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Apr 20, 2009 08:19 AM

Help me out of my rut

Nice little Côtes-du-Rhone, red Burgundies, the occasional Beaujolais for the reds, Mâconnais and Sancerre for the whites. It's a pleasant rut, and one that goes well with the food I tend to cook, but I'm feeling stuck in a rut.

I'd appreciate any suggestions (especially French ones, since that's the selection I have easily available) to go with all the spring vegetables we have in the markets (including leeks and spring onions, hurrah!), oily fishes, eggs, veal, green lentils, garbanzo white and coco beans, and the tail end of oyster and shellfish season; which tends to make up the bulk of my diet. I realize this is a terribly vague request but if anyone has brilliant ideas, I'd love to hear them.

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  1. From the list of wines and foods you enjoy, it sounds like it's time for you to explore the Loire...

    I never tire of the different expressions of soil and wine making through the wines of the Loire valley. And some of the world's greatest wines are within grasp because the pricing reflects demand, not quality.

    8 Replies
    1. re: chefdilettante

      Agree. Just a few to look out for; vouvray (dry and sparkling), savennières, pouilly fumé.

      Also, check out riesling, gewurtraminer and pinot gris from Alsace, aligote from Burgundy and semillion from Bordeaux.

      Last, roses are a refreshing and versatile food wine; I prefer them from France, but Italy and Spain also do a fine job.

      1. re: vinosnob

        Agree on the rose wines. Those are the first ones I thought of when I saw the food list, and of course, I've also never had a bad one from Provence (that could just be extreme luck on my part).

        1. re: Ali

          Yes the Provencal and Spanish styles are much more refreshing. The peachier coloured ones (more Cinsault).

          I find the darker pinker rosés have a weird sweet/acid balance that clashes (Northern Rhone and new world Shiraz Rosé or similar - I think due to the amount of Syrah/Shiraz).

          But that's just me.

        2. re: vinosnob

          Don't forget the Chenin Blanc, as well.

          1. re: ChefJune

            vouvray and savennieres are regions producing wine made from chenin blanc...

        3. re: chefdilettante


          Based on a previous thread ( ) I recently tried some bottles from Thierry & Jean-Marie Puzelat:
          Cheverny Clos du Tue Boeuf Rouge Rouillon ($20)
          Cheverny Close du Tue Boeuf Blanc Brin de Chèvre ($15)
          Pétillant Naturel ($25)

          All highly recommended.
          Lucky you ( I mean, the OP ) being in France, prices much lower ( Euro in the single digit). More details in the link below:

          1. re: RicRios

            Loire is hot right now. Seek the wines of Clos Roche Blanche. They are relatively inexpensive and freaky delicious. The Sauvignon Blanc is like no wine I’ve ever had.

            As already mentioned, Tue Boeuf/Puzelat wines are excellent. I also like the wines of Chaussard and Lemasson.

            1. re: Tabrams

              I didn't realize you were actually *in* France. If so you should try this Bourgeuil (Loire certainly is hot). It's biodynamic too!

              Cuvée Binette Domaine de la Chevalerie:


        4. If you like Sancerre, try Quincy. I had a Domaine Mardon 07 recently and it was really delicious and expressive.

          And I second the other suggestions to try more Loire. For reds go for a Bourgueil, Saumur Champigny or Chinon.

          1 Reply
          1. re: oolah

            Along the lines of Quincy, try just a simple Touraine which can be a great value.

          2. How about Alsace?
            Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Riesling. All on the drier side of the spectrum would pair nicely with the foods you mention, and still have some of the same characteristics (minerality, acidity and tart fruit) that you like in your whites.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Aaron

              Riesling from Alsace so often leaves me disappointed, wishing that I was drinking a halbtrocken German Riesling that I have a tendency to forget about the other alsacian wines, (except when buying sauerkraut). I'll have to remember their lovely Pinot noir and the Gewurztraminer grape too, of course.

            2. Thank you all, that was really the kick in the butt that I needed. I picked up some Chinon, Chinon blanc and Borgeuil at a big-name shop. I think I'm going to enjoy searching out good Borgeuil, as the bottle I had was a pleasant combination of cassis, herbs and green pepper that just hit the spot. Now to find a good supplier, and try out some more of your suggestions.

              1 Reply
              1. re: tmso

                Check out Francois Chidaine's wines from Montlouis and Vouvray. Absolutely amazing.

              2. Two French appellations that are on my list to try are Jurancon and Cote Rotie (specifically the syrah/viognier combination).