I'm Ana. The friendly team from Love Wine has given me this little space to talk about food and wine pairing and share with you what, in my own words and my own experiences, captivates me about the different cuisines and the different wine, and the relationship between both. So, I will try to do my best and fingers crossed! :)))
Well, let's start at the beginning.
I was born and raised in Mexico; my family is dedicated to hospitality. I have six siblings, and, as in many Mexican homes, mealtime was one of the most important moments of the day.
My grandmother and my Mum cooked at home, and yes, I feel fortunate to have grown up with this culinary delicious culture, although I must say it, wine culture for me started when I left Mexico 22 years ago to travel and see the world.
The first stop for me was France, and who can go to France without seeing Paris!... Yes! Paris, which is, for me, one of the most beautiful cities in the world :) Paris is the city of lights, a house of great artists, and of course the capital of gastronomy!
Montmartre, Saint Germain, Le Quartier Latin, many beautiful coffeeshop and restaurants where you can feel and breathe and taste this "savoir-faire" of the French culture. Nice food, delicious wine and cheese... and of course, LOVE. Paris allows me to realise that two things in my life put me in a romantic mood; seeing a couple who love each other and pairing my wine with the perfect food.
Maridaje (food and wine pairing in Spanish) came from the ideal concept of marriage (harmony and a perfect balance between both parties). No individual is superior to the other, but they complement each other. Maridaje is the perfect harmony and balance of aroma and flavours between the dish, food, or menu that we are tasting with the wine we decide to accompany. Wine and food are natural loves that cannot reach their maximum expression separately.
Pairing for me is abstract; it's to experiment in an artistic way that is not always in the beautiful and orderly concept and the possibility of the exotic, the bohemian, the contrasting, and sometimes even the chaotic. To enjoy all this gastronomically, we need all our sensory experience and understand or try to understand wine, to bring our palates to total joy simple by feeling and experimenting with something new.
So, with that in mind, I want to share with you a delicious French recipe for hot oysters called; "Huîtres Chaudes Gratinées à la Fondue de Poireaux". To continue with the French mood, we will pair this with a wine from the Loire Valley by Domaine Philippe Raimbault, Coteaux du Giennois.
Is everybody ready with your aprons and kitchen utensils? Bien on y va!! Here we go!
This recipe is for 4 people, and we will need:
8 Rock Oysters
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 tablespoon white wine
50g grated gruyere
30cl of milk
salt and pepper
1. Peel the shallot and finely chop it. Wash the leek and slice it. Melt the butter in a pan, add the shallot and the leek and sauté for 5 minutes, then deglaze with the white wine. Add salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Rest.
2. Shuck the Oysters, remove them from the shells and wash the shells. Put the milk in a saucepan and heat. Place the oysters inside and cook for 5 minutes without reaching a boil. Drain.
3. Put your Oyster shells in a baking dish. Divide the leek fondue among the shells, then place the poached Oysters on top and distribute the heavy cream and the Gruyere.
4. Bake for 8 minutes (oven preheated to 180 C). When the cheese is well browned, remove the dish from the oven and enjoy hot and with a glass of this light & fruity, mineral-driven Coteaux du Giennois from Le Domaine Philippe Raimbault.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe and enjoyed reading this blog because I can tell you that I really enjoyed writing it.
Please do not hesitate to post any photos or comments about this food and wine pairing on Instagram or Facebook, and... Hasta pronto! I hope, if Love Wine retake the risk (lol), I will have the opportunity to write here more often.
- Ana Altamirano