Domaine Le Fort is a third generation vineyard in the most western part of the Languedoc on the outskirts of the small hamlet of Montréal, a stones throw from my base for the week at The French House Party a cookery school run by Moira Martingale.
I’ve been to the cookery school here before, it’s very good, that good that I decided a return trip was needed to learn some more culinary skills from Robert Abrahams and Jean-Marc Boyer, two brilliant chefs, and to spend time with like minded foodies from around the world.
Setting of at 5 a.m. requires some dedication but so far I have not been disappointed, meeting new friends from as far as America and Switzerland as well as England we have all settled in and starting putting the world to rights over an amazing evening meal and local wines to help things along.The Domaine Le Fort was a surprise on the 1st day, having had a light but very tasty lunch we had some time to unwind after our journey or the offer a a quick tasting, so off we went!!
I think we tend to associate wines with geographical regions, an obvious statement you would say but to find Gewurztraminer and Riesling in this part of France was extremely surprising, even more so a Malbec which is typically Argentinian.I Love Gewurztraminer, but sometimes it can be a little too sweet the and Lychee fragrance which it is renowned for, a little too overpowering. This one was was just amazing, and thats with a capital A. and the price only 6 Euro’s. If I had driven, then a couple of cases would have ended up in the boot of the car.
We tried the Riesling, brilliant, the oaked Chardonnay, brilliant, the Malbec, brilliant it was a real pleasure to be drinking ‘artisinal’ wines from a local producer of such high quality. I bought a couple of bottles to bring home, it would be rude not to.Arriving back at the house we donned aprons and dived into the kitchen to prepare some canapés which was to be our formal introduction to Robert, our first tutor for the next few days. The ‘Cheese Marshmallows’ were interesting and divided the group, with some saying ok, others bland, I think they were begging for some texture, others a hot sauce or even more cheese! We also prepared a salad of Prawns, Avocado, Lemon Juice and Herbs, some Cheese Straws and a ‘Cookie’ also made with Prawns Olives and Cheese which were very tasty.The debate carried on into the evening with respect to the Cheese Marshmallows, we sat down for a 4 course dinner prepared by Robert, with matching local wines. Curried Mussel Soup, Bass with Mango, Lamb and a dessert of Cherries with Brioche Pain Perdu, all very tasty, you can see some of the dishes above.
That’s it for today, it’s 12:08 (at night) so time for some sleep, we go to the market 1st thing to get some produce and barter with the locals!
…………………………..Until next time………………..L8ers………………….
Hi Julian, yet another interesting selection of dishes ! I am now in England and doing lots of pub sampling ! Only a few days before I go to Gramont for the short charcuterie course. My week in Sri Lanka was superb. Elephants, turtles and gem stones. Western food rather bland and uninteresting as I could n’t risk head exploding curries ! Best wishes, Julia, Tasmania