En route to London with a stopover in Sancerre.
I thought the UK had the reputation of having all forms of weather in one day, but after my drive through France today , the “Hexagone” runs it a close second.
I left the Languedoc at lunchtime under clear skies but with a rapier-like Tramontane blowing at over 100km an hour (the sort of wind that makes people go mad). At Montauban the rain started, lightly at first, then pretty heavy. Between Cahors and Brive the temperature dropped below freezing (at 3.30 in the afternoon) and it started to snow. It remained like this all the way to Chateauroux where the mercury finally struggled to reach a rather timid 2 degrees. The milder temperature, though, gave way to thick fog and the last 100km to Sancerre took an “eye-challenging” 2hours. Luckily the last hour was spent on the taillights of a local who had rashly pulled out in front of me but actually enabled me to reach the village of Saint Satur, outside Sancerre, a good 30 minutes earlier than I would have done tout seul.
Found a great little hotel by the Loire (apparently, as haven’t seen it yet) and an even greater bistro type restaurant 2 minutes walk away. The sort of establishment that rekindles your faith in authentic French cuisine.
2 courses of delicious food (hot Crottin de Chavignol salad) followed by a succulent Bavette au poivre all for an incredible 13.50€.
The real eye-opener though was the wine selection. Over 20 Sancerre wines on sale by the bottle at no more than 24€ for the most expensive. Even better was that all were offered by the glass at 3€ a pop ! Fantastic. My knowledge of Sancerre producers being a little rusty, I asked the owner to recommend a selection of his best wines and he didn’t disappoint. A Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Noir from Vincent Pinard and another Pinot from Domaine Paul Cherrier were inspiring – notes to follow in a future post.
I came away feeling enthused, not only about the food but the high quality wines that I had tasted but also without the feeling of being fleeced and bankrupted.
I wish more On Trade experiences were the same…….Vincent Pinard Cuvée Florès Sancerre 2008