French white wine question

Old May 8th, 2007, 02:34 PM
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French white wine question

I'm planning a dinner out that includes a glass of wine in the fixed price menu. The choices are a merlot (Chateau St Chinian Merlot VDP d'Oc 2006), which I know is red, and this:

Domaine St Jean Conques VDP d'Oc 2005

I'm assuming this is white, but can anyone verify this?

Also, one of the desserts is a hot chocolate mousse. What do you think this is?
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Old May 8th, 2007, 02:39 PM
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I am thinking it is also red but that is only a guess.

They are both from the Languedoc but you probably know that...
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Old May 8th, 2007, 02:51 PM
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hi, joe,

i eventually tracked it down via a french web-site - my poor french suggested it's a white which would make sense as the restaurant concerned is offering a choice. [why not check with them?]

I'm not familiar with hot choc mousse, but I assum anything associated with raymond blanc will be good.

regards, ann
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Old May 8th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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wow. stumped me on this one. I knew VDP, which like ekscrunchy mentioned, included Languedoc-Roussillon, parts of the southern Rhone and Provence. VDP is like a country wine and not an appellations controlees.

Vin de Pays D'Oc, if its white, could be a Sav Blanc, Chardonnay, Marsanne or Viogner.

eRobertparker was of no help either with these producers.

So I have now idea either but anxious to find out the answer. I'm still looking though.....
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Old May 8th, 2007, 03:07 PM
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These are both Vin du pays (VDP), or "country wines", which is the lowest level of classification, from anywhere in the very large Languedoc-Roussillon region. Not necessarily bad wine, just not from a more exclusive regional appellation.

Domaine St. Jean de Conques (note the missing word) is in the AOC St-Chinian, which is a more exclusive part of the Languedoc, which suggests this is a second wine of theirs, or perhaps wine from grapes not approved as part of the AOC -- such as Merlot (I believe St-Chinian can only be made from Mourvedre, Grenache, or Syrah). Any Merlot from here is probably wine-lake wine, made in industrial quantities to feed the now-bust Merlot boom of a few years ago. If it's Syrah, it may just be made outside the boundaries.

Or perhaps it's a white; the St-Chinian AOC is red, so this could be their white from the same area, not allowed to carry the St-Chinian name. But I think the whites carry the name of the variety, as in "Chardonnay VDP d'OC". I don't think they grow any other white grapes there.

In short, you need more information to be able to tell.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 03:11 PM
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It's not in Winespectator online, so it must be a local wine.

Most googling tends to move it towards being a merlot.

Looks like you're planning a visit to
Brasserie Blanc.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 03:12 PM
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Well, I'm wrong -- there are more white varieties grown. But I think the absence of a grape variety means that it's a blend -- but it could be a white Chardonnay-Viognier blend, or a red Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend. So no help there. You're going to have to ask them, I think. The fact that there's a fish option suggests white, doesn't it?
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Old May 8th, 2007, 03:32 PM
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That's a wine served in the Uk at Raymond Blanc's restos, maybe a Brit can answer.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 03:36 PM
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Thanks for the tips. Yes, I am planning at Brasserie Blanc.

I've looked on their website and found that the house wines are:

Colombard Sauvignon, Bouey, Vin de Pays
Merlot Cabernet, Bouey, Vin de Pays

so this is probably what they are. Merely just wondering about the white and red, but you would think they would offer one of each.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 06:35 PM
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Domaine St Jean Conques

Here's an extract from a Web page about Domaine St Jean Conques:

"A découvrir également, un vin de pays blanc d'une belle élégance. A base de Rolle et de Colombard, un joli blanc aux délicates notes florales avec un superbe équilibre gras/ acidité."

The domaine mainly produces red, which is consistently in the Hachette wine guide, a good sign. But probably it's the wine above the restaurant is offering, as suggested in previous posts. Two reds would not make sense. Sounds like a nice white, a blend.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 09:08 PM
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Restaurants often propose two wines of the same color -- just like the choice between a Burgundy and a Bordeaux. It mostly depends on what is on the menu. If you were eating beef, it would be extremely unlikely to be offered white wine (unless the place caters to foreigners and has thrown in the towel on the subject of respecting any tradition); just as red wine would be quite unusual with fish.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 09:41 PM
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"The fact that there's a fish option suggests white, doesn't it?"

Yes, it does.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 10:28 PM
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For the definitive answer:

01865 510999

Omit the 01865 from a landline in Oxford.

They know. We don't.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 10:43 PM
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I think hot chocolate mousse would be like the fondant au chocolat, a warm chocolate cake with a liquid centre. I have a Raymond Blanc recipe for this, so that's probably it.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 11:12 PM
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Can somebody tell me ? I thought the (mis-)use of the word "entrée" to mean main dish was American(perhpas Canadian too?) but the menu on this Oxford restaurant site uses "entrées" for main dish. Is this not only American but general English/American use?
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Old May 8th, 2007, 11:34 PM
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It's not an American misuse.

Menus from the mid-19th century to WW1, both in France and in Britain, often used the term "entrée" to describe dishes after the hors d'oeuvre, soup and fish, but before the roasts.

Our copy of Saulnier's Repertoire de la Cuisine (bought and printed early 1970s) uses the term for all substantial meat or offal dishes.

True, post WW2, the French started to use the term almost as a synonym for starter, and many British decided the Americans (who settled on it as a poncey word for main course) had got it wrong. So it's rarely used in Britain, and when it is, it's usually used the modern French way. Most countries outside the English-speaking world don't do this fake French nonsense at all, categorise menus as "Primi", "Secondi" or whatever and the issue doesn't arise.

I'm sure I've seen Blanc's usage elsewhere in Britain, but from posh cooks it's self-conscious pedantry (I think Larousse Gastronomique uses the old terminology too), rather than unthinking adoption of an Americanism.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 12:15 AM
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Interesing. Thank you for sharing the information.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 12:16 AM
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Hi Flanner,

I don't think we know where the OP is dining.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 12:23 AM
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Reread, and yes, you're right, we do. I apologize. Good idea! Call them. And I'll wager a bottle of Domaine St Jean Conques VDP d'Oc 2005 that it's the white that Raymond Blanc is proposing. Kerouac has it right. No Frenchman is going to marry fish with a red.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 12:54 AM
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I will contact them to ask. I've been asking them a million questions, so I kind of wanted to stop harrassing them plus not appear stupid by not knowing a wine. But it does sound confusing. I'll get back to you with the response.
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