3 Weeks in France, and The Best Meal so Far
It’s been three weeks so far in France. i’m missing my wife terribly. Guilhaume and i have traveled to Languedoc-Roussilon (the whole thing, or at least some of it), the South-West, Cote-Roannaise, Auvergne, Beaujoulais, and the Loire from the gros-plant to Sancerre (don’t worry, dear reader, I’m not drinking any sauvignon blanc here). i got to taste at one of the greatest wineries in the world, and with one of the sharpest wine makers working now (i’ll tell you about them both later).
We’ve tasted at about 3 wineries a day, with freshfaced vignerons just getting their start, to veterans whose hands are permanently stained brown from working their vines.
We’ve tasted with vignerons who have long given up on farming and vinification, insisting instead on dogma and marketing to sell their wines, wines that are resplendent with every flaw imaginable in wine. Their have been terrets that taste like chardonnays that taste like chenins, which is to say they don’t taste much like wine at all.
We’ve also tasted with quiet farmers who believe that the way to wine is in the vineyard, that if you aren’t out there babying your vines, the wine that results will never rise above mediocrity. These are people who farm and vinify the way their great-grandfather (or further back) did. Or they are newcomers with no history of winemaking who want to make clean, beautiful wines without the ease that comes from following a set of rules. These are the people and the wines that make me smile.
But really the point of this post is to tell you that in three weeks the best meal i have had was in the way out of the way Auvergne. The restaurant is called L’Auberge du Moulin Civadoux and it is the type of place everyone wishes they went to when they went to France but never quite found. They serve seasonal country food sourced from the area (a list of the farmers names and where they live accompanies the menu) and cooked in a giant wood-fired oven, wines from the area, and they have a giant dog and a friendly cat with a broken tail. It is simple, cheap, and beautiful. For those of you ever in Auvergne (all 2 of you) the restaurant is worth the drive.