Auvergne is an area we don't necessarily think about when it comes to wine. However, there is a small vineyard in the Forez region, in the south of the Loire department: 150 hectares are planted at the foot of the Forez mountains, northwest of Saint Étienne, and allow the production of red wines under AOC Côtes du Forez. Although I didn't really fall in love with the vineyard landscapes of that area, the wines are really worth trying. Here is why.
Hilly landscapes, lots of old vines, rocky soils and in the end, fruity and light red wines: this is Beaujolais! A name that the French often associate with Beaujolais Nouveau, the new wine released on the 3rd Thursday of November. But Beaujolais is much more than that! Breathtaking vineyard landscapes, 10 crus... Here is an overview of what you could discover in the Beaujolais region if you ever get the chance to go there.
Autumn is back, and with it, the harvest season - grapes of course, but apples as well! This is the time to taste and bake a Loire Valley dessert: the winemaker's tart, originally from Chinon, is a light and crispy apple pie covered with wine jelly. I regularly serve it during the wine tastings and the picnics I organise in the vineyards. You will find it in many bakeries and pastry shops in Touraine.
During winter 2021, I tested an Italian recipe that I really like and whose ingredients include wine: a risotto with red wine and red radicchio. A very simple recipe to make for a dish with balanced flavors, which will especially delight people who appreciate a little bitterness in their food. I cooked this risotto with a wine from La Valpolicella, in north-east Italy. This article is also the opportunity to talk about wine tourism and discover the exceptional wines produced in that area.