I make wine in Bordeaux and food is a thread that has been running through my life. In my teens, I was cooking in the family pub in the New Forest and years later, I ran the kitchen at our Cotswold country inn. Wine brings another layer of flavours and delight to a gathering around delicious food so I now relish choosing recipes to pair with my own red and white wines.
Relaxed entertaining has always been my style of hosting my friends and family from Easter brunch to a summer party. On creating Château George 7 in Fronsac, once the style and quality of wines had been established, I immediately thought about the dishes that would go with them for a winning combination. I have a recipe section on my website and share recipe cards with online orders to enhance the wine experience for my customers.
I always had a vision to share my wines with visitors in a relaxed setting and so I knew that the old tractor barn would be just the place to receive folks and it is now an award-winning tourism venue offering visits and tastings along with platters of local produce. Over lunch or aperitif people can try out flavour combinations while enjoying the view over the vines. As a Bordeaux tutor, I run workshops to pair wine and cheeses, wine and chocolate or taste wine ‘as a pro’ with food pairing guidelines.
As a newbie to the industry and while creating a new wine château, I have had many decisions to make and my approach to sustainability is probably the most important, from investing in hedgerows to decisions about the packaging of the wine along with the decoration of the tasting room. Sustainability is therefore a consideration when choosing the foods I serve. The French are known for eating fruit and vegetables broadly according to the season and this makes sense for sustainable living.
Since becoming vegetarian three years ago, I have delighted in discovering, eating and serving a whole range of plant-based dishes. What began as non-meat recipe ideas for clients and long conversations with Wendy about the health benefits of plants, wine and food combinations have resulted in this project. Bon appetit!