24 June 2009

Wines, pavés, and tiles

One of the side benefits of my trip to Chenonceau with CHM on Saturday was the chance to get to know a new place to buy wine. It's called La Gourmandière, and it's a cooperative located between Chenonceaux and Montrichard.

I'd driven by it many times over the past six years but I'd never stopped in. Now I'll go back regularly because I know they not only sell wine in bottles, but also wine in boxes (called "bag-in-boxes" or BIBs) and in bulk. In bulk means you take your own containers to the cave and they fill them for you from big vats with a nozzle that looks kind of like the one you use at a gas pump to fill up your car.

Cave in French means "wine cellar" and this one, near
the Château de Chenonceau, is called La Gourmandière.

In bulk is the least expensive way to buy wine, of course, because you don't have to pay for the BIB or for bottles, labels, capsules, and corks. You pay for the wine, and that's all. And it's basically the same wine they put in BIBs and bottles. It is often A.O.C. wine, which is the highest standard for a given region. You can bottle it yourself if you have the bottles and stoppers. We have a corking machine (manually operated) and buy corks at the local wine supply store.

La Gourmandière

The other thing that was nice about the Gourmandière wine coop was that on a Saturday morning there was a man there selling local honey and cheeses. CHM bought a little goat cheese called a pavé, a paving stone, that was made in the town of Betz-le-Château, which is near Preuilly-sur-Claise. That's where Susan and Simon live.

The pavé de Betz-le-Château was excellent, as are all the goat cheeses here in the Loire Valley. They are white, tasty, and not too strong. This particular one was pretty dry — in other words, well aged. Delicious.

Going into the cave to inspect the wines

By the way, I was so busy with preparing and serving the food and drink for our outdoor couscous feast yesterday that I didn't take any pictures. You don't have to take my word for it when I say that the weather was beautiful, the crowd was friendly, and the wine flowed liberally — just take a look at Walt's blog topic today. I hope Susan and Simon weren't too shocked. It was a long lunch that was bien arrosé — well "watered" or irrigated with the local wines.

The old tile will need a good cleaning now that
new tile has been laid down next to it.

And a second "by the way" is that our deck is getting retiled to eliminate a low spot in front of the French doors where we would get a big puddle of water every time it rained. Jacques, who was one of the people at our couscous lunch yesterday, is upstairs doing the grouting now. It's going to be great not to have that puddle to sweep off the deck, especially in wintertime.


  1. Un long repas bien arrose? I think they should give you guys french citizenship. To me, there is nothing better than excellent food, great friends and a loooonnng lunch. It is nice to watch Walt's film. Cheers to all!

  2. That's a great little wine shop you've got there.
    We've been frantically cleaning our terrace tiles with the karschere.

  3. Ooh, that cheese looks good! So does the deck!



What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?