Today, we’re talking and reviewing French wines, French cheese, and French butter.
(see, this is why I’m so excited)
Did y’all know that the French have a holiday to celebrate their new wines? Appropriately, it’s called Beaujolais Nouveau (“new wine”), and it’s held on the third Thursday of November to celebrate the new grapes. Under French law, the wine is released at 12:01 a.m., and it’s celebrated with fireworks and festivals. The attitude is relaxed and casual because when that first bottle is uncorked, no one knows what to expect of it (since it’s the first of that year’s harvest).
The French know how to do it, right? They take their wines seriously.
No wonder I took seven years of French. I was just waiting for this opportunity! I was sent French wine, cheese, and butter from five different companies: two different brands of rosé, a pinot gris, a red blend, and a riesling, plus a wedge of brie and a block of butter.
Let me tell you about this wine. I am, while a wino in the sense that I love to drink copious amounts of wine, also painfully guilty of judging wine by its labels. I tend to move toward shiny graphics (which typically means it’s cheaper) and steer clear of those classy labels. You know the type. They just look fancy and expensive.
Those fancy-looking wines were the wines that showed up at my door last Tuesday.
Suffice it to say, I’ve never had any of these wines before because they looked too fancy for my blood. Shame on me, judging a book by its cover. Most are $25 and under. I’m fairly certain that’s a common misconception of French wine: that’s it’s outrageously priced. I’m about to blow your minds, children. I was also given a wedge of Le Chatelain brie and a block of President butter. *heart eyes*
If you take a look at the picture below, you can see where all of these goodies originated:
Now let’s talk about the brie and the butter. I live and die by cheese and butter, so I thought long and hard about what sorts of appetizers I could serve that would best showcase the tastes and flavors of these two items. I decided on making baked brie with wine-soaked blackberries (recipe via Lemon Tree Dwelling), pear and brie crostini with balsamic and thyme (recipe via Go Go Go Gourmet), and some croissants with butter, because who has a French-themed get-together without croissants? Crazy talk.
Oh, and a quiche because 1) it’s French, and 2) I am the great-granddaughter of a woman who would cook for sixty at a four-person dinner and I come by it so, so honestly. It’s a blessing and a curse.
I got some apps. I got some wine. What do we do now?
I’d usually say, “Throw a party!” Nine times out of ten, I’d be sending out invitations and buying decorations and preparing for friends and family. You see, though, I’m smack-dab in the middle of moving. One home is boxed up, the other is empty.
Naturally, I decided to have an empty house picnic party with Matt.
(I promise, Matt was there helping me with the wine and the food, but someone had to take the pictures!)
(click through the link and they all tell you where you can find their goods in your area!)
Trimbach Riesling 2014. Admittedly, I’m very picky with rieslings. I’m not sure into sweet wines. It was dry and tangy without being overly sweet. While I still may not frequent rieslings, this one will be at the top of my list when I do. And retailing at $24, I can do it without breaking the bank.
Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve 2013. Giiiiirl. Notes of peachiness, I think? Whites are always my jam, but this was really refreshing, and with summer coming up, this would be a great wine for a makeshift sangria. It’s around $24 a bottle.
Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2016. I know it will sound dramatic and over the top (since I’m being paid for this review), but this was the best rose I’ve ever had. 100% absolutely. It was light and fruity and crisp. I’m telling y’all, at a $20 price point, it’s a steal. Get it now and enjoy the spring weather.
Mas de Daumas Gassac Red 2015. In the beginning, Matt and I were most excited about this bottle. Given the option, we typically lean toward red wine. This is a red blend, with 79% cabernet sauvignon (my favorite red). I actually read that this wine sold out at the vineyard within six weeks of its release, so that many people can’t be wrong, right? Holy moly. This was fantastic. It almost took on a savory characteristic with deep fruity flavor. If you can get your hands on it, try it. At $40-45 a bottle, it’s the priciest of the wines I reviewed, but very well worth it.
Mas de Daumas Gassac Sparking Rosé 2016. Okay, I’ll admit it. This was a good rosé. Had I not started with Whispering Angel, I would have L-O-V-E’d this. At around $20 a bottle, you can give it a whirl too!
President unsalted butter. I would have eaten this with a spoon (maybe I did a little, whatever). It was so, so rich, and it paired wonderfully with the croissants. I also used a little in my quiche and it was creamier than it’s ever been.
La Chatelain brie. Y’all. Y’all. I only thought I loved brie before this. Maybe I’ve been eating too much “Americanized” brie, but holy moly, this was a game-changer. Even from the start, I could tell a difference from this and the brie I typically eat. This brie was soft and sticky from the start, and the creaminess once it warmed up was unparalleled. Take whatever brand of brie you have right now and throw it out the window. Then get some of this, and send me a thank you note.
I wasn’t prepared to truly, honestly like everything I was given. This has been the most successful campaign I’ve take part in, in terms of loving everything I reviewed. If you’re interested in trying any of these products, I linked them above, and you can see where they are sold around your area.
I had a great time vacationing through France in my living room. I hope y’all found it as informative and fun as I did. If you end up with a taste of France, please let me know! I’d love to hear what you thought of these wines.
Merci, et bonne journée!