An introduction to the Minervois and Saint-Chinian wine regions of southern France, and notes on tasting several wines, is included in this Forbes article I just published, titled The Magical Minervois Wine Region Of Southern France. Other pieces I’ve written about the Languedoc include Five Wineries To Remember From The Wilds Of Languedoc, and my Vino Voices post from 10 years ago titled Long Road Through Languedoc.
Two other Forbes pieces I recently published are The Challenges And Sixth Sense Of An Armenian Winemaker, and These Siblings’ Wine Brand For China Also Sells Hospitality In France.
For the past six weeks I have lived in the Minervois wine region within the Languedoc region of southern France. I am living in the hamlet, or hameau of Babio, which is too small to be called a village. The population oscillates between 26 and 31.
During that time, family, friends and I have sampled stellar wines with delicious meals.
Below I’ll share a few.
1. DISHES & WINES.
Relais Chantovent—Village of Minerve.
Moelleux do cochon, cuisson basse température 24 heures á 64 degrés, jus de thym. Pork tenderloin cooked for 24 hours at 64 degrees Celsius, with thyme juice.
Mas Paumarhel. Mourel Blanc. AOP Minervois.
70/15/15 Roussanne/Grenache Blanc/Vermentino.
Restaurant Le Thai de Castigno—Village of Assignan.
Som Tom Kaiying—Traditionnelle salade thai, papaye verte, légumes frais et poulet grillé. Traditional Thai salad with papaya, fresh vegetables and grilled chicken.
Khaw Koong Pud Phong Ka-Ri—Sauté de crevettes au curry, pâte de piment, riz au jazmin. Curried sauteed crevettes, pate of pepper, jasmine rice.
Glace lait de coco; ananas au sirop, thé en gelée et chataîgnes d’eau. Coconut milk ice cream with pineapple syrup, tea jelly and water chestnuts.
Château Castigno. Secret des Dieux.
Blend of Grenche and Syrah. AOC Saint-Chinian.
Domaine du Sacre Coeur Saint-Jean-de-Minervois. Cuvée Juliette. Vin de France. 2020.
Sweet wine—blend of Colombard and Vermentino.
Restaurant Le Faitout—Town of Berlou,
Mise en Bouce –
Mussel, coco and rosemary sensation.
Gigotin de poulet fermier (ferme de la Bosque) farci aux olives de Bize Minervois, crème de poivrons juste grillés. Leg of free-range chicken from the Bosque farm stuffed with olives from Bize Minervois and with cream of freshly grilled peppers.
Domaine Rimbert. Les Travers de Marceau. Saint-Chinian. AOP. 2021.
Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre.
The first time I tasted Languedoc wines was in Bordeaux over ten years ago with an importer who pulled out six bottles. Once was Domaine Rimbert. Still as good!
Restaurant de La Cave—La Caunette.
Poulet confit, sauce aux champignons et épinards. Chicken confit, mushroom and spinach sauce.
Château Coupe-Roses. Naturamania. AOP Minervois. 2022.
Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault.
Restaurant La Terrasse—Village of Minerve.
Arancini et gaspacho de petit pois. Arancini savory rice balls and pea gazpacho.
Parmentier de canard à l’orange. Orange duck with potatoes.
Panna cotta mangue. Mango panna cotta.
2. SCENE & INSIDER ANGLES.
As sommelier Anne-Sophie Anache said, ‘the Minervois reminds me of the Luberon [of Provence], but before it was so famous.’
This is just a part of the Occitanie province in southern France, which itself is the size of Ireland. There is much to discover, and there is refreshingly little gloss and polish. What you see is what you get.
Thanks for tuning in again!