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Wine and food, Languedoc,France

Carcassonne, France

Why the Languedoc? Well, we have the most hours of sunshine in the whole of France. Secondly, we are the largest producing wine area in France. We have also the most varied landscapes, huge amounts of beach, mountains, skiing, and much more.

The wine. Here are the main regions. Minervois, Corbieres, St Chinian, Fitou and the Coteaux du Languedoc. They all have their own characteristics, flavours. They do vary in strength too- anything from 12% to 15%. Generally, they are made to drink young. However, they do survive ageing very well and fascinating characteristics can develop. The best way to appreciate this huge variety, is to travel to the area and be prepared to invest time and mileage to view what the Languedoc has to offer.

When tasting- be responsible to your taste buds and liver! Most tastings can involve up to 10 different wines- usually starting with a sparkling wine, followed by the lightest white (sometimes a Muscat-or sweetish wine as well). Then onto the reds-once again starting with the lightest. Remember to spit the wine out between tasting. I know many people find this habit odd- it is- but you will survive the experience much better. Always ask for something to nibble on between tasting. Some wine makers will encourage wine and food pairing during a tasting. Perfect. If not, nibble on French bread, or a dry cheese biscuit- to cleanse the palate. This will then allow the next wine to enter a clean palate.

Food in the Languedoc. This region is not known as the gastronomic capital of France. However, there are a huge amount of locally grown produce that gets used, seasonally, in most restaurants. The most famous dish from the region in Cassoulet. This is a slow cooked dish, with sausages from Toulouse, confit de Canard, white beans, goose fat and other “secret” ingredients.

Cassoulet, a thick casserole of beans and meat, is a hearty peasant dish that originated in the Midi-Pyrenées and Laguedoc regions. The name comes from cassole which is name for the earthenware pot used in making cassoulet.

A gastronomic council decreed in the 1966 that a true cassoulet must consist of 70% beans. The bean of preference is the haricot lingot du Lauragais. This white navy bean is grown in the region and stands up to the long cooking cassolets require. Various meats make up the remaining 30% and it is the meats that determine which region of Languedoc the cassoulet is from.

There are many types of cassoulets from various regions, cities and villages but the three most well known form what Prosper Montagné dubbed the "Trinity".

We have many very good Michelin starred restaurants in the region- using locally caught fish, influences from northern Spain, and back in history, the Occitane days. There are many pleasure awaiting the explorer. One very good way to experience the Languedoc, is to take an organized tour of the region that will show you the delights of the wine, the epicurean experiences of the food, and maybe even go on a Snail trail picnic.

Look at http://www.wine-food-languedoc.com

permalink written by  mikithecig on February 15, 2007 from Carcassonne, France
from the travel blog: Discover the Languedoc, France
tagged Food, Wine, Languedoc, Cassoulet and Vineyards

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In Port.

Port Washington, United States

I love port. It's perfect.

permalink written by  jki on November 24, 2008 from Port Washington, United States
from the travel blog: Port
tagged Wine, Port, Castano and Monestrell

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