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Wines for starters Languedoc red to go with Pair starters which have a sweetness to them with a glass of chilled sweet wine like Sauternes, Barsac or Monbazillac or a semisweet Côteaux du Layon. These luscious golden wines offer the perfect mix of richness and fresh acidity. Or you might choose a dry white wine like Riesling from Alsace or even an intense, buttery Chardonnay if you prefer to avoid overwhelming your palate with a sugary wine at the start of the meal. Other classic entree options include garlic snails paired with a crisp Chablis from Burgundy. For salty oysters and smoked salmon choose a Champagne with a decent acidity balancing freshness to help to cut through the heavy, oily texture of the food, cleanse the palate and leave you ready for the rest of your feast. Wine with every course! Main course wines The main course, plat principal, comes next. The centerpiece is usually a large bird, roast turkey, Guinea fowl or pheasant, often stuffed with a chestnut mix. Lobster, crab, duck or seasonal game like venison or boar are also popular. With such a smorgasbord of flavors on the table, most families keep their main course drinks simple and classic. This is the ideal moment to bring out a Grand Cru Bordeaux, a good Burgundy or a fine Chateauneuf du Pape. Wines for cheese No French feast would be complete without a cheese course which usually comes between the main course and dessert. A choice of cheeses might include the softies: creamy cow’s milk Vacherin, Brie de Meaux or Camembert. Then it’s on to the hard cheeses – Comté or Cantal. Complete your cheese board with a tangy goat’s milk Tomme de Chèvre and a piquant blue like Roquefort or Bleu d’Auvergne. Here the choice of wine all comes down to personal preference. Pick a Beaujolais cru or the hard cheeses, a decadent Champagne for the creamier cheeses, or try the classic sweet-salty combo of Sauternes and blue cheese. Discover how to create a perfect French cheese
choices are a glass of Banyuls, a fortified wine from the rugged Languedoc-Roussillon, a demi-sec Champagne or even a chilled Cointreau on the rocks. If you can manage one more sip, it’s customary in France to close the meal with a digestif. Try a small serving of mellow brandy, appley Calvados, Armagnac, Cognac or something a little more unusual like herbal liqueur Génépy which is made in the Alps. Wines to go with desserts After that button-popping meal, you might enjoy a lighter dessert. In France a bûche de Noël is the number choice. A chocolate sponge cake shaped and decorated to look like a Yule log (here’s how to make one at home). This sweet treat should be paired with a wine that is even sweeter, so great Laurent is a wine expert who runs SomMailier.com, a French Wine Club in the USA. Members receive delicious boutique wines, selected by wine experts in France as well as detailed information about wine and food pairing ideas to help you really discover French wine. We think a club membership is the perfect Christmas present! Get a special introductory offer of 10% on any product – just use the code TGLF2020 on the checkout page…
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