Weekly Newsletter – Armagnac has arrived – Weekend events in sunny Cape Town – Champagne tasting – Recipe Quiche a la Truffe

Dear French Market shoppers,

Another sunny weekend is ahead of us with apparently not a cloud in the sky. It seems that summer is really starting. I enjoy this time of year as there is so much to do around Cape Town. This weekend, apart from the Final of the Rugby Currie Cup at Newlands, we also have a Classic Music festival in Franschhoek and the Season of Sauvignon Festival in Durbanville. There is something to suit everyone. It always surprises me how the same grape varietal can be coaxed into producing such a variety of tastes from different regions. I find the Sauvignon Blanc produced in the Cape usually has amazing strength and a range of flavours in contrast I find the French sauvignon blanc from the Sancerre region is so different, very subtle and delicate in taste. They are all delicious J and pair beautifully with my French goat’s cheese.

I am thrilled to have received at my shop the latest addition to my family of wines and spirits, Armagnac, the oldest brandy produced in France, since the 1400s, in the region of Gascony. This area lies south of Bordeaux, Comte D’Artagnan is one of its most famous characters. The best Armagnac comes from Bas-Armagnac. I have 3 different ages in stock:

The Baron de Pibrac Bas-Armagnac VS, a 3 year old is pale yellow in colour. The nose is fine and rich with aromas of quince, fresh plums and hints of vanilla.it is supple and elegant in the mouth, with a fresh and fruity finish.

The Baron de Sigognac Bas-Armagnac Napoleon is produced on the Bordeneuve estate near Castelan d’Auze This 6 year old Armagnac is aged in French oak. The nose has elements of fruit and spices. It is soft on the palate with good length, containing hints of rose and plum.

The Baron de Sigognac Bas-Armagnac 20 Ans d’age (20 year old) was a Gold medal winner at the London Spirit show 2005. It has a beautiful Mahogony colour, with 40% alcohol by volume. A fine fruity nose and flavours of prune and vanilla. Round in the mouth with good balance and a lovely finish of candied fruit and light wood. Click here to the see price list

19oct14 (34) (400x346)I have also received some black summer truffle paste. This paste has the pungent aroma of truffles and can be used in many different dishes. The secret is not to use too much otherwise it becomes too pungent. This weekend I hosted lunch for close friends and family, the weather was amazing and we sat on the terrace and enjoyed the view across the Bay to the mountains. I wanted to serve something special so I made a quiche with mushrooms and this new truffle paste. I am still mastering my new convection/micro wave and my temperature controls weren’t right so the quiche did not rise as much as it should have, but the truffle aroma and taste were fantastic. (Next time I will bake in my old oven). Click here to see the recipe

Being a special occasion I served a Chateau Le Sartre 1995 from Pessac-Leognan in the Graves area of Bordeaux with this quiche. The age had given this wine a bright yellow colour and a great depth of flavour which matched the aromatic taste of truffle. The closest wine that I can access for my clients is a Chateau Carbonniere Blanc 2006 AOC Pessac-Leognan, a cru classé from Graves.

There will be lots of visitors in town this weekend and plenty of parties especially if the Stormers win the Currie cup so remember to stock up on some good French champagne from the French Market shop to celebrate (or drown your sorrows) and some platters of French cheese and pates to share with your guests. Do contact me if you want some advice or to prepare a platter for you.

I have pinned down a date for my next tasting which will be a Champagne tasting on Wednesday 3 December. As places will be limited please contact me for more details and a provisional reservation.

Have a good weekend and good luck Stormers!



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