We returned from France last week and we are very excited about the upcoming new Spring and Summer classes at Cooking on the Bay. I have some interesting new menu ideas and discovered a few new foods…there are always some things you learn each time…no matter how well I think I know French food!
This August, we travelled from Auxonne, on the La Petit Saone river in the Franche Comte region and the Cote d’Or Department of Burgundy, north through Gray, up and over the Vosges Mountains, back to Toul via Nancy, the beautiful capitol of Lorraine where I spent 3 wonderful months last year.
We were joined by some friends and so it was a busy time barging, cooking, bike riding, photographing and enjoying endless discussions about the latest wines we were drinking. Our friends Greg and Theresa had travelled through Champagne and Burgundy on their way through France before joining us.
Whilst in Burgundy they stayed at the Domaine de l’Oiseau with friends of ours Dominique and Phillipe, who are both members of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, translated as the Brotherhood of Knights of Wine-Tasting Cups!. It is an exclusive club of Burgundy wine enthusiasts, and is headquartered in the twelfth-century Château du Clos de Vougeot in the Côte d’Or region of France…hence Dominique and Phillipe know their wine very well. Greg enlisted Phillipe’s assistance, and he offered us a wonderful selection of some amazing pinot noirs for us from his cellar.
Greg was nominated cellar master – his role was to ensure the champagne was chilled for us each day and the pinot noirs were ‘on the ready’ at dinner time. Greg’s pinot noirs were fabulous: they included a mixed selection such as Aloxe Corton, Domaine Nudant, 2009, Gevrey Chambertain, Fonteny Premier Cru, 2005, Vosnee Romany, Premier Cru, 2000, Pommard, Aleth Girardin, 2010. Plus as an aperitif, some Champagne from our favourite Chateau de Boursault and H. Billiot fils from Ambonnay… we were in French wine heaven!
John, one of the other friends with us, and Michael are both enthusiastic members of two wine and food or Beef and Burgundy clubs in Melbourne and so they appreciated the opportunity to enjoy some excellent cellared Pinots….the rest of us enjoyed them as well!