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Princess and The Bear

 

 

Princess and Bear Journal 

 The Princess and the Bear
 

The Salt Beds of the Salin de Gruissan

 

The Princess (Carol Bailey) with a waiter serving salt-crusted Turbot at La Cambuse du Saunier in Gruissan. The pink waters of the "Salin" are visible in the distance.

 

Not far from our home in the Languedoc-Roussillon, you'll find the salt beds of the Salin de Gruissan near the Mediterranean. Salt has been harvested here for centuries, as far back as the Roman Empire. 

The sun, wind, and dry climate of the Mediterranean create the perfect alchemy for the area's renowned salt production, including fleur de sel, an artisanal seasoning used in fabulous local seafood dishes.

The pink and purple-hued salt beds at Gruissan

The salt fields were originally marshes bounded by sea waters. The pink hues of the "Salin" are from the magical dunaliella salina, an algae that thrives in high-saline environments.

Our favorite restaurant in this area is La Cambuse du Saunier, right on the edge of the salt beds. In this video, you'll see our waiter skillfully fillet a salt-crusted Turbot, a fish native to the Mediterranean. (We suggest using earbuds because of the festive background noise). 

 

 

We recommend La Rochelierre Camille Blanc with this dish and other salt-crusted fish dishes. Bon appétit!


 

 
DOMAINE DE LA ROCHELIERRE
2017 CAMILLE BLANC

Made from organic grapes grown near the Mediterranean, you can almost taste the sea in the fruits and aromas of this wine.

A perfect balance between acidity (freshness) and power, Camille Blanc makes an excellent pairing for fish, olive oil-based dishes such as tapenades, and some white meats. Delicious!

 

Time Posted: Aug 22, 2019 at 5:49 PM
 The Princess and the Bear
 

Puff Pastry Tomato Tart—casual gourmet meets summer rosé [Recipe Inside]

 

August Wine and Food Pairing

Our new rosés have arrived! Languedoc rosés are some of the best in the world and tend to sell out quickly, so we invite you to check them out here

These refreshing rosés are perfect for the warm weather, enhancing the fresh flavors of summer and keeping the mood lively.

This month, we've paired a Magical Puff Pastry Tomato Tart (recipe below) with Le Rosé GariguetteChateau de L'Engarran Rosé, or (and!) Asphodèles Rosé. Enjoy! 

 


 

Featured Recipe

 

 

MAGICAL PUFF PASTRY TOMATO TART

Get the Recipe


Featured Wines

DOMAINE GIRARD
2018 Le Rosé Gariguette
100% Cabernet Franc

A Languedoc rosé from Cabernet Franc grapes? Tasting is believing! The saignée method gives more color than a typical rosé. Mouthwatering, summer-ripe berry aromas. Big aftertaste changes to beautiful finish! 

DOMAINE CHÂTEAU DE L'ENGARRAN
2018 Chateau de L'Engarran Rosé
80% Grenache, 20% Cinsault
 
Princess loves the exotic and irresistible female allure of this wine made by Diane Losfelt, whose winemaking credo is "good wine is made in the vineyard, not in the cellar." Grenache Noir brings soft, round fruit, Cinsault tastes ripe and juicy—perfect together in this fine rosé!

DOMAINE DE LA ROCHELIERRE
2018 Asphodèles Rosé
Syrah, Grenache, Colombard 

The addition of Colombard is the real magic of this rosé. The organic vineyards sit near the Mediterranean Sea so the grapes are bathed in sea breezes, giving a special freshness to this wine.
Time Posted: Aug 15, 2019 at 1:02 PM
 The Princess and the Bear
 

Rosés of the Languedoc

 

We are thrilled that our new rosés have arrived! These beauties tend to sell out quickly, so we invite you to check them out here.

Languedoc rosés are some of the best in the world. What gives them their gorgeous pink, peach, and rose colors? How is a rosé wine made, versus a red or a white?

Wine color is derived from the pigment in grape skins. The shade depends on how long the skins are in contact with the juice prior to fermentation.  White wines have little or no contact, whereas red wines have considerable contact. Rosés fall somewhere in between and can exhibit a range of lovely pink and orange hues within a span of a few hours. 

The two main vinification methods for rosés are pressurage and saignée. 

With pressurage, freshly harvested grapes are loaded into a tank or a press for several hours and then gently pressed to drain the juice. The juice is chilled in a tank, yeast is added, and slow alcoholic fermentation begins. 

With saignée, rather than being pressed by machinery, the individual grapes are crushed by the weight of the clusters themselves. The resulting juice, along with the skins, remains in the tank for several hours.  

The tank is then “bled” (thus the term saignée) through a tap at the base of the tank. The juice is chilled and yeast added, initiating a slow fermentation that converts the juice sugars into alcohol.

