The Unexpected Tasting – Cru Wines from The Cotes du Rhone

A selection of
The Unexpected Tasting – Cru Wines From the Côtes Du Rhône

Cru Wines from The Cotes du Rhone

I’ve been bringing the Côtes du Rhône into my home for a few years now, through the beauty of wine and food. It’s been a welcome reminder of the South of France, and all of the delicious produce the area has to offer. Most recently I was invited to a wine tasting of Cru wines from the Côtes du Rhône – in particular, Cairanne & Lirac AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée – controlled designation of origin).

The Unexpected Tasting

On the banks of the Rhône river lie two significant Cru (the most demanding level of distinction) AOC Appellations, Lirac and Cairanne. Both produce wines of spectacular quality, beautifully accessible with great ageing potential but tend to be a little lesser-known.

Our evening began with a guided tasting of Lirac and Cairanne wines with the lovely Helena Nicklin, shortly followed by small plates and canapés, provided by Native Feasts, which will be expertly matched to the wines by Michelin starred chef, Chris Godfrey. All set among the unforgettable backdrop of God’s Own Junkyard.

The wines from the evening included (favourites in bold):

Whites

Reds

If you’re looking for a bottle or two to adorn your dinner table this Christmas, I’d suggest you keep a lookout for the above next time you’re perusing wine shelves (virtually or physically). You can find out more about Côtes du Rhône wines and where you can purchase them here.

Check out more of my lifestyle and food posts.

Helena Nicklin discusses cru wine from the cote du rhone
A glass of cru wines from the Cotes du Rhone
Helena Nicklin pours a glass of cru wine from the cote du rhone
Cru wines from the Cotes du Rhone

Taste of The Côtes du Rhône | Masterchef Exose Grant’s Recipe

A taste of the Côtes du Rhône with Masterchef Exose Grant’s Rosé Poached Peach recipe

I’ve been bringing the Côtes du Rhône into my home for over a year now, through the beauty of wine and food. It’s been a welcome reminder of the South of France, and all of the delicious produce the area has to offer.

MasterChef finalist, Exose Grant has created two recipes, at home, that are inspired by and work well with Côtes du Rhône wine, reflecting just how accessible and high quality the wines are. I was challenged to replicate one of Chef Exose’s recipes – queue me running around a hot kitchen shouting “yes chef!” to myself.

Rosé Poached Peach

I find cooking/baking incredibly relaxing & satisfying, and this was no different. I had such a wonderful time trying out a new recipe, with some of my favourite ingredients; peach, star anise and rosé. I added my own little twist to the final plated dish by soaking the cake in the syrup from the peaches, sprinkling orange peel onto the cream, and decorating with fresh herbs and star anise on top! I didn’t want to deviate from Chef Exose‘s amazing recipe, but I wanted to add my own flare to it – something I like to do whilst cooking/baking.

You can view the Rosé Poached Peach recipe that I created on Chef Exose’s Instagram, as well as a complimentary savoury main dish.

Taste of The Côtes du Rhône

I love sharing food, so I made the dish for myself and my partner. He actually prefers red wine though, so he paired the dish with a Côtes du Rhône Plan de Dieu, whilst I had a glass of the Chateau Saint Nabor – the same rosé I used in the dish itself. Although it would equally go well with a white. If you hadn’t guessed it yet, all of the wines in this post are pretty versatile and suitable for most occasions and dishes. Perfect for a taste of the Côtes du Rhône.

You can find out more about Côtes du Rhône wines and where you can purchase them here.

Check out more of my lifestyle and food posts.

Three cote du rhone wine bottles stand on a wooden dish

Items were gifted by The Belleville Collective, however, all images, words and opinions are my own.

Côtes du Rhône at Christmas | Lifestyle & Food

Côtes du Rhône at Christmas
Bringing a little bit of the Côtes du Rhône at Christmas this year

Remember how I boasted about enjoying the Côtes du Rhône at home this summer? Well I’m back to do it all over again, but this time with a festive hat on and a bottle of Rasteau wine in tow. I was lucky enough to be sent a beautiful Christmas hamper including a bottle of Rasteau wine, as well as some delicious cheeses, chocolate etc to enjoy alongside it.

Côtes du Rhône at Christmas

Picture this – a village nestled deep in the heart of the Southern Rhône Valley, perched on a sun laden hillside with ancient Château ruins. This is the village of Rasteau – the wine’s namesake.

