While we were at Disney World for the 2013 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, we were fortunate enough to attend a French Regional Lunch for the Cotes du Rhone region of France. Everyone knows I LOVE Frunch, so these events are pretty much the highlight of any Food and Wine trip for me. Okay, maybe they’re the highlight of my fall. Moving right along…
This year we were with a group of 8 at Frunch, which was really fun, since there were lots of people to discuss the food and wine with. Another plus, we had just seen and chatted up Eric, the Mousier Paul’s manager at the Grand Marnier tasting the day before, so he was keeping the wine coming to our table the whole afternoon. As always, the food and wine were outstanding, but unfortunately, the wine rep was not the best speaker or representative of the wine. She was hard to hear, and as a result, I don’t think I learned anything about Cotes du Rhone. One of my favorite things about these events is that I do learn A LOT about the region during the discussion and wine tasting. Because of the presenter, this event ended up being just a really good meal with good wine. Okay, but not what I’ve come to expect from Frunch.
First up, the amuse bouche It was chicken sweatbreads and it was delicious. Not something I thought I would like, but very good. Paired with a 2012 Rose that was clean and bright. Perfection.
Up next, a sausage in brioche with greens and a port reduction. Tasty, but the sausage was a little fatty and heavy for me for a second course. Paired with a Viognier, a wine I don’t normally associate with Southern France. It was surprisingly complex for a Viognier, and reminded me almost of a Chardonnay.
For our main course, we had Mr. Paul’s vinegar chicken, with gratin and chanterelles. Although it was heavy (are you sensing a theme here?) I LOVED this course. I generally love mushrooms, and the gratin was on my list of top foods of the weekend. Yeah, when it’s potatoes, cream, and butter, I’m generally there and in LOVE! This course was paired with a les Abeilles, which was a pretty generic Cotes du Rhone red that didn’t hold up to the food for me.
Sadly, I’m missing a picture of the cheese course (there was a lot going on) but I’m not missing much. The cheese was hard with a rind, and seemed a bit out of place. Paired with a Terres Brulees, another eh red for me. Perhaps my palate was just overwhelmed at this point?
And dessert. This was actually quite light and refreshing after our heavy lunch (which was deliciously filling). It was Saint Honore cream, caramelized apricots, pistachio and vanilla ice cream. Done like a cream puff. Nicely balanced flavors, that really well with the Muscat dessert wine we were poured.
All around, a solid Frunch. Probably not my all time favorite, but very, very good. And a great time with great friends!