This article features in the October 2019 Edition of Welsh Border Life Magazine.

To see the recipe this article refers to please click here.

Photo: www.riverford.co.uk

For this month’s recipe my wine choices are very specific. A Chenin Blanc ticks all the boxes for this dish and what’s more both my suggestions are from the Loire Valley in France, where Chenin Blanc is a very traditional grape variety.

Firstly, I have gone with the Saumur sub-region with Saumur Blanc, Domaine de la Paleine . It really has the most wonderful honey and marmalade nose making you think this will taste sweet, but the moment it touches your lips you realise this is bone dry! Seductive ripe apples and pears enrobed in honey combined with a touch of flint and mineral character yet retains freshness throughout. The marmalade aroma on this wine is a typical characteristic of Botrytis Cineria (more commonly known as ‘Noble Rot’) whereby a particular bacteria is allowed to come into contact with the grapes on the vine. This causes no harm to the vine, or anyone consuming them, but concentrates the sugars within the grapes and imparts flavours such as marmalade and honey. This technique is most synonymous with sweet wines, with Sauternes being a famous example. Upon tasting this wine there is a strong indication that Botrytized grapes have been used for extra complexity and total deliciousness!

A little further north in the Loire you can find the sub-region of Vouvray, which is where Vouvray, Clos le Vigneau, Château Gaudrelle comes from. This has a pretty floral nose of honeysuckle and jasmine mingled with ripe peach as the palate showcases an abundance of honey entwined with green apple and tinned pineapple complemented by a lingering minerality. A slight sweetness in the mouth is perfectly balanced with the acidity of the racy Chenin Blanc grape, which works beautifully with pork and saltiness of the Perl Las Blue.