5 Sep 2011

Domaine Borie de Maurel

I recently went with three friends to the Domaine Borie de Maurel in Felines-Minervois, and enjoyed a great lunch and tasted some delicious wine.

 

Felines-Minervois – about 25 minutes form Bize-Minervoisis one of the six villages that come under the La Livinière appellation – recognised as the best of the Minervois wines.



And who was our host? - a local Bizoise – the lovely Marie Binisti previously of Les Raisins des Soleil here in Bize. 

She has now moved on to the Domaine Borie de Maurel, sharing her passion and extensive knowledge of the Minervois wines.  




 


It was just one of those days – temperature mid 20s (not quite spring yet, but it certainly had that feel about it), not a cloud in the sky, a gorgeous drive through the vineyards, excellent wines, food and company. 



It’s not set up as a typical restaurant and there is no set menu. What you get is a plate of delicious tapas-style food – Tapas Occitan – and you get to sit under the shade of an enormous pine tree and gaze over the vineyards towards the Black Mountains.

All of the food is locally sourced, with the fruit and vegetables coming from the Domaine’s own gardens and the unpasteurised Lucque olives from Bize.

Our Tapas Occitan lunch consisted of a plate of olives to start with, toasted bread with tapenade and confit of onions with anchovies, slices of dry cured ham, a bowl of tomatoes,
sliced dried sausage, thinly sliced raw yellow courgettes, braised courgettes  - all in olive oil. And after, a small plate of three different cheeses with sliced figs, and finally a bowl of watermelon and rock melon/cantaloupe – or as it’s known here in France, simply melon.




Food is served only during the summer, and as they are now gearing up for the vendange, we managed to get one of the last lunches of the season. 




The vendange started around here about two weeks ago – very early this year. “The word” is that it’s going to be a very good year ….



We’d done our wine tasting before lunch, so when we were ready to leave we collected our purchases. My favourite was definitely one of the reds - the Belle de Nuit. Divine.

And while I’m looking forward to drinking this, I’m not sure I’ll be cooking tiny wild birds, on a stick (brochette) or otherwise – as suggested on the website write-up:


Accompanying dishes: young, Belle de Nuit goes well with spicy dishes, a beef stew or paella. When it matures it’s time to imagine higher flying dishes such as a song thrush with streaky bacon or a brochette of skylarks.

 



Marie suggested that it’s best served slightly chilled – definitely not warm. Sounds good to me, and I can’t imagine a thing that it’s not going to go well with!

The courtyard - with its own outdoor chandalier
Kids in a lolly shop....

Look at these hands - what an amazing image .....


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