Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Upper Loire wanderings – day two: Aubigny to Saint-Amand-Montrond (part one)

9 August 2009

Following our late breakfast and a quick shop in Aubigny (photos here of a previous visit to the town) for a picnic lunch we headed off for a slow wander towards Menetou-Salon and then onto the Cher Valley picking the river up at Quincy.

Scottish connection: bagpipes – roadside decoration at Aubigny-sur-Nère

The first stop was the Château de la Verrerie, now an hotel.

Then onto a brief stop at Menetou-Salon.

Clos de la Dame vineyard, Menetou-Salon + church

Bunch in the Clos with slight hail damage

Le Clos: a more affected bunch but damage here is not as bad as reports indicate elsewhere in the AC

Le Clos is part of the Château de Menetou-Salon

Cheu l'Zib: Mentou's famous family style restaurant

Menu: complete blow-out for 39€!
menu gourmand: deux entrées, poisson et viande (ou 2 viandes), salade, fromages, desserts

We passed through Menetou-Salon about 12.30 and there was a steady stream of people heading in for Sunday lunch – with few likely to emerge before 4pm. We were tempted to see if they had a spare table (not very likely) and it would then have been a tough drive to Saint-Amand-Montrond afterwards! Another time!

I have eaten there once in September 2007 and it was memorable, copious and like being entertained in a French family home with the cooking to match. Certainly recommended but expect to need a substantial siesta if you go for lunch.

The bottle sculpture

Before leaving Menetou-Salon we went to see the bottle sculpture that was recently unveiled on a roundabout on the road leading to Bourges. This is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Menetou-Salon being promoted to appellation contrôlée. Report of the unveiling is here. Sad that 2009 is going to be such a miserable harvest for those producers badly hit by the hails storms.

One of the vines planted around the sculpture each with the name of one of the local school kids (?)

Lastly a quick picture of the Café du Nord still decorated for the 11th Tour de France stage that passed through Menetou on 15th July. One of the six stages won by Mark Cavendish.


Anonymous said...

I see rognons de veau on the Verrerie menu. Lovely, have not tasted in yrs. What wine to go with this dish Jim?

Bob from Alberta.

Jim Budd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Budd said...

Bob. A favourite of mine too and easy to buy from butchers in the Loire or find on restaurant menus. The sauce is an important consideration but I've found that a Vieilles Vignes style of Chinon, Bourgueil or Saumur-Champigny works well even when I have cooked it with cream, mustard and mushroom sauce.