This November, the Rasteau appellation celebrates 10 years of being recognised as a Cru (recognised for its quality and distinctive terroir) of the Cotes du Rhone; the highest accolade given within the region. It’s well known for producing a small, yet impressive, selection of both still and fortified wines.

Typically, Rasteau red wines have a spicy warmth, which in my opinion is perfect for this season. They’re also ideal for food pairings, such as stew, charcuterie, blue cheese, slightly spicy dishes and chocolate – so I know what I’ll be doing with my bottle. If you’re looking for a bottle or two to adorn your table this Christmas, I’d suggest you take a look next time you’re perusing wine shelves (whether they’re virtual or physical).

Check out more of my lifestyle and food posts.

Items were gifted by The Belleville Collective, however all images, words and opinions are my own.

Enjoying the Côtes du Rhône at home | Lifestyle

Côtes du Rhône at home
Enjoying the Côtes du Rhône at home

This time last year, long before lockdown was even a thought in people’s minds, I was holidaying it up in the South of France. Provence to be precise. I was basking in the sun, enjoying everything the region had to offer – food, laid-back culture, stunning scenery… and of course, wine.

Funny story, I actually didn’t drink wine until I met my now husband. His family are wine lovers, who coincidentally shared their passion with me. In fact one of my best memories from recent years is holidaying with them for the first time; travelling around Provence to different vin yards, tasting the wine on offer, and getting an in-depth understanding of the people and their craft.

Enjoying Côtes du Rhône at home

I’m by no means a wine connoisseur, but I can get by. One of the areas I know more of (thanks to it being my father-in-laws favourite) is the Côtes du Rhône region. The Côtes du Rhône Villages is a French wine Appellation d’Origine Controlle (AOC – you’ve probably spotted this on your bottle of wine), in the southern wine region of France. They produce red, wine and rosé wine, which only 21 select areas can claim the ‘village’ title to.

I was lucky enough to be sent some amazing bottles of wine (which you can see in my photos) from Côtes du Rhône, as well as some delicious cheeses, bread etc to enjoy alongside them. We enjoyed this with the rosé on one of the hotter days this year, with the 21 Stories of the Côtes du Rhône podcast on in the background, it almost felt like we were back in the South of France.

Check out more of my lifestyle and food posts.

Côtes du Rhône at home
Côtes du Rhône at home

Items were gifted by The Belleville Collective, however all images, words and opinions are my own.

24 Hours in Montpellier | A Travel Guide

24 Hours in MontpellierIt can be pretty tough visiting a new city, or country. You’re not sure where to eat, what to see, or even where to stay. Well I’m here to change all of that with my handy guides! They’re full of tips, tricks, and the best places to go. So stop worrying about how you’re going to make the most of your time in a new place; here are my recommendations for spending 24 hours in Montpellier, France!

24 Hours in Montpellier

24 Hours in Montpellier

  • Bakery breakfast
    • Grab a pastry from a local bakery. After all, you are in France.
  • Go on your own street art tour
    • Montpellier is littered with stunning street art. Some of it is political, others comical, some philosophical. Whatever your preference, there’s plenty of art for everyone.
  • Interesting architecture
    • Montpellier may be a historical town, but there’s also a ton of unique, contemporary structures. You’ll have to be on the look out though as a lot of them seamlessly blend in with the older buildings.
  • Take lunch in the historic district
    • Littered with traditional brasseries and cafes, you can’t really make a bad decision.

24 Hours in Montpellier

  • The Arc de Triomphe…?
    • Paris isn’t the only one with an arc. The arc de triomphe and the château d’eau (water tower), extend into the aqueduct, which overlooks Montpellier’s skyline.
  • Buy fresh ingredients from a local market
    • One of my favourite things to do when visiting the South of France is stop by the food markets. You’ll find a selection of high quality, locally grown produce that will leave you wondering if you ever really tasted a tomato before.
  • Make your own homemade feast
    • Using the fresh produce you bought at the market, make your own homemade feast for dinner. There’s nothing better than enjoying the warm evenings with some friends, a relaxing bottle of wine, and fresh food.

24 Hours in Montpellier

Hints and Tips for 24 Hours in Montpellier:

  • Visit a market!
    • Southern France is well known for it’s variety of markets, and Montpellier does not disappoint. From food, to flowers, books and antiques. Check out dates and times of Montpellier’s markets here.
  • Street art
    • As I mentioned previously, there is plenty of street art in Montpellier. My tip? Keep an eye out down back alleys and close to the ground. Basically look everywhere, because you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

Well there you have it, my travel guide to 24 Hours in Montpellier, France!
And don’t forget to check out the my other 24 Hours In… guides.

