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136 | squaremeal.co.uk

The Loire Valley is the heart of

France, meandering across

the centre of the country and

o�ering visitors stunning natural

scenery as well as a rich cultural

history and regional gastronomic

delights. It's also home to several distinct

wine regions, each with its own grape

varieties and wine styles.

Touraine, for example, produces fruity

and characterful white Sauvignon Blancs

and light, easy-drinking reds made mostly

from the Gamay grape. Meanwhile in nearby

Anjou, you'll ƒnd o�-dry Rosé d'Anjou, which

can be made from Cabernet Franc and

Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, Gamay, Malbec,

or local varieties Grolleau and Pineau d'Aunis.

Versatile style

These versatile and food-friendly wines are

great for drinking all year round, match with a

wide variety of dishes and are also deliciously

sippable on their own as an aperitif or

when you're having drinks with friends.

What's more, they're widely available in

supermarkets and wine merchants, and you'll

also ƒnd them on many restaurant wine lists.

To prove the point, Square Meal invited

food, drink and lifestyle bloggers to a

dinner at Portland restaurant, to try the

wines alongside a selection of its exciting

seasonal produce-led dishes. "With the Loire

Valley you get a range of styles - dry, sweet,

sparkling - but they're all great value, easydrinking

and food-friendly," said Ruth Spivey,

wine expert and founder of Wine Car Boot,

who was on hand to talk guests through the

three Touraine wines and three Rosé d'Anjous

served with dinner.

The evening kicked o� with a refreshing

glass of Domaine Bellevue Touraine

Sauvignon Blanc 2014, ahead of small sharing

plates. Punchy pickled shitake mushrooms

paired perfectly with Rosé d'Anjou 2014 from

Domaine des Essarts. "The slight sweetness

of the wine really balanced the acidity of

the mushrooms, and made for a delightful

complementing combination," said Andrea

Petersen of Andrea's Passions. This Grolleaubased

rosé also had more than enough body

to cope with wickedly fatty pig rillettes.

Meanwhile a jewelled summer

salad laced with foraged –owers

and herbs came to life with

the elegant, citrus Domaine de

l'Aumonier Touraine Sauvignon Blanc

2014. "This was

my favourite of the wines… it was just

so smooth and easy to drink," said Megan

Rex of Got to be Gourmet.

Sauvignon makes a classic match with

asparagus, as a delicate dish of grilled English

asparagus with garlic and yoghurt proved,

while the stronger smoky notes of charred

vegetables with smoked hollandaise and

summer tru˜e proved to be no challenge

either. "The delicious sweet vegetables

paired beautifully with the Touraine

A WINE

Touraine and Rosé d'Anjou wines from the Loire Valley showed o� their

easy-drinking style at a recent dinner with food and wine bloggers

FOR ALL SEASONS

"LOIRE VALLEY WINES ARE GREAT

VALUE, EASY�DRINKING AND FOOD�

FRIENDLY" RUTH SPIVEY

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