Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Loire Blogger Wine Pairing Challenge

I was graciously sent 2 bottles of of Loire wines- the Muscadet and Rose d'Anjou- for a blogger challenge where I had to match the wines with food of my choice.
Muscadet is a light-bodied, mineral-edged, white wine made in France’s Loire Valley with the white Melon de Bourgogne grape; Muscadet is named for the grape from which it is made rather than its place of origin unlike many wines. I think they are really affordable at £6.99 (Muscadet) and £6.95 (Rose d"anjou) a bottle & under-rated white wines and it is both highly versatile when it comes to food. Most wine stores are likely to have at least one of them. The Loire is France's longest river at more than 1,000 kilometres and vineyards run alongside many of the vineyards.
You can read more about the wines at Loire Valley Wines.

The vineyard is divided into three regional Muscadet appellations, within the western Loire region, and the most common is Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine. They are perfect for warm-weather drinking and are most often enjoyed very chilled.

Muscadet produces dry, tart, almost clear white wines which are high in acid, with aromas and flavours of citrus and an almost salty minerality. Because of this neutral and tart character it goes well with many kinds food.
 Proximity to the sea moderates the region’s summer temperatures, making the wines lighter and lower in alcohol than those produced in inland areas. The grape doesn't have that much character on its own, it’s extremely transparent to the nature of where it’s grown.The best ones are the Sur lie ageing ones (ageing on the spent yeasts from fermentation, which gives the best Muscadets more texture, along with a savoury note)
 The wines I was sent:
Vignrons du Pallet, Finest Muscadet, 2011
Taste: Crisp, light, fresh, lemon fruit with keen acidity.
Rose d'Anjou  is an appellation for rosé wines from the Anjou district of France's western Loire Valley wine region.
Champteloup Rose d'Anjou  2012
Color : pale pink
Taste : Very refreshing par excellence summer wine, slightly sweet with bouquet of red fruits.

I served the Muscadet with Homemade Salted & Spicy nuts just the way we serve it back home in India with any drinks. The wine was really refreshing with the nuts.

Home-made Salted & Spicy nuts
It is a brilliant mix of Peanuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Cashews and Pistachios tossed in salt, turmeric, chilli powder, chaat masala oil and roasted in the oven.

Warm Goats Cheese drizzled with maple syrup served with Rocket leaves and Pine nuts.
I used the Picandou goat’s cheese. This one is produced in Perigord, France, from ancient techniques that produce a very soft, versatile cheese that has hints of grassy flavours, and excellent body. It typically develops a flowery rind as it really compliments this wine.
Goats Cheese drizzled with honey or maple syrup and kept in the oven for 10min. Then served with fresh rocket leaves and toasted pine nuts. We continued with the Muscadet and Muscadet handled it all with aplomb. It’s refreshing, citrusy acidity; its modest alcohol level (high alcohol intensifies spiciness) complemented both the courses. 

With all of us enjoying the recent boiling weather, barbecue seemed to be the perfect choice for serving the Rose d'Anjou.
Grilled vegetables asparagus, artichokes and Paneer Tikka Indian Cheese in skewers

We marinated all the vegetables and Paneer in a spicy Tikka marinade and grilled them. I reckon the non-vegetarians would be equally thrilled to try the marinade with chicken. The sweetness from the wine really complemented the spiciness and the smokiness that came from the barbecue  In my opinion this wine will be great with spicy Asian food as the occasional sip refreshed the palette well. 
I am a big fan of white wines and absolutely loved the refreshing Muscadet. Many thanks to Loire Wines.

Recipe for the Marinade:
Thick Yoghurt 1 cup
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder or Paprika 1 tsp
Cumin/Jheera Powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander/Dhania Powder 1/2 tsp
Chaat Masala 1/2 tsp
Ginger-Garlic paste 1tsp
Black salt
Oil  2tbsp
In a zip-lock bag marinate the veg or meat for 2-3 hours.
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