Newsletter- French Market wins Great Domaines Retailer of the Year Award -Champagne tasting-Mont dOr Vacherin and Marrons Glace arrive-Weekly Recipe Gratin Dauphinois

Dear French Market Shoppers

Yesterday I held the French Market Champagne Tasting in the courtyard at Bizerca Bistrot which was kindly offered to me by the owners Laurent and Cyrillia Deslands. This was a spectacular tasting of some beautiful champagnes. My supplier and presenter, Morgan, said this was one of the most interesting tastings that he had given on Champagne and he gave us a deeper insight into the complexity of making champagne. To my great surprise and delight he presented me, The French Market, with the Great Domaines Retailer of the Year Award for South Africa. My thanks goes to all of you who through your support of my wines and spirits have enabled me to win this award.


We started with a Bellini cocktail made with a dash of Crème de Peches des Vignes by Massenez (a fruit liqueur made from wild peaches that grow in the vineyards) topped up with Zonin Prosecco, this was accompanied by cheese profiteroles made by the chef. Then a Marguet Pere et Fils brut rosé non vintage which was delicate and fresh accompanied by Delice triple cream cheese from Burgundy, topped with a slice of fresh strawberry. Next we had a Pol Roger Brut Reserve non vintage accompanied by some deliciously gooey brie. Our following champagne the Vilmart Grand Cellier d’Or Premier Cru vintage 2009, which has a greater depth of flavour, I paired with a stinky Epoisses. Then came my personal favourite a Larmandier-Bernier Vieille Vigne de Cramant extra Brut Grand Cru 2006 vintage. There is an incredible taste of heather in this champagne, it is quite unique. I paired this with a delicate raw milk Tomme de Savoie. Next we came to the exceptional vintages from 2004 from Pol Roger , a Brut reserve which I paired with a Pouligny-St-Pierre, the Rolls Royce of goat’s cheese; then the Blanc des Blancs, a 100% chardonnay champagne which I paired with the buttery Cantal entre deux. Our final champagne was the delicious Pol Roger “Rich” an off dry vintage which was a perfect pairing for the strong and salty Roquefort. We rounded off the tasting with a Hine “Rare” VSOP cognac which I paired with a subtle creamy Bleu d’Auvergne. After the tasting we all stayed on and had a delicious meal at Bistrot Bizerca. After which I wended my way back to Hout Bay along a road that seemed to have sprung an awful lot of corners…. do be careful not to drink and drive this season, rather take a taxi.


These unique champagnes are all listed on my price list  but I keep a limited stock in the shop so if you would like to order please drop me a mail and I will arrange it for you. As many of my regulars were not able to make this tasting due to all the festive activities I may plan another one in February-let me know if you are interested if you could not make this one.


My shop is filling up fast with special things for Christmas parties; the Mont d’Or vacherin has finally arrived – these are speciality cheeses in wooden boxes which are wrapped with spruce bark, which gives a subtle flavour to the cheese. The French love to pour some wine or champagne into the top of the cheese then bake it so it comes out like a fondue. The first ones I have received are the 750g size and are brilliant for a dinner party. I also have brought in individual sized cheeses such as 1kg Bries, 250g camemberts, Pont l Eveques, Munsters etc so please let me know if you wish to book some for your cheese platters.


The favourite seasonal speciality of Marrons Glace, sugared chestnuts, have arrived in 140g boxes which make a lovely gift to give when invited to dinner. I also have Panettone filled with Marrons Glace. Many more new stocks are coming in so do come and pay me a visit. I keep updating the price list on my website so you can see what I have in stock.


IMG_9096 (400x259)One of my favourite easy dishes for entertaining is a potato bake as it is quick to prepare and can be reheated just before serving. My recipe this week is Gratin Dauphinois, a traditional potato bake made in the Dauphine region in South Eastern France. The dish was first recorded being served in 1788 by a Duke at an official dinner. The difference between this potato bake and others is that raw potatoes, garlic and cream are used. An essential part of the flavour is grated nutmeg. My dish includes a layer of grated Cantal cheese which adds a beautiful taste. This can be served as a side dish to a meat course or it can be the main dish for a vegetarian meal. I recommend pairing it with a Bouchard Pere et Fils La Vignee Pinot Noir from Burgundy.


I look forward to seeing you soon in my shop again soon,

Best regards



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top