Le Vin, Le Pain, Le Madiran

 IMG_0749This week sees the annual Wine festival for the Madiran wine producers, here in the southwest of France. Madiran is known for full bodied reds, although white wines, and a great range of pudding wines are also produced across the Madiran area.

We all jumped in the car and took a drive over to see the festival, which is free to enter on payment of your tasting glass at 3 euro’s. It’s a shame for the elected driver on these occasions…

The producers are generous in their offers to taste, which I think makes you all the more inclined to buy, and once you have made the selections there is a team of the young local teenagers known as ‘service sherpers’ who, with trolley’s in hand take your purchases back to the waiting vehicles ‘gratuit’.

I am no wine connoisseur but I learned a little more about the Madiran wines. The grape varieties tend to be Tannat, Cabernet Franc and Gros and Petit Marsan .The Pacherenc wines make up the whites but I was really taken with the choice and quality  of the delicious pudding wines. Awkward and Rocket soon became experts…? Oz Clarke has nothing on them!

IMG_0757The final selection came down to http://www.domaine-laougue.fr 2013 Pacherenc du Vic Bilh and after our supper, alongside the apricot tart to which we especially matched our choice, we enjoyed the fruits of our day’s labour at the festival.

We also picked up a case of the red, Domaine Hourcadet, 2011 – Rocket’s choice and Awkward and City went for some pudding wines too. It was nice to meet the producers and to see the festival so well supported.

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On our way to Madiran, which is about an hour north of us, we stopped off in a village called Marciac, where there is an annual Jazz Festival. There are tents where the various acts perform as well as a central stage – it’s quite well known to the seasoned Jazz enthusiasts – here is the link http://www.jazzinmarciac.com. The festival has a broad appeal though ( as a non Jazzy kinda girl) with the whole place being taken over by pop up restaurants and bars along with stalls purveying all manner of what have you. We really like the vibe, and we spent a few hours mooching around there before we went over the Madrian. If anyone is passing through the south west, I highly recommend a visit.

The festival is usually during the first two weeks of August each year. Awkward and City really enjoyed it and once we got back we threw together some supper of Sea Bream, with saffron potatoes and a tomato salad. To say tomato salad is to under sell it, the tomatoes are stunning at this time of the year, heavy with moisture and flavour – I should also say lovingly sliced by City over a few glasses of wine.

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We had some breaded goats cheese with green leaves and local honey to start then wrapped the whole thing up with our apricot tart from the Patisserie and a drop of fabulous xxxx……. A great day all in all.

Awkard and City will now be returning to the UK, so their visit was short but very sweet.

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