Sundays are for the market. We select our fruits and veggies for the week, a rotisserie chicken or a selction of charcuterie for lunch, and maybe an eclair or two for dessert (OK, always). If the weather is behaving and I if I have quelque sous (a little money) left over, we grab a spot in the sun and have a little noon-time whistle quencher.
Except it’s not exactly warm enough to sit outside yet; gotta find somewhere indoors. Good thing L’Epicerie du Zinc is open Sunday afternoons for just such an occasion.
Today was my first visit to the cavist / epicerie fine situated behind the covered market in Libourne. We were greeted by the owner, whom we know already from his wine bar/ restaurant in town, Le Zinc Authentique. As we rested our market basket on the ground, he asked what mood we were in. I don’t know if there is a hardcopy wine list here, but it would be superfluous because
1) What you see along the walls is the selection – mention what you want and he’ll open it
2) ALWAYS TRUST YOUR CAVIST!!!
We asked for a dry white and he opened up…
Villa des Croix Chardonnay / Viognier 2015 Les Grandes Côtes, Pays d’Oc.
It was perfect for an apéritif. It had sufficient roundness and tropical fruit cocktail flavors. It was fresh, with an acidity that didn’t pucker. I decided to take a bottle home.
And that’s where he ‘got’ me. Looking around the shop, I saw that he had a diverse selection with prices that are correct. I didn’t feel guilty about picking out a handful of bottles for the week. My cave at home has nothing that wouldn’t have to be decanted for hours, which is not acceptable come six o’clock.
Thinking about the coquelet in my fridge that I plan to prepare this week, I began looking for a decent pinot noir – if it ain’t pinot noir, it ain’t coq au vin. I spied…
Terrasses de Perret, Pays d’Oc, Pinot Noir, 2015
…sitting all alone in the corner and added it to my selection. I may oblige myself to short my recipe a glass for direct consumption – I’m expecting kirch-y cherry flavors and not a lot of tannin. I’ll let ya know.
Halfway through my glass, I noticed a wine that I’d sold in Texas,
Bodegas Luzon Verde Organic, Jumilla, Monastrell, 2013.
Jumilla is the Spanish desert and the monastrell (known in France as Mourvèdre), produces some juicy, berry-driven, high alcohol viños. We’d picked up a couple faux filet for lunch and I thought this would be great for braising and to accompany. It had just enough age to show some briary undertones, but this stainless steel production had loads of fruit in the blackberry, boysenberry range. The tannin was supple, thanks to that desert heat. I can safely say that this is still a great value wine – especially if you’re searching for organic farming.
Since I’ve been leaning toward white wines lately and since my son hadn’t yet finished his morsel of baguette (which he stole from the counter – my little Jean Valjean), I wanted to look for one more vin blanc. I got a little excited when I saw…
VECCHIA TORRE, Salento Bianco, Vermintino, 2015
… because, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s not much international selection when you live in Bordeaux – especially whites. Vermentino is a lively Italian variety with grassy and citrus characteristics. This one is from the Puglia region and I can’t wait to pull it out next time we have fruits de mer or oysters!
Adding all these bottles to the two glasses, my leftover sous wasn’t going to be enough. My bank card didn’t take too much of a hit, though, because my total was less than €50! As we were leaving, Yannick mentioned sideways that this place could quickly become dangerous. I agreed, but don’t think that’ll stop me.
Still had the coins jingling in my Levi’s, so we walked to a stand that we’ve passed several times at the marché, but never stopped. It’s occupied by a jovial guy that sells beers from Flanders.
No, not Ned. The Dutch/French region along the border of Southern Belgium / Northern France is known for heavily hopped ales of high alcohol content. And nothing else, because, well, there’s not much else interesting in the area. Sorry, but it’s true. I tried researching extra info about the city this beer is made and… see for yourself – google Blaringhem, France and see what you come up with.
So, Yannick picked out…
Brasserie Anosteke Cuvée d’Hiver
…to test while we watch France play against Norway in the Handball World Cup. The guy told us it wasn’t going to be a typical winter brew that over-does it on the spices and ends up tasting like your aunt’s potpourri jar. He promised a more caramel / citrus vibe. I can agree with that. It reminded me of a chocolate cream soda and caramalized grapefruit. The body was medium and there was a clean freshness. Better than I expected!
Can’t wait to see what we find next week at the market!! Yannick told me he’s holding my credit card though.