Monday, July 3, 2017

Wine & Food of the Tour 2017 Stage 3

Where are we? Verviers / Longwy
Verviers is a neighbor to Liege. Michelin tells me that Located in the Vesdre valley, Verviers is an important industrial town, specialising in textiles in former times. Now "Walloon water capital", with its two utility companies and its fountains, Verviers, which extends over several hills, is an ideal base for exploring the Hautes Fagnes, with its untamed landscapes of heather and peat bogs.

Specialities: Viervétoise terrine, Verviers sausage, lefgot (bittersweet pâté pudding), rice tart, Verviers gâteau, chocolate

Longwy: France! Meurthe-et-Moselle to be precise. 

Michelin tells me that Longwy, former "city of steel", is above all famous today for its turquoise blue pottery and enamels. Since 1987, when its chimneys stopped belching out smoke, the town has firmly focused its sights on other activities and another quality of life. In Longwy-Bas, administrative buildings have replaced the disused factory premises, while Longwy-Haut, to the northwest, is graced with the presence of monumental fortifications by Vauban, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Letour Specialities: Longwy enamels and pottery

The stage: Christian Prudhomme's comment A coincidence or destiny, the Tour will take off from Verviers just two days before the 35th birthday of the city's native, Philippe Gilbert. And the day's course could well inspire the Wallonian. Indeed the climb going up to the Longwy Citadel looks a lot like the Mont des Alouettes where he had conquered his only stage win on the Tour in 2011. Whatever the outcome, the punchers will be on attacking soil, and the Yellow Jersey will be up for grabs.

Before we start, Taylor Phinney in dots:

Today's break: Hardy,Hansen (!!), Politt, Sicard, Brown, and Backaert. 

Cav at the sprintermediate. Nice to see!
Ahead, Nate Brown, Taylor Phinney's teammate has moved into the lead for the next polka dot jersey.
The LeTour social team likes an emoji:

Additional escapees!

Bardet mechanical created some drama at the back, but he would chase back with teammates.
Back and forth we went with doomed attacks from the breakway and eventual regrouping. 
The eventual winner? Possibly the favorite for the stage.


Wine:  Château de Vaux –  Moselle Blanc - "Les Gryphées"
The tiny Moselle AOC (just 100 acres) is tucked up in the northeast corner of France, just over the Vosges Mountains from Alsace, near the Luxembourg border. 30% Auxerrois, 30% Muller Thürgau (a crossing of Riesling and Chasselas), 30% Pinot Gris and 10% Gewürztraminer. The vines grow on rocky terraces planted on hillsides west of the Moselle River, with clay-limestone soils. South-southeast exposure and a mix of oceanic and continental climate.
Les Gryphées shows notes of peaches and white flowers on the nose, followed by ripe fruit on the palate and apricot of the finish.

Food: Cabricharme cheese
Some background from Culture the Cheese magazine:
Founded in 1986, La Fermière de Méan is a cooperative dairy farm located in southeastern Belgium. Initially, they only produced milk, but in 1990, the dairy began making cheeses using milk provided by the members.
The cooperative’s aims are two-fold. The first is to raise their animals in a humane manner and to operate their farms in an environmentally sound way.  Second, La Fermière de Méan aims to provide consumers with healthy and environmentally conscious dairy products that are high in quality.
Modeled on a cow’s milk cheese made by the same producer, Cabricharme is a Trappist style raw goat’s milk cheese. The milk used in this cheese is from a single farm-member of the cooperative.
Over the course of 6 weeks, the cheese is washed in a brine solution that gives Cabricharme’s salmon-pink rind its color and helps the ivory white interior develop its flavor and supple texture. 
Tasting Notes: The flavor of the semi-soft paste is tangy and savory to the point of meatiness. Its rind is edible and has a crunchy texture and salty flavor. Cabricharme is a very aromatic cheese, with yeast and mushrooms present and dry-aged beef as well.

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