

It has indeed been kept on its lees for six months. Besides there is no added sulphur and the fruit has been hand-harvested.The grape variety is the normal Melon de Bourgogne and the vineyard follows organic methods. 

Mary says it is round and unctuous in the mouth and a good match with seafood or a semi-soft cheese.  In addition, the producers recommend “fish in sauce, poultry with the cream, cooked cheese like the county (Comté, I presume) or Cantal.”

The name of this round, fresh and fruity wine, “L’Air Innocent”, emphasises this closeness to nature. Colour is a very light straw, bright and healthy looking. The aromas, delicate and appealing, are of white fruit (apple). Apple flavours are somewhat stronger than the scents and there’s a touch of citrus too, also a refreshing acidity, a tingle of minerality as well, and it also has a pleasant long finish. Highly Recommended.

Principesco Pinot Grigio Terre Siciliane (IGT) 2017, 12%, €12.50 Dunnes Stores

First sip and a pleasant surprise. Yellow fruit flavours lead to a very pleasing palate. Nice bit of acidity too and all combine in a lovely finalé. The colour is a pale straw. Aromas of peach and apple hint of good things to come. A decent wine at a decent price from a surprising source as I wouldn’t have thought of Sicily as a hotbed of Pinot Grigio.

This wine has been exclusively selected for Dunnes Stores Simply Better. It is produced by Casa Fondata on the sunny island off the toe of Italy. Dunnes recommend it as a “perfect accompaniment to our Roasted Cod with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil & Mozzarella”. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

End of the Holiday: Star Meal on Ferry - Drive Tips - Sunny Arrival

End of the Holiday: Drive Tips - Star Meal on Ferry - Arrival
Right: Scallops four ways and, bottom, crab

Our Arcachon adventure came to a very pleasant end this weekend. Left the town on Friday morning and it was sunshine all the way until we arrived in Cobh on Saturday morning.

Highlight was undoubtedly the meal in Le Flora on Brittany Ferries. We don't usually do it on the return but we were glad we did this time. Beside the great food we had a great view outside the window as the sun set to the west.

Filet (beef), Mixed Fruit, and Clafoutis!

The drive up went very well. The Rocade In Bordeaux was quite busy but there was no major build-up of traffic and it went well for us. Much the same in Nantes and Rennes. These are smaller ring roads but can be trickier, especially on the way home. For instance, there is a place a few kilometers from Rennes (towards Brest) where you exit right and stay left. Sounds contrary as the Sat-Nav shouts it but there is an immediate choice to be made once you do exit. On your guard, then!

Quite a few Irish people travel the stretch between Nantes and Bordeaux and vice versa. The toll is one payment of €28.50. It is a very well equipped road with some great stops. On the way north and just out of Bordeaux you’ll find all you want at Saugon and later at the revamped Aire Poitou Charente Sud.

Just into the harbour this morning, from the deck of Pont Aven
 If you’re on the way home and have forgotten to buy presents for your foodie friends, then don't worry. Aire de Vendee is the place to stop at. There is a separate area behind the front shop that includes an outlet selling really excellent local produce. Of course, you have all the usual food and drink facilities  

By the way, the petrol pumps here are credit card operated, like more and more in France. It is easy enough to operate as there is an English language option (though it doesn't always work). It is, in any case, easy enough to follow. You put in your card, validate it and have an euro amount (usually much more than you’ll need) approved. Then pick up the pump head and fill away.

Overall, this is one of best return trips we've ever had. The ferry even left Roscoff ahead of schedule! And wasn't it great to come back to the harbour and see all that sunshine. Happy traveling!

Cobh and its cathedral this morning.