As with all Languedoc-Roussillon winemaking, innovation and creativity help create these world-class rosés.  

 



 

Domaine De Saumarez
Fleur De Liz Rosé


Named for the winemaker’s wife, this beautiful salmon pink wine is made from organic Syrah and Grenache grapes harvested in the cool early morning. 

Delicious pomegranate and strawberry flavors. Great on its own or with a summer barbecue!

 Shop Fleur de Liz

 

 

Domaine Clos d’Elle
2018 Entrecoeur Rosé


All six of the tasters at one of our rosé tastings this spring chose this wine!

This soft peach-colored rosé is made from grapes in the 2nd year of organic conversion—Syrah and, interestingly, Viognier. The result is stunning! Wild strawberry flavors and sooo soft in the mouth.

 Shop Entrecoeur

 

 

Domaine La Louviere
2018 Le Marquis Rosé


This Gold Medal winner at the Millesime Bio 2019 (Worldwide Organic Wine Fair) is made from high altitude grapes: Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Malbec.  

A fabulously spiced ripe berry taste to drink on its own; also wonderful with Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad. Le Marquis will seduce you!

 Shop Le Marquis

 

 

Time Posted: Aug 8, 2019 at 8:28 PM
 The Princess and the Bear
 

A bon vivant's dream: jazz & wine in the south of France

 

 

Music, especially jazz, is one of the many great reasons to visit the Languedoc-Roussillon, the Supernatural South of France.

It's one of life's great truths — jazz and wine go hand in hand. And when the two meet at one of the many outdoor Languedoc music festivals this time of year, the result is a bon vivant's dream! 

Late summer is when the Languedoc-Roussillon region celebrates with wine and music, before the harvest begins. People come from all over to attend festivals, enjoy world-class musicians, and taste fabulous wines. 

In fact, today we're attending the Fiest'A Sète, a jazz and world music festival where we're listening to the Cuban artists Omara Portuondo and Ana Carla Maza. You'll find some wonderful video clips of these talented performers here and here.

Here's a shot of the view from our seats at Fiest'A Sète, at the aptly named Theatre de la Mer...

Another festival well worth checking out is Jazz à l'Hospitalet which pairs wine, outdoor dining, and music. Lisa Simone (daughter of Nina Simone) was one of this year's artists. Get a taste of Jazz à l'Hospitalet here. 

And the late summer feast of music and wine goes beyond jazz! Festapic takes place at the base of Pic Saint-Loup mountain. The first event was organized to support the winemakers of Pic Saint Loup who'd suffered a devastating hailstorm. It was such a success that it's now entering year three — a beautiful example of how the rich cultural expressions of wine and music enhance and nourish each other.

We hope you're enjoying your own outdoor music festivals, wherever you are — with wine!


For the perfect summer festival experience we recommend:
 
Domaine Terrasses de Gabrielle 
2017 SOIF L'IDÉAL
This "ideal" thirst quencher blends the acidity of Grenache Blanc and Vermentino with the honeyed pear and peach flowers of Roussanne and Viognier. 

SOIF L'IDÉAL

We also recommend the seven light and lovely rosés that just arrived in our latest shipment. These will be available starting August 5! Stay tuned...

 

 

Time Posted: Aug 4, 2019 at 10:13 AM
 The Princess and the Bear
 

On the ground & in the vines! Our team visits 5 Languedoc winemakers

 

The Princess & Bear team with Mélanie Estival (2nd from right) of Voûte de Verdus. White Grenache vines on the right. Cinsault vines on the left. 

This month, our entire Princess and Bear team is "on the ground" exploring the Languedoc-Roussillon region, visiting our fabulous winemakers, and tasting the latest vintages so that we can bring you the best-of-the-best!

So far we've visited the appellations of Faugéres, Terrasses du Larzac, and La Livinière where we toured the vineyards and experienced the beautiful cuvées of five of our winemakers. 

We walked the 100 year old vineyard of La Voûte du Verdu with Mélanie Estival, a fourth-generation winemaker (photo above). La Voûte's winemaking cave sits atop the Verdus River in the medieval town of St. Guilhem le Desert. Le Désert Blanc and Grand Saut are two of the wonderfully complexwines produced by La Voûte du Verdu.

In the video below, our team tours the reclaimed biodynamic Grenache vineyard of Simon and Monica Coulshaw of Domaine des Trinités in the Faugéres appellation.

You'll notice the "garrigue," the rich, often aromatic, vegetation that intermingles with the vines, and the schist soil which provides minerality and freshness. 

The wines of Domaine des Trinités arrived in the most recent shipment and will be available for purchase soon!

