Greg took a nouvelle cuisine approach to classic French cooking in his scallop dish. So I thought, bien sûr I had better chose a classic French wine– perhaps one with a nouvelle twist. But where to start? A lovely evening of wine tasting in hipster DTLA hosted by Loire Valley Wines provided the catalyst, eventually leading me to the 2013 Eric Cottat Sancerre.
The Loire Valley, south of Paris and extending westward to the sea, is the third largest producer of wine in France. Its myriad microclimates and geographies form several distinct wine regions, each having their own characteristic varietals and styles– whites, rosés and reds, dry to sweet, still or sparkling. The Loire Valley is also prized for its unbelievably beautiful châteaux and the most pure of all French accents.
I experienced this “Cradle of the French Language” first-hand when I attended a 3‑week language intensive course in Tours before going south to Montpellier for my junior year abroad. I loved it there. I reveled in the Loire Valley’s culture, cuisine and relatively cheap wine (hey I was a student remember!).
Eric Cottat Sancerre
Many Loire Valley wines are fresh, crisp whites– made from Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc grapes. In the Upper Loire you’ll find Sancerre, where the cool climate lends itself to a tart and aromatic expression of Sauvignon Blanc. Greg’s Scallops with Sorrel Cream is rich in texture and flavor. I needed to find a wine with a good bit of acid to cut through the cream and citrus notes to complement the seafood. I found it in the 2013 Eric Cottat Sancerre, a small production single-grower Sancerre high in minerality with a touch of floral sweetness to mirror the delicate succulence of the scallops.
Although the Eric Cottat Sancerre wasn’t served at my DTLA event, the evening served to remind me of the wide variety of interesting, high quality well-priced wines from the region. That nouvelle twist I referred to at the beginning of this post? The price. Not too many classic expressions of Sancerre are to be found under $20. KEN
Although I was invited to attend the Loire Valley tasting event as a member of the media, I purchased the 2013 Eric Cottat Sancerre at K&L Wines. All opinions are my own.
Pairs With Scallops with Sorrel Cream (à la Troisgros)
Also pairs well with cold shellfish, warm scallops, white fish, grilled salmon
- Category White Wine
- Varietal Sauvignon Blanc
- Region Loire Valley France
I will look for this Sancerre and give it a try with Greg’s scallops. I find that the food pairing for a Sancerre is more critical that others made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes. I hope to hear more about the wines coming out of the Loire Valley.