Paris Cheese & Wine Tasting

Jun 8th, 2005, 05:10 AM
  #1  
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Paris Cheese & Wine Tasting

I have just received this invitation..others may be interested..

The sommelier of the Violon d’Ingres, Christian Constant’s Michelin-starred restaurant, will be conducting a Wine and Cheese Tasting session to introduce you to the wines of Languedoc.



Tuesday, June 14, 2005

5 – 6 pm, please be prompt

Café Constant, upstairs

139 rue St. Dominique

20 Euros

Metro: Ecole Militaire or Pont de l'Alma

Reservations: [email protected]

Telephone: Julie or Sandrine at the Cafe on

01 47 53 73 34

The wines of the Languedoc come from a wide and beautiful region of the southern coast of France, from the ancient Roman city of Nimes to the foothills of the Pyrenees. The oldest wine region of France is here, the Coteaux du Languedoc Vineyards. The original vines were planted by the ancient Greeks and later developed by the Romans.

When you think of the wines of the Languedoc, think of windy hillsides bathed in sunlight, or dry river beds and sunny stone terraces. This is the ‘garrigue’ of the south of France, with scents of the sea and land.

The region is especially well-known for its red wines, (made from Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Minervois, and Muscat grapes), but also produces some wonderful whites and even a sparkling wine.

In addition, Mr. Constant and his Sommelier have chosen a special selection of French cheeses to taste and learn about as well. They promise to be a wonderful accompaniment to the Languedoc wines.
gracejoan is offline  
Jun 8th, 2005, 08:50 AM
  #2  
rex
 
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Interesting.

When we have had visitors from France, they commented that the US practice of a "wine and cheese tasting party" seemed like something that they could not imagine in France. Wine with (or specifically paired with) the "cheese course" at a meal (both at home and dining out), sure... or a party of charcuterie (which might include some complimenting cheeses, sparingly), with various drinks (more likely aperitifs, or cocktails, but could include wine also)...

... but "just" wine and cheese - - they thought that this was an interesting, if curious, American adaptation of something thought to be French.

Perhaps its origins are more California, than Europe?

Best wishes,

Rex
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Jun 8th, 2005, 08:57 AM
  #3  
rex
 
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Oh... and one other thing - - this may be peculiar to Normandy, or less city-fied people, or just the people in this particular town...

... but they were quite drawn to butter and flatbreads (or day-old breads (all the more dry and crusty) as accompaniments, when they would have cheese at a meal (in homes), with all but the cheeses which had the highest fat content(s)... (they actually seemed to consult the label, in some cases, or at least point out to me, with reference to whether butter ought to be eaten with the cheese)...

... and as a corollary, the "best" reds were not viewed as a particularly good match - - more likely fruitier whites, or reds, or even dessert wines, port, sherry or (of course, in Normandy) - - Calvados...
rex is offline  
Jun 8th, 2005, 09:03 AM
  #4  
ira
 
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>..the "best" reds were not viewed as a particularly good match ...[with cheeses].<

Especially the very high butterfat cheeses.

Many folks think that the lipids in the cheese coat the taste buds and prevent one from getting all of the complex flavors of the wine.

Thus, younger, more acid reds and crispy whites.

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Jun 8th, 2005, 09:12 AM
  #5  
rex
 
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<<Many folks think that the lipids in the cheese coat the taste buds and prevent one from getting all of the complex flavors of the wine.

Thus, younger, more acid reds and crispy whites.>>

An interpretation I would share...

...yet it doesn't entirely jive with why an especially good (well-marbled) steak or prime rib (with a similarly high fat content?) would seem to pair well with wines with "lots of ("layers" and) complexity...

...or maybe the "jus" helps move those lipids off the tongue (could be brimming with all kinds of apoproteins, for all I know)...

Maybe too much amateurish chemistry speculation, perhaps, eh?

It does seem that the high (duck or goose) fat cuisine of the Dordogne/Perigord matches with Sauternes or similar wines, huh? (at least for starter courses - - when you might be eating "straight" pate, for example, or terrines)...
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Jun 8th, 2005, 10:48 AM
  #6  
 
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Having had some minimal involvement with Christian Constant's recent branching out into cooking classes, and now wine and cheese tastings, I can tell you that they are geared for Americans. I too think the French themselves don't normally do wine and cheese tastings. They have dégustations of wine and of cheese, but not together, at least I've never seen or heard of such a thing in all the many years I've been traveling there.

As for foie gras with sauternes, yes, that's a traditional pairing but one that I find far, far too rich, and I don't like sweet wines to begin with. I prefer my foie gras witha full-bodied Cahors.
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Jun 8th, 2005, 11:42 AM
  #7  
 
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One of the true hedonistic pleasure in life is a pan-seared foie gras from the Perigord paired with a rich, fruity, concentrated and powerful sweet wine from Sauterne such as a young 2001 Riussec or a gracefully-matured d'Yquem.

Burp.
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