Left to right: Steve Medwell (the Bear), Ioana Bucur (Princess & Bear's Tasting Room Manager), Monica Coulshaw of Domaine des Trinités, Carol Bailey (the Princess), Simon Coulshaw of Domaine des Trinités, & Rachael Beidler, Princess & Bear's Director of Operations.

We dropped in on another of our winemakers in the Faugères appellation—the delightful Pierre Urbain of Mas Nuy. Like the Bear, Pierre is a former surgeon turned Languedoc wine lover!

Beginning in 2014, Pierre started a range of PGI (IGP) wines, harvesting the grapes at night and making the wine in concrete vats to preserve the freshness and varietal identity of his wines. We carry three of these IGP wines, Robe Blanche, Quartz Rosé, and Athanor. We also offer La Catieda (Pierre’s top cuvée white) and Fou de Rec. 

Our team with Pierre Urbain and the wines of Mas Nuy.

Pascal Riviere of La Jasse Castel is one of the women winemakers fueling the Languedoc wine renaissance. Our team caught up with her in the charming village of Montpeyroux where we shared an al fresco meal. 

Pascal Riviere of La Jasse Castel (far right) and the Princess & Bear team

Pascal's vineyards include a century-old Cinsault, an ancient Carignan, a purebred Syrah on the edge of an oak forest, and a Grenache in the heart of the Seranne landscape. Her exquisite wines include Bleu Velours, El Abanico, Légrisee, and La Jasse.

Our final stop was in the Minervois-La Livinière appellation where our team (including Gigi!) shared a few laughs and tasted the incredible wines of winemaker, Michel Escande of Borie de Maurel.

Taste La Féline, Le Gypse,  Belle de Nuit and Cuveé Sylla to see why Michel was dubbed “The Wizard of Feline,” by the international wine press!

 

 

Time Posted: Jul 25, 2019 at 3:19 PM
 The Princess and the Bear
 

A Laid-Back Summer Meal Meets A Lively White Wine [Recipe Inside]

 

 

July Wine and Food Pairing


We hope you're having a wonderful summer and finding time to relax and take in the simple pleasures. For us, this means delicious, fresh, easy-to-prepare meals paired with one of our extraordinary "undiscovered" wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon.

We invite you to try these easy, savory summer dishes: Quick Caprese with Garlic Crostini and Super-Easy Summer Salmon. Recipes below.

Compliment with 2017 Soif L'idéal—an "easy drinker" but with enough acidity to hold up to a great meal.  Enjoy!

 


 

Featured Recipes

Super Easy Summer Salmon

 

Get the Recipe

 

 

Quick Caprese with Garlic Crostini

Get the Recipe


 Featured Wine

Domaine Terrasses de Gabrielle 

2017 SOIF L'IDÉAL

An "ideal" thirst quencher! The acidity of the Grenache Blanc and Vermentino blends with the honeyed pear and peach flowers of the Roussanne and Viognier to create a lively and engaging wine.

Winemaker Olivier Pascal of Domaine Terrasses de Gabrielle comes from generations of winemakers. He and his delightful, hardworking wife, Fabienne Los Huertos, tend the vineyards her family has owned for generations and work their creative magic in the cave where their small batch wines come to life. 

Time Posted: Jul 21, 2019 at 3:20 PM
 The Princess and the Bear
 

How geology, history, climate, & culture find their way into your wine glass

 

The bell tower overlooking the vineyards of the Cru La Livinière
(photo courtesy of Syndicat du Cru Minervois-La Livinière)

La Livinière creates the kind of extraordinary and unique wines that inspired us to introduce Languedoc-Roussillon winemakers to the U.S.

La Livinière is a small "Cru," or "group of excellence," comprised of 41 winemakers within the Minervois-La-Livinière appellation. This Cru exemplifies the balance of creativity with tradition that is the hallmark of Languedoc wines. In fact, La Livinière was the first Cru to be recognized in the Languedoc!

 

Audrey Rouanet and Carol "the Princess" Bailey standing in Audrey's amazing high altitude terroir at Rouanet Montcelebre.

 

Winemaker, Franck Leonor of family-owned & operated La Rouviole. The wines of these La Livinière winemakers just arrived on July 10th!
The geology, history, climate, and culture of La Livinière combine in fascinating ways, influencing each stage of the winemaking process, up to the moment these beautiful wines fill your glass!  

The vineyards sit atop a vast limestone plateau (the causse), a vestige of a shallow sea that existed millions of years ago. Much of the landscape is too rugged for cultivation.

Limestone, sandstone, marl, and schist are part of the varied terroir. Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre love ripening in the hot, dry climate and Mediterranean sun. By night, cool winds preserve the freshness and acidity of the fruit.  

La Livinière winemakers each work their unique magic, altering aspects of maturity, maceration, fermentation, and container type to create wines with scents of ripe fruit, olives and even truffles! Fabulous!

