Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wine & Food ot the Tour 2017 Stage 5

Where are we? Vittel / La planche des belles filles

 La planche des belles filles is the only ski resort of the Haute-Saône. The name Belles Filles literally means "Beautiful Girls." Tourism Alsace tells me that The Vosges range is a "must-see" attraction on the Alsatian landscape. This outstanding natural heritage site is also home to a rich variety of fauna and flora. Explore the Peak Route and discover its passes and lakes in addition to the stubble fields of the Vosges where amazing panoramic views over the Alsatian plain are waiting to be admired in an idyllic setting.

Specialities: Passavant-la-Rochère crystal glassware, AOC Fougerolles kirsch

The stage: Christian Prudhomme's comment
It only took two stage finishes there for La Planche des Belles Filles to add its name to the history of the Tour. The climb is rather short however it's extremely demanding, especially on the final part. The gradients indeed reach 20%. It'll be a first explanation between the favourites.

Live:Today is not a day for the sprinters. Instead, after yesterday's polemica, we have an uphill finish.
Our break of the day:

They would not be given a large gap, as BMC seemed very interested in keeping things close. Porte is considered one of the favorites on the stage.
Eighty kilometers to go and the gap was two minutes. 
Fans along the road:

At the sprintermediate, Michael Matthews with the maximum points from the field. Chasing green?

Twenty kilometers and just about two minutes.
Ahead, birthday boy Gilbert attacked his breakmates, followed by Bakelants.  
To the surprise of absolutely no one, they would be caught and it was time for the expected GC battle.

Wine: Binner Pinot Noir  
Christy from Copake says: I have one hidden away from a past Feiring Line Wine Society. 
Christy and Alice are both fans? I'm in. 

By the way, if you'd like to follow along with wine, Christy will sell you half a Tour's worth of bottles here.  Some are wines I'll be drinking, but many are not identical but are from the same region.

From the importer:
The Binner estate was established in 1770, the family has holdings in two of the most valuable growing sites in Alsace; around the Kaefferkopf Grand Cru and plots in Ammerschwihr. The Binner family owns nine hectares and only six of those hectares are under vine.
The vines average age is 35-years, where 40% of the vines over 60 years old, and with many rows nearing a 100 years of age. Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Grand Cru Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Auxerrois and Muscat make up the varieties utilized by this estimable domaine.

Food:  Munster Cheese 
 Let's learn more from the local tourist board:
This is a soft cheese with washed rind whose origins date back to the seventh century when the monks began producing it at the monastery.
Back then, it provided a means of storing milk.
In the Munster Valley, this distinctive cheese is still produced using traditional methods and has been covered by a controlled designation of origin (appellation d'origine contrôlée - AOC) since 1969.
The best time to consume Munster is from May to October.

The most common way to eat Munster is with a slice of bread. Some people like to accompany it with cumin. It's also possible to make a full meal from it, by eating it accompanied with sauté potatoes or baked potatoes and a green salad.
Munster cheese can also be enjoyed in other ways, with the Munster Tartiflette being just one example.
It should ideally be accompanied by an Alsatian wine such as Tokay pinot-gris or Gewurtztraminer.
As a dessert, many farm-inns propose siesskas, a fromage frais of the day accompanied with fresh cream, sugar and kirsch.

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