Celia's blog

Musings on life in Lodeve, Languedoc

Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category


Posted by celiahukins on 24/07/2013


As the weather gets hotter the mojito makes a very refreshing drink.

This is my recipe:
Place the limes, mint and sugar in a highball glass and “muddle” them with the end of a rolling pin. Add ice and pour over the rum (not too much if you have things to do afterwards). Add soda water to taste and serve in a highball glass with a sprig of mint.
Of course there is more on Wikipedia


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October days

Posted by celiahukins on 26/10/2011

I’d planned to keep up with the blog but was frustrated by problems with a new internet box (Why didn’t I keep the old one? Do we really need internet TV?) As I write this the weather is autumnal and it has rained for the first time since I’m not sure when. Earlier in October we had lots of sunshine and it was a great time for my favourite Muscat grapes. The man at Lodève market was starting to pack up his stall and sold me all these grapes for 2 euros.

Now it’s Autumn it’s time for the vin nouveau, with various events round and about. I was invited to an aperitif at the local wine shop to celebrate the primeur. The invitation said 7.00, but we had to wait for 45 minutes until the manager arrived before we could have a glass of wine. “Only in Lodeve” people muttered. The nibbles when we finally got to eat them were enjoyable, the primeur perhaps not one of the best – too fruity with not enough body, in myopinion.

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Sunset, moonlight and aubergine caviar

Posted by celiahukins on 28/08/2011

We arrived at Montpellier airport from Birmingham on a Friday evening. Around the Place de la Comédie were stalls for the Estivales – an event which happens every Friday in the Summer with lots of wine and local produce. We bought glasses for 4 euros each; these entitled us to try 3 different wines. One we found was Puech Auger, which I’d come across at the Montpeyroux wine tasting I went to in May and was as good as I remembered. After the wine we slept well and after the usual petit déjeuner outside the station at Chez Paul we caught the 8.30 bus to Lodève. We reached Lodève in time for a look round the market and a glass of rose (why not?) before walking up the hill to the house.

We needed to stock up with food; I wanted to see what local produce was available at this time, bearing in mind that this was what we might be eating in the future years when our vegetable patch is operational. I went to the greengrocers in Lodève who sell produce from their farm in Gignac. They had aubergines, peppers, cucumber and courgettes. The aubergines were 1 euro the kilo, which meant that I bought 3 for just under a euro. This gave me an opportunity to make aubergine caviar, which we had previously only had in tubs from SuperU.

Elizabeth David thinks aubergine caviar is “sometimes rather idiotically so called”. Well she may have a point but I can recommend it anyway. I haven’t found the ideal recipe yet (If I do I’ll post it), but the principle is this – cook your aubergines until you can scoop out the flesh from within the skin. I did this by roasting them in the oven, studded with garlic, basted in olive oil and wrapped in foil, or there are various other options (boil, grill etc). You then puree the flesh with some chopped skinned tomatoes and add chopped onion, parsley, basil and whatever spices you fancy – cumin, curry? We enjoyed it cold as a starter with a Sancho baguette – if you don’t live near Sanchos then just use the nicest bread you can find around.

There were a few pears on our pear tree – they don’t taste of much but when stewed gently in Muscat with blackberries from the garden they made a good dessert served with crème fraiche.

Eating outside in the cool of the evening, we linger over another glass of wine or a Muscat, watch the bats and wait for the Pole Star and the Great Bear to appear in the sky

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Oysters at Lodeve market

Posted by celiahukins on 04/05/2011

As ever the Saturday morning market calls. Fortunately it’s not raining as it was last week. A quick tour of the stalls (local strawberries, asparagus, broad beans – you know the sort of thing) and it’s time for the local tradition of a pichet of white wine at the Bar des Halles, with oysters from the oyster stall just outside.

All the usual people come and go at the café; a chance to have one of those long philosophical discussions with Paul, fuelled by more wine and a second dozen oysters. At 2 pm the tables are cleared away and the cleaning van comes round – goodbye until next week.

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Vin primeur

Posted by celiahukins on 20/10/2009

Les primeurs

Last Thursday, the third Thursday in October, was vin primeur day in the Languedoc. In Northern France, as the weather is colder this doesn’t happen until November (as in Beaujolais Nouveau) but of course everything ripens earlier here. The wines go down very easily but I’ve saved some to enjoy later on.

The Minuscule had a special evening to celebrate the wine (“Le Prem’s” from Saint Felix-Saint Jean). Poems were read, songs were sung – and Gisela, in fine form, wore a splendid red dress; I’m sorry I don’t have a photo.

I’ve been visiting various wine festivals around the region (remaining sober, I should add, as I was driving) but more of that later.

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Wines of the Larzac

Posted by celiahukins on 07/04/2009

Jean Jean Vineyard

I’ve cheated a bit here as this is actually a picture of the Jean Jean vineyard at St Félix de Lodez; I was there in February. More about that later, but at the moment I’m thinking of another visit.

On a sunny Tuesday morning in late March I went to the Mas Fabrégous vineyard with some friends. As we drove up the narrow twisty road to their house I got a new perspective on Soubes; I’m not used to being on the level above the houses, as usually we follow the road straight through the village and on to the Forest of Parlatges.
Corinne and Philippe live in a stone house with rooms on several levels. We look at out at the trees just beginning to come into leaf, and Corinne offers us some wines to taste. As we talk the phone keeps ringing; sometimes it is a business enquiry, but it can also be Philippe’s mother who rings rather too often. We passed her house on the hill as we drove up. The rosé wine is named after her – Le rosé de Juliette. I’ve promised to translate their leaflet into English, since the previous translation was meaningless. However it‘s not an easy task. In the original translation “les graves et éboullis caillouteux” was just translated as “stones”, which perhaps might be the best option after all.
After a taste of several of the vines it’s nearly lunchtime, which of course can’t be missed. We drive back to Lodève down the windy road. The driver has only had one glass of wine; I make a mental note that if we come back again and I’m driving I shall have to watch what I drink, or the car could easily be over the hillside. On the way down we pass cherry tress; our friends used to come and pick the cherries, but many of the trees are dead now.
My friends invite me for lunch – quiche, grated carrot and lettuce salad, followed by strawberries. A simple meal but very enjoyable.
I’m looking forward to another visit to Mas Fabrégous when I’ve finished translating their leaflet.

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