 

Winemaker, Michel Escande, the “Wizard of Feline,” is pictured here. He and his Cru La Livinière domaine, Borie de Maurel, are part of the Princess and Bear family (check out his 2016 La Féline).

We invite you to experience the exceptional wines of La Livinière for yourself!  The wines of La Rouviole and Rouanet Montcelebre just arrived and will be available for sale on our website soon!

 

 

Time Posted: Jul 12, 2019 at 2:07 PM
 The Princess and the Bear
 

Boost Your Summer BBQ with Chilled Red Wine [GIFT INSIDE]


 

Summer means BBQ season! Time to gather with friends and family to celebrate!

Spread the picnic blanket, fire up the grill, and share delicious wines while this beautiful season is in full swing!

We recommend red wine with many classic summer foods like barbecue, coleslaw, and potato salad (keep reading for the best potato salad recipe ever—really!) 

If you're a Princess and Bear Wine Club member, the red wines you've received (La Diva 2015La Pimpanela, and Grand Saut) are perfect with barbecued meats and chicken, especially when slightly chilled.

 


And now, our summer gift to you, 
the best potato salad ever!

 

CELEBRATION POTATO SALAD

GET THE RECIPE  

 

Time Posted: Jul 5, 2019 at 6:31 PM
 The Princess and the Bear
 

Birthplace of the Venus de Milo—the perfect setting for fabulous rosé & delicious mezedes

 

 

 A visit to the island of Milos, a cultural and geologic treasure

 

Last weekend, we ventured out of our beloved Languedoc-Roussillon to visit the Cyclades Islands of Greece. But don't worry, our traveling companion was a lovely Languedoc rosé, Clos d'Elle  😍. 

After a 2 1/2 hour drive to Barcelona and a 2 1/2 hour flight, we reached Athens then sailed out of Alimos marina toward the island of Milos in the Aegean Sea.

In this video, we are lucky to be sipping Clos d’Elle rosé on the Aegean Sea with a variety of delicious mezedes:

 

The gorgeous Clos d'Elle rosé featured in the video will arrive with our newest shipment of outstanding Languedoc and Roussillon wines in mid-July. 

We're excited that Clos d'Elle has joined our Princess and Bear family! At a recent tasting of eight rosés, everyone, including a professional taster, picked Clos d'Elle as the most delicious rosé!

The Sarakiniko cliffs of Milos

 

The rosé, the mezedes, and the beautiful cliffs of Milos, sculpted by wind, sea, and sun!!  It doesn’t get much better than this!!

We were reminded of another famous Milos sculpture, though she was shaped by human hands—the Venus de Milo, now displayed at the Louvre Museum. 

 

Shop Wine Now

 

 

 

Time Posted: Jun 28, 2019 at 9:33 AM
 The Princess and the Bear
 

Morel Mushrooms pair perfectly with this white wine...[Recipe Inside]

 

The Princess, Carol Bailey, indulging in one of her great loves

 

June wine and food pairing

 

Winemaker Pierre Urbain of Domaine Mas Nuy is passionate about everything he does! (We have asked him to slow down on his big boy motorcycle!) While in surgical training 25+ years ago in Brussels, he was introduced to what became a lifelong love of wine and winemaking.

Pierre completed his oenological studies and, in 2005, found his piece of heaven in the Languedoc. He purchased vineyards high on the south-facing hills of Faugères: perfect schist soil, perfect sun, and perfect vineyards for catching the drying winds of both the mountains and Mediterranean Sea.

He uses all-natural fertilizers and, if needed, organic compounds to combat mildew. He harvests his grapes at night and in the very early morning, hand selects grapes, and uses simple winemaking techniques (which are actually the most sophisticated) to create fabulous wines expressive of the famous Faugères terroir.

This month we've paired Pierre's top white cuvée, 2015 La Catieda, with Jura Style Chicken and Morel Mushroom Cream Sauce. La Catieda is slightly oxidized from time in the world-famous Stockinger barrels. It pairs beautifully with cream sauces and the earthy morel mushroom which, even today, is harvested only in the wild.

Bon Appétit!

 


 

Featured Recipe

 

Jura Style Chicken
with Morel Mushroom Cream Sauce


Get the Recipe

 

 

Featured Wine

 

 

 

DOMAINE MAS NUY

2015 La Catieda

La Catieda starts with pineapple and banana and is followed by lightly grilled citrus. A lovely mouth feel precedes a long, memorable finish.

This wine is aged in beautiful Stockinger oak barrels making it a "special" lightly oxidized wine and not adaptable to all foods. It is lovely with grilled fish, blanquette de veau, and hard cheeses.

Taste This Wine


 

 

Time Posted: Jun 20, 2019 at 10:04 AM