Cahors, the Black Wine of Southwest France
Last week, we started the year off with an offer for Malbec from Argentina. This is where many people believe the grape variety originated yet in truth, it’s a native of southwest France, more specifically from Bordeaux and later, Cahors. It wasn’t first introduced into Argentina until the mid-1800’s but it has since developed a huge following from there.
It’s a grape variety that will grow in many different soil types but in the distinctly limestone soils of Cahors it can be at its most tannic, so for those of you that like the blockbuster style, this is your baby.
Cahors is situated on the Lot River in a small quarter of the Languedoc region and is noted for its gastronomy being a source of the delicacy Foie Gras. But for us, wine is the main thing. The Malbec grape variety was known locally as Cot but with the rise in popularity of the Malbec grape further afield, the Cahors producers started to refer to it more by its international name.
It produces wines of great depth of colour and flavour with big bold tannins at times that are just the ticket to drink with rich meat dishes and game, perfect for the current season.
Mme Baldes, originally from Burgundy but now an adopted Cadurecienne (inhabitant of Cahors) has sent some recipes for us to match with her husband’s wines. The first is a very simple but hearty starter, a sausage in batter – sort of a gallic Toad in the Hole – to match with the Chateau de Flore Cahors. Please see the recipe below, it’s really easy and it’s very hearty eating for January.
For this starter you will need:
3 large eggs
100g plain flour
A glass of milk
6 Toulouse sausages, grilled and ready to go.
To make it, make a batter by mixing together the eggs (beaten) flour and milk, whisking it to make sure there are no lumps. Pour it into an oven-proof dish and scatter the sausage cut into pieces over it. Bake it in an oven at 180 degrees C for 45 minutes.