Bergerac Wine Region: South West France – Wine and Pâté pairing

Driving through the Dordogne on a sunny November day highlights the autumn colours of the vines: varying shades of gold, russet and brown which signal the twilight of the wine season for the year.

This day we are driving to Périgueux to attend a gathering of Confréries at the pâté de Périgueux competition.

The winter market in Périgueux November to March and the notice of the pâté competition

The winter market in Périgueux November to March and the notice of the pâté competition

When we arrive the judges are busy tasting the pâtés and forming their opinions. Its tense work and important for the pâté makers of the area.  The results are delivered at a ceremony in the market square later in the morning.

The serious business of judging pâtés in Périgueux

The serious business of judging pâtés in Périgueux

In the meantime, the Confréries,  the local voluntary organizations with historic origins that promote the region and its gastronomic products such as wines, cheeses, pâtés, strawberries  parade through the streets in the old town of Périgueux They are preceded by musicians and folk dancers who entertain people going about their regular shopping in the markets.

Folk dancing in Périgueux

Folk dancing in Périgueux

After the results of the competition are announced in the market square there is a tasting of the pâtés accompanied by white wine.    This is a 2012 Côtes de Bergerac Moelleux from Chateau Court-Les-Mûts.

Chateau Court-Les-Mûts - the white wine served with the pâte

Chateau Court-Les-Mûts – the white wine served with the pâte

We know the red wines from this winemaker but aren’t so familiar with the whites.    The fruit aromas of this lightly sweet wine make it an excellent complement to the pâtés.

After the ceremony in the square, we are fortunate to attend a lunch which highlights the gifts of the terrain including pâté, foie gras, mushrooms and truffles.

My favourite dish was the starter of Pâté de Périgueux en Croûte served warm with a truffle sauce.    The small amount of foie gras in the middle of the pâté was balanced by the pastry and the sauce.

Pâté de Périgueux en Croûte served warm with a truffle sauce

Pâté de Périgueux en Croûte served warm with a truffle sauce

A late harvest Monbazillac wine was on offer.   The late harvest wines are frequently paired with foie gras.   However, this day we enjoyed the Pécharmant red wine:  Domaine de l’Ancienne Cure, Jour de Fruit. A robust, full balanced wine it was a good counterpoint to the richness of the pâté and foie gras.

The Pécharmant AOC area is to the north east of Bergerac.   It is a small area known for iron elements in the terrain.   Only red wines are produced under this AOC.  Predominantly Merlot with Cabernet France and Cabernet Sauvignon, Pécharmant AOC wines are known as robust, well structured and approachable.

This day in Périguex was a tremendous opportunity to participate in a very special French gastronomic event that gave great pleasure to everyone going about their Saturday shopping in this historic town.

Reference:  Chateau Court-Les-Mûts

Domaine de l’Ancienne Cure – Pécharmant AOC

For more information about the Confréries of France recognized by UNESCO in 2011, visit http://www.confreries-france.com

4 thoughts on “Bergerac Wine Region: South West France – Wine and Pâté pairing

  1. An inspiring, mouth-watering post! Brings back memories of a meal in Paris of foie gras accompanied by a beautiful slightly sweet Sauterne. A marriage made in heaven. Your travels through Dordogne and Périgueux sound wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Like

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