Happy Monday everyone! Booooo! hehe At least the sun is shining in the Mother City 🙂 On Saturday, however, it was rainy as all hell. I was already in a mood because I was running late (you may have seen my rant on Snapchat!) and by the time I got to town it was bucketing down, it took me half and hour to find a parking which made me as grey as the sky! But, I was in town for Societi’s Tour Through France which is always a day filled with delicious food and wine. At the last Tour through Italy, I didn’t get much food. This is why I wanted to be in town early to ensure I could capture all the tastiness! None the less, we did manage to arrive and receive much of the food which really perked me up.
Societi Bistro does a media event where they showcase their menu for the next few weeks ahead, all based on French cuisine. A Tour Through France offers dishes that celebrates each French region, paired with a particular wine. The event has a number of tables with wine pairings, which you are able to navigate and enjoy over lunch time.
REGION 1: PARIS
The first course was a French onion soup with gruyere croutes, lovely for the winter’s day. The Fleur Du Cap wasn’t a classic Chenin Blanc and was a little bit wooded, which I like. Actually, it was the perfect combination of slight smokiness without the overbearing sour kick of a sauvignon blanc. I think this was a lovely pairing.
REGION 2: CENTRAL FRANCE
Course 2 was a white bean, pork belly, confit duck and pork sausage cassoulet. I’d had this one before, but on this occasion the main flavour was pork sausage. It’s only a small cup so the profile will change depending on what meat is the most in your portion. I loved the soft texture of the sausage. This was paired with a dry red, the Delaire Graff Botmaskop 2014. I’m not a big red fan so this wine was a bit on the dry side for me, but I’m sure others will enjoy it.
REGION 3: PAYS DE LA LOIRE
Course number 3 was a sweet pork with prunes dish. Served with pommes anna (layered potatoes) and green beans (I love a green bean!), it was delicious with the Nitida Sauvignon Blanc. I drank Sauvignon Blanc for years, but got over it so I wasn’t expecting much from this wine but it was REALLY good! Dropped that acidic tone so usual for sauvignon blanc, this was a lovely pairing. The meat was tender and delicious too. Could have had a touch of rock salt just to ying the yang of the sweet prunes, but otherwise very good.
REGION 4: NORMANDY
Course 4 came from Asara and was a bowl of West Coast Mussels. I’m not a seafood eater but I did have a bite and was really impressed with the flavours (apart from the seafood flavour lol). Light and delicious (not super creamy/buttery), in fact, I would have thought it was more of a spring dish or a perfect starter. The Asara is labelled a chardonnay but it was more like a loose ratafia, very sweet. I can’t really comment on how well it worked together since I don’t like sweet wine or seafood. I’d be interested to hear what others thought? (Please feel free to comment below on or Facebook.)
REGION 5: ALSACE – LORRAINE
Course number 5 came from Paul Cluver out in Elgin (just over Sir Lowries Pass in Cape Town), and was a little quiche lorraine and riesling. This has a very flaky crust with simple, smokey bacon and cheese. You can’t really go wrong with quiche lorraine! A nice pairing these two.
REGION 6: FRENCH ALPS
For the 6th bite we tried the Anthony Rupert Optima. This came with a chicken dish, but unfortunately, there weren’t any available at the time so we just had the wine – which happened to be very good. (No, the more we drank the better things didn’t taste. Some wines were more to my taste than others.)
REGION 7: BURGUNDY
Number 7 was the Boeuf Bourguignon with Lomond Pinot Noir. Now you’re speaking my language! My humble peasant roots rally for warm, hearty meals any day of the week and this plate doesn’t fall short. Mash potato, tender beef and graphy with a good glass of red. I can die happy now! I didn’t actually have this listed wine unfortunately.
REGION 8: SOUTH WEST FRANCE
Thanks to Number 8 for the vegetable broth with confit duck, another delicious bite. Paired with the Marianne Cabernet Sauvignon, which I felt was the best red of the day. Best texture, best flavour.
REGION 9: PROVENCE
A tradition French soup, I actually didn’t even see this dish! I saw the Soms-Delta wine that was on offer, but couldn’t determine who was working there and no one offered us anything so we just moved on to the table next door, which was showcasing charcuterie.
REGION 10: CORSICA
Number 10 one of my favourites for the day as well. While Richard Bosman has a reputation for beautiful meat products, they’ve never made a huge impression on me – until this Saturday. I’m not sure if it’s because the meats were more fresh (although surely flavour develops over time not reduces?) or if it was at the perfect room temperature for the flavours to come out, but this was some of the best charcuterie meats I’ve ever had. I had the porchetta, pork fillet and wine salami. All excellent. This was paired with a red wine, but I actually had a white that was available too. I wasn’t able to resource the name again unfortunately.
For desserts, we had bite sized profiteroles (YUM) and a touch of sunlight as the clouds parted and guests started to move outside.
You’re able to visit Societi and try these Tour Through France dish specials all throughout winter and spring. 10 Weeks. 10 Regions. 10 Exceptional Wines. The dates run as follows:
Wednesday 27 July to Tuesday 2 August 2016 – Region 1: Îsle de France – Paris
Wednesday 3 to Tuesday 9 August 2016 – Region 2: Central France
Wednesday 10 to Tuesday 16 August 2016 – Region 3: Pays de la Loire
Wednesday 17 to Tuesday 23 August 2016 – Region 4: Normandy
Wednesday 24 to Tuesday 30 August 2016 – Region 5: Alsace – Lorraine
Wednesday 31 August to Tuesday 6 September 2016 – Region 6: French Alps
Wednesday 7 to Tuesday 13 September 2016 – Region 7: Burgundy
Wednesday 14 to Tuesday 20 September 2016 – Region 8: South West France
Wednesday 21 to Tuesday 27 September 2016 – Region 9: Provençe
Wednesday 28 September to Tuesday 4 October 2016 – Region 10: Corsica
Thanks for having us Societi! See you soon 🙂