Truffles & Rhone Wine Tour report

Posted on: January 24th, 2016 by Philip Reddaway No Comments

Just finished our 2016 truffle & Rhone wine Tour…lovely guests and a great week. Only wee negative being the paucity of local truffles in the region, the extremely dry summer last year less than ideal for the cultivation of our “black diamonds”. Having said, there were sufficient to indulge my lucky group in some stupendous gourmet experiences -the absolute highlights…Nicolas Monnier’s (our Luberon base truffle hunter) wonderful truffled eggs provencal style; Le Fleur Bleu’s (great restaurant at Crestet) homemade ravioli, poached egg with a truffle bearnaise; Bernard Bijaoui’s ( our neighbouring Olive oil farmer and creative chef) creamed truffled potatoes served boldly on their own as a starter – just amazing. My insider sources (Jacky the local Romany truffle man) tells me that the shortfall of local truffles has been addressed via a major airlift from the Espagne truffle regions – certainly the prevailing price hasn’t skyrocketed  – both Carpentras and Richerenches markets were selling best quality at 850E per kilo this weekend. Incidentally spotted my largest ever truffle at Richerenches – a 620gms whopper, around a 500E buy! We didn’t neglect the serious wine tasting – domain visits at many of my personal favourites: Versino, Solitude, St.Cosme, Saint Amant, and Philippe Gimel. Lovely to see Philippe more relaxed in his new abode – a giant shed this side of Malaucene, very well organized already, he’s now in walking distance for me, great! Added bonus for the guests was the Bernard Bijaoui visit: a larger than life character on great form ( including a “post a few glasses” sing song!); a comparative tasting of different olive oils and a vertical of three vintages of Bernard’s own terrific olive oil…then a top class lunch , Tunisian style, prepared by the man himself, with little bit of help from Jude as assistant chef. Great time had by all. Looking forward to next years event.

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