Monday, July 4, 2016

Wine & Food of the Tour 2016 Stage 3: Cav! Cointreau and Isigny Butter

Where are we? Riding 22 kilometers from Granville in La Manche to to Angers in Maine-et-Loire. 

Granville: The home, apparently of Christian Dior. From the tourist website: Granville owes its name to its first occupiers after the Vikings: the Grant family.
William the Conqueror asked for their help in 1066 and, in return for their loyalty during the conquest of Great Britain, granted them lands. What to visit? Notre Dame is situated on the top of a promotory, beyond the rempart wall of "La Haute Ville". It is a witness to the long history of the city and the fishing port.
Christian Dior was baptized in this church built between the 15th and the 17th century. It was listed as a "Monument Historique" thanks to Christian Dior's uncle, mayor of Granville in 1930.Its remarkable group of stained glass windows was created by Jacques le Chevallier, great artist of the 50's inspired by cubism and by artists such as Picasso. The great organ, furniture, statues and paintings are also listed and are worth a visit. 

Specialities: Granville pancake with scallops and cream, salt-crusted sea bream with sauce vierge, Granville sole with mussels and prawns, scallops with cream, whelks  

Angers: The tourist website tells me that the must-see spots include The Château d'Angers and its spectacular tapestry of the Apocalypse; the tallest château in the whole of France located at Brissac Quincé and a visit to la Maison de Loire en Anjou at Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire, where you can learn all about one of Europe’s greatest and most majestic rivers. Also on the list, the Cointreau distillery 
LeTour Specialities: Rillauds d'Anjou (pork belly), quernons d'ardoise and caramandes (artisan chocolates), Cointreau, Menthe-Pastille (liqueur), Anjou wines 

From Christian Prudhomme: There will be revenges to be taken for the beaten riders of the first days and hard work for their teams to make sure that after 220 km, the peloton makes it bunched to the finish for a well organised sprint by the City Hall. For the finishers, winning after the likes of Freddy Maertens, Jan Raas or Tom Boonen deserves quite some efforts. 

The stage: A solo breakaway today and he was given quite a long leash. With 25 kilometers ridden, he had eleven minutes!.With 140 kilometers to go it was down to seven.

120 kilometers to go and the gap was under four minutes. The riders were about 20 minutes slower than the predicted schedule and they continued at that pace. This is the kind of stage that I feel for the tv commentators--a lot of air to fill with very little action. 
Perhaps a good time to watch the packing secrets of Adam Hansen?

Ninety-three kilometers to go and the gap was 4:30. 

 87 kilometers to go and an attack by Voeckler. Perhaps in search of some tv time? Sure enough, he would catch Fonseca rather quickly. At just that moment, the main bunch seemed to wake up and start riding. Sixty kilometers to go and the gap was around two minutes. Coming soon: the intermediate sprint. Kittel would take the win from the field. 35 kilometers to go and the gap was under a minute. It looked like things were setting up for the expected sprint finish. 
Painted cows:

Finally, as news of Kevin Durant to the Warriors dominated Twitter, they would catch the two. Yikes, as they got close to the sprint, things started to get a bit sketchy. And after that very dull day, why not a photo finish

Stage: Mark Cavendish


The wine: Cointreau!
I had plans for more cider, but since Cointreau is a listed Tour specialty. 
Cointreau Distillery was set up in 1849 by Adolphe Cointreau and his brother Edouard-Jean Cointreau. Their first success was with the cherry liqueur guignolet, but they found success when they blended sweet and bitter orange peels and pure alcohol from sugar beets. The first bottles of Cointreau were sold in 1875. An estimated 13 million bottles are sold each year, in more than 150 countries. Ninety percent of production is exported. 

Food: Normandy butter from Isigny.
It benefits from an exceptional terroir, which extends from one end of the Cotentin peninsula to the Bessin area. A warm, temperate climate by the sea favours rich pastures in which the grass is full of mineral salts and trace elements. This natural abundance can be found in the milk, which gives a distinctive butter that has a unique perfume, suppleness and colour.

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