Saturday, July 16, 2016

Wine & Food of the Tour de France 2016: Stage 14: Cav!, Bruno Debize Apinost & Nougat de Montélimar

Where are we? On the road for a long day traveling 208 kilometers Montélimar toVillars-les-Dombes Parc des Oiseaux

Montélimar a two time stage city located in the Drôme. The local tourist site tells me that: The international reknown of our sweet speciality has made Montélimar the Nougat Capital.  A noble product if ever there was, it contains none but natural produce such as sugar, honey, almonds, pistachios, egg white and vanilla. 
Apparently many of the factories are open for visits.  
LeTour Specialities: Nougat, olive oil, garlic, picodon (fromage), fruit, wine, lavander, pottery

Villars-les-Dombes Parcdes Oiseaux This first time stage town is a bird park of the chef-lieu de canton of Ain in the Rhone Alpes, only 30 minutes from Lyon. The park contains one of the most impressive and colorful collections of birds in Europe. Get a bird’s eye view of the world and discover over 3 000 birds of 300 species from the 5 continents.
LeTour Specialities: Fish from the Dombes, frogs

From LeTour: Christian Prudhomme's comment
The sprinters will probably have focused on taking it easy during the previous time-trial.Out of several factors, that precaution could condition their speed on the final straight.Add to that the fact that the final corridor could be struck by a strong head wind which should condemn all breakaway attempts.

The stage:  Sprint stage? One for the break? We will find out.  

With 120 kilometers to go, this group of Roy, Benedetti, Howes and Elmiger had a gap of four minutes. 
Happy birthday Andre Greipel.

Ninety kilometers to go and the gap was down to three minutes. Abandon Mathias Frank. 
Apparently Fabian Cancellara liked his sadnwich:

75 kilometers to go and the gap was just over three minutes. At the intermediate sprint point, Sagan would take the maximum points from the bunch, followed by Kittel and Cavendish.
The LeTour social media team has decided that this is a good stage to educate people about breakaways:

Word of a crash behind the field and the abandonment of Breschel.  
Forty kilometers to go and the gap was down to one minute. 

Seventeen kilometers to go and the gap was around thirty seconds. The pack was in no hurry to catch the break as that would set up a late attack rather than a sprint finish. Ahead, Howes would be dropped by his breakaway companions. 
Ten kilometers to go and still thirty seconds. Three kilometers to go and the last of the break was caught. Cue the sprint trains. Yay!!!!!! Pretty happy here with the result today.

Wine: Bruno Debize Apinost
From the importer, Seleciton Massale:  
"Apinost is a parcel right outside the house. It's a 50 year old vineyard with about 3% of Pinot noir in it, and it was vinified to be the exact opposite of a Carbonic Maceration. 20 days cuvaison, no pumpuvers but a few punchdowns, fermentation without temperature control between 20 and 30 degrees celsius."
  I have to say it was very unexpected from Bruno, in style, but the more bottles I opened, the more people I tasted, drank with, it became very clear it was a very special wine. The Pinot is actually showing on the nose, the tannins are fine but absolutely present, as I said before, it's absolutely see through, the acidity, the balance, the finish, everything works just perfectly."

Food: Nougat de Montélimar
 I had little enthusiasm for this as nougat has never been a favorite of mine, but turns out I liked it a lot. Thanks Tour!
From wikipedia: The story of the Nougat de Montélimar started in the 18th century. Its ingredients date back two years before that. Olivier de Serres was an agronomist living in the Ardeches. He succeeded in planting almond trees in order to produce nougat. He then used those almonds to replace the walnuts commonly used in Nougat. The Nougat de Montélimar is composed of almonds, honey, and a light mousse of egg whites. The latter lightens the dough and gives it the traditional whitish color of the Nougat. Customarily, the nougat was baked at home, not by skilled nougat makers (named Nougatiers in French).
1701: the beginning of the Nougat de Montélimar reputation
When they were on the road coming back from Spain on horseback, Louis, Duke of Bourgonne, and Charles, Duke of Berry stopped in Montélimar. The inhabitants offered them one quintal of Nougat (equivalent to 95 lbs). From this point, the Nougat has been considered as a present over the time and it’s still enjoyed today. Moreover, the candy’s reputation has been recognized all over the country.

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