Upon arriving in Chenonceau in the Loire Valley, France, it was near dinner time. The hotel owner asked me if he can book a restaurant, as Chenonceau is very small, all the restaurants book fast. He gave me a few choices, one of which was “traditional” Loire Valley food. I love to taste the food of a region, so picked the “traditional” option.
Two hours later, I am seated in a restaurant, with mounted heads of animals on the wall. The best deal at any French restaurant is the Formula, which typically comes with an appetizer, main course, and dessert. My choice was the scalloped potatoes with cream, egg, bacon, and cheese for appetizer; grilled pork chop with salad and French fries for main course; and lemon tart for dessert. To the appetizer and main course, I paired with two Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley.
With the very rich and creamy, bacon scalloped potatoes appetizer, I went with a sparkling Vouvray sec (dry). No winery was listed on the menu, but the wine went perfectly. The bubble and high acidity of this sparkling wine cut through the creaminess of the scalloped potatoes. It was a work of art on the plate.
The pork chop was grilled perfectly. Just a tiny hint of pinkness in the meat. Very tender. To this I paired a Bel Air Chenin Blanc. This wine is heavier in body than the sparkling Vouvray, but also had the high acidity which was a perfect foil for the pork chop. It also went well with the salad that have a mustard dressing.
The lemon tart had no wine to pair with, but was sublime on it’s own. Full of lemony flavour and enhanced with the raspberry sauce. There was also some chopped nuts to accompany this dish. A great way to end the meal.
A truly memorable dinner. Stay tuned for my lunch in Blere. Cheers!