In my new book, A Tour of the Heart: A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, there’s a scene where I feast over confit de canard, cassoulet de canard and a couple of pork-product dishes in a simple—yet elegant—homestyled restaurant above a bar/tabac in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France.
“Almost toute de suite we were served a Blanquette de Limoux, the oldest sparkling wine in France said to have served as inspiration for Dom Perignon, the most praise-worthy monk who created champagne centuries ago,” I wrote.
I never would have known this had my guide not clued me in. And what a delicious nectar I found it to be! A robust red was poured for that hearty meal, yet my palette was delightfully awakened by this sparkling wine.
Many years later, I was thrilled to discover that Blanquette de Limoux is readily available in the United States at a fraction of the price of champagne. Saint-Hilaire, one of the finest of these wines, is widely distributed at a price point of about $15. Who ever imagined that such a luxurious tasting beverage could be so affordable? I suggest you stock up on it for the New Year and all year long.
Happy 2013 everyone!