24 Hours in Montpellier 24 Hours in Montpellier 24 Hours in Montpellier 24 Hours in Montpellier 24 Hours in Montpellier

24 Hours in Monaco | A Travel Guide

24 Hours in MonacoIt can be pretty tough visiting a new city, or country. You’re not sure where to eat, what to see, or even where to stay. Well I’m here to change all of that with my handy guides! They’re full of tips, tricks, and the best places to go. So stop worrying about how you’re going to make the most of your time in a new place; here are my recommendations for spending 24 hours in Monaco!

24 hours in monaco

24 Hours in Monaco

  • Drive to Monaco
    • Monaco is pretty small, and expensive. Unless you want to go all out, I’d suggest staying somewhere close by and driving into the principality.
  • Brunch at Café de Paris
    • This brasserie is world famous, and you’ve probably spotted it in a movie or two. Sit outside on the terrace and mingle with the rich & famous, whilst you enjoy coffee and pastries.
  • Check out that architecture!
    • For such a small place, Monaco has a surprisingly eclectic mix of architecture. From old palatial hotels, to modern apartments, and bridges sandwiched between cliffs.
  • Visit the Prince’s Palace
    • The Prince’s Palace overlooks the bay of Monaco, and it’s a stunning sight…as proven by the 100os of selfies taken there every day.
  • Wander the streets
    • The palace is situated amongst several quaint streets, each littered with gelaterias, stereotypical souvenir shops, and restaurants.
  • Eat ice cream by the harbour
    • Because who doesn’t want to stare out onto a beautiful crystal blue sea covered with yachts…
  • Go hunting for art!
    • Monaco’s streets are literally covered in art. From traditional statues, to modern google-eyed fun. It’s a must-see for any art lover in town.
  • Do dinner in Nice
    • Nice isn’t too far from Monaco, but it’s considerably bigger, and has a lot more restaurants on offer. Such as La Femme du Boulanger.

Well there you have it, my travel guide to 24 Hours in Monaco!
And don’t forget to check out the my other 24 Hours In… guides.

24 Hours in Monaco 24 Hours in Monaco 24 Hours in Monaco

Japanese Skincare at The Dove Pop-up, Paris

Japanese SkincareJapanese Skincare at The Dove Pop-up, Paris

For as long as I can remember, Dove has been a staple in my family home. My mum swears by it, so I’ve always held the brand in quite high esteem. In recent years Dove has transformed itself into a brand that fights against beauty bias, and promotes real bodies, and real people. Something ‘older me’ can get behind.

Enter the Dove pop-up store in Paris, and their ‘My Beauty is Unique’ theme. Add some some personalised products and Japanese skincare into the mix, and you’ve got my attention.

Personalised Skincare at The Dove Pop-up, Paris

For the first time, Dove has created a physical space to illustrate Real Beauty from Real Care. It is designed to provide guests with the ultimate in personalisation, offering elements that are as unique as the people experiencing it. With classics such as the Dove Beauty Bar, the store offers guests with a one-of-a-kind, hands on experience. It also offers the exclusive opportunity to customise Dove products through the one-of-a-kind mixology process. With multiple base formulas, extracts, exfoliators and fragrances to choose from, every product is personalised. The perfect limited edition gift, maybe?

Japanese Skincare with Dove

Japan is world-renowned for its skincare. Facial cleansing is also one of Japan’s most sophisticated beauty rituals, and for many Japanese women, this is one of the most important steps in their skin care regime. So Dove decided to host their Paris pop-up store, and invite anyone and everyone to discover some of Dove’s newest innovations from Japan.

Luckily for me I was given one of their top products, the Beauty Moisture Facial Wash (ビューティーモイスチャー). The foaming wash creates creamy bubbles that help moisturises the skin as it removes dirt. I’ve recently come round to cleansing facial washes, and as a longtime fan of Japanese skincare, I have a lot of faith in this product already. I really can’t wait to try it out, alongside my own personalised body cream with apricot extract and rose gold shimmer. The products are only available in the Paris pop-up right now, so I feel very lucky to have been gifted these, and given the chance to try them.

The Dove Paris pop-up is open until Monday, and is located at Rue Saint-Lazare (map).

Photos of the Dove pop-up are courtesy of Edelman PR.

dovepopup2Japanese Skincare dovepopup3Japanese SkincareJapanese Skincare