HB&B Blog — France

Wine & Food Killers: Chicken Thighs & Lentils with Tomatoes, Herbs & Olives and Le Grappin Beaujolais-Villages Nature 2019

Claire Bullen France Le Grappin Natural Wine Killers Red wine

Wine & Food Killers: Chicken Thighs & Lentils with Tomatoes, Herbs & Olives and Le Grappin Beaujolais-Villages Nature 2019

I love whites and rosés and pét nats in the summer as much as anyone, but I’m also a strong believer in the perfection of a chilled red when the sun finally rolls around. Case in point: Le Grappin’s blissful Beaujolais-Villages Nature 2019, made from grapes sourced from Lancié, just moments from Fleurie (one of 10 areas where premium Cru Beaujolais is made). Beaujolais' stocks have risen in recent years, as tastes have shifted towards lighter-bodied, more subtle and acid-driven reds rather than the previously omnipresent, over-oaked jam bombs. If you haven’t had Beaujolais before, it’s hard not to get on with the grape it’s...

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Wine & Food Killers: Brothy Braised Lamb Shanks and Noodles with Mas Foulaquier Les Indiennes 2018

Claire Bullen France Grenache Natural Wine Killers Red wine

Wine & Food Killers: Brothy Braised Lamb Shanks and Noodles with Mas Foulaquier Les Indiennes 2018

When I started writing this column, the January blues were crashing into spiralling COVID-19 case numbers and deeper lockdowns, but I took hope from the fact that there is surely light at the end of the tunnel. I set out to write about how, in the absence of other options (and with the awareness of the privilege of having dependable shelter and enough food and income right now), it is best for us all to slow down and find relief in warming, home-cooked food and a good bottle of wine and a blanket nest on the sofa. That was the...

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Wine & Food Killers: Soy-Cured Salmon Sashimi and Egg Yolks with Herb Rice and Domaine Durrmann Rosé de Pinot Noir Nature 2019

Claire Bullen Durrmann France Natural wine Natural Wine Killers Rose wine Salmon Sashimi

Wine & Food Killers: Soy-Cured Salmon Sashimi and Egg Yolks with Herb Rice and Domaine Durrmann Rosé de Pinot Noir Nature 2019

One of the best podcasts I've listened to during quarantine is Home Cooking, a four-part series hosted by Samin Nosrat (author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat) and Hrishikesh Hirway (best known for his  own podcast, Song Exploder). It's charming and relatable, too: home cooks from all over send in lockdown-inspired questions about everything from soaking beans to making a birthday cake without all-purpose flour. In one episode, a woman calls in with a problem: her garden has exploded in a bounty of herbs following the unseasonably warm weather and she doesn’t know how to use up all the sudden greenery....

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WINE & FOOD KILLERS: L’Austral Jolie Brise Blanc 2017 and Strawberries & Meringue with Pistachio Gelato, Olive Oil & Sichuan Pepper

Claire Bullen France Natural wine Natural Wine Killers Pet Nat

WINE & FOOD KILLERS: L’Austral Jolie Brise Blanc 2017 and Strawberries & Meringue with Pistachio Gelato, Olive Oil & Sichuan Pepper

This dessert had two inspirations. One was Instagram – specifically, a photo taken at Paris restaurant Cheval d’Or, which showed a scattering of strawberries on a stoneware plate, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with ground Sichuan pepper. It sounds outlandish, but it actually makes sense that Sichuan pepper works with the fruit; strawberries and black pepper are a tried-and-true combination, and Sichuan peppercorns, both tinglingly electric and fruity in flavour, add just that little extra kick. The other inspiration was my all-time favourite, desert-island dessert, which I had at London’s P Franco a few years back. It was just...

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Wine & Food Killers: Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme Touraine Sauvignon 2017 and Salmon Crudo

Claire Bullen France Natural wine Natural Wine Killers Salmon White wine

Wine & Food Killers: Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme Touraine Sauvignon 2017 and Salmon Crudo

If you ever need a wine to suit all manner of tastes and predilections, this amiable bottle is a born crowd-pleaser. Hailing from the Touraine appellation in the Loire Valley, Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme’s Sauvignon Blanc is farmed organically, fermented with indigenous yeasts, unfined and unfiltered. That natty-wine cred is all well and good, but purity tests aside, this bottle is simply, lip-smackingly good. It pours a flaxen gold, brilliant and electric. On the nose, it’s opulent with honey, lushly floral, with a touch of piquant lemon zest and something deeper and more animal: the faintest scent of wool and lanolin, perhaps....

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