Zhuzh up your apéro game with Centre-Val de Loire’s famous tipples
Whites from this region tend to be dry, highly aromatic with intense fruit flavours of yummy gooseberries and peaches. Sancerre reds are light- to medium-bodied with delicious floral aromas. Rosés from this region made using Pinot Noir tend to be fruity with berry notes of raspberry and strawberry. Within Sancerre the three villages of Bué, Chavignol and Ménétréolsous-Sancerre are the wine hotspots – head there for a tour and tasting.
This region around Tours and further north produces, crisp aromatic whites and fruity to earthy reds, plus rosés and some sparkling wines. It’s a large and varied region. Designations within Touraine AOC include Vouvray, a white made using Chenin Blanc grapes. The wine can have aromas of honey and apples and goes well with rich hearty dishes; red Chinon is made using Cabernet Franc grapes and is typically dry and light- to medium-bodied
Pouilly-Fumé is considered by many to be the best Sauvignon and is one of the true greats of this Centre-Val de Loire wine-producing region. This wine is aromatic and floral with a slightly smoky bouquet. When mature, the grapes have a greyish ‘bloom’ and the winegrowers talk of ‘white smoke’ when describing the vines as well as the wine produced. Head to the vineyard of Henry Bourgeois in Sancerre for a dégustation.
Centre-Val de Loire is home to several versions of this sweet, fruity concoction. Cambusier (cambusier. com) produces a rich raspberry liqueur from this region – as well as other flavoured liqueurs from across France. Chambord liqueur is also made with raspberries, but has slight hints of vanilla and is perfect mixed with Champagne in cocktails. Liqueur de Framboise is distilled by Girardot (distillerie-girardot.fr), a small family-run distillery making a variety of liqueurs in Chissayen-Touraine. Pop in and sample the products!