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hix & buck alphonse 2007

To be honest a dish comprising goats cheese and baked apple would lead one to select a white wine – a South African Chenin Blanc, a Riesling from Alsace or, perhaps, a New Zealand Sauvingon Blanc. But a red wine? And one made from Merlot and Syrah? Probably not.

But this is exactly what Hix and Buck are recommending to accompany a dish of Baked Apple with Melted Goats Cheese, Potato Galette with Walnut Balsamic Dressing; the wine being their its Mas d’Intras Cuvée d’Alphonse 2007 Vin de Pays des Coteaux de l’Ardèche.

The dish was created by Sebastien Gagnbe Head Chef of Perfect Blend the “south London café, bar and restaurant”. Hix and co had sent over a bottle so a try-out was in order.
The dish (recipe below) was fine, despite my disaster with getting the ‘petals’ of the galette to stick together (how do you do that??), resulted in a tasty, if light dinner. (More suited to a starter or lunch dish perhaps). But paired with the wine? And the wine itself, basking in Southern French rusticity was firm, strong and flavoursome in a red fruits and spice manner. But really, matching with sweetened apples and a salad? Not for me I’m afraid. My thoughts move to wild boar sausages or barbequed lamb burgers.

Red Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: Mas d’Intras Cuvée d’Alphonse, 2007, Vin de Pays des Coteaux de l’Ardèche, France

Price: £9.99 From Hix and Buck [More on Adegga / Snooth]

Not for green fruits, bring fire charred summer meats, a match sublime
Alcohol 13.5%.

Scribblings Rating – 86/100 [3.25 out of 5]

Hix & Buck is an importer of wine. Its aim is to bring good quality wines to the UK from undiscovered vineyards in Europe. In the spirit of discovery, the company’s ambition is to surprise and delight the wine lover with unknown wines whilst offering them great value.
The wines are brought to the UK exclusively by Hix & Buck. The founders, Chix Chandaria and Dan Roebuck, are passionate about finding small producers, often with a family history of viniculture going back centuries, and bringing that wine, with its authentic qualities and characteristics, over here.

SPECIAL READER OFFER: All readers of Spittoon are offered 15% off their first 6 bottle case purchase at Hix and Buck an offer not restricted to the Alphonse detailed above. The promotion includes free delivery. Use the voucher code ‘undiscovered’.

baked apple with goats cheese

Baked Apple With Melted Goat’s Cheese, Potato Galette And Walnut Balsamic Dressing
Courtesy of Sebastien Gagnebe, Head Chef Perfect Blend, London
Serves 4 people
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 35 minutes
What you need:

  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 20g butter
  • 50g sugar
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 2 sheets of oven proof paper
  • Melted butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 crottins de Chavignol
  • 5cl balsamic vinegar
  • 20cl walnut oil
  • Rocket leaves

What you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C. Core and deseed the apples leaving the flesh intact. Divide the butter between the apples and put into the hole. Sprinkle the apples with the sugar and place on a greased baking sheet into the preheated oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove apples from oven and stand for 1 minute.
  • For the potato galette, peel and slice the potatoes into 2mm slices, making sure each slice is the same size. Start with one slice of potato in the middle of one of the sheets of oven proof paper and place other slices around the centre to form a pressed-flower effect. Each slice should overlap the last and also the middle. Brush with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Place the other sheet of paper on top and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  • Place the crottins de Chavignol (goat’s cheese) on top of the apples and return to the oven for a further seven to eight minutes. If you cannot find crottin de Chavignol you can use another goat’s cheese.
  • For the dressing, shake together the balsamic vinegar and walnut oil with seasoning. Put the rocket leaves in a bowl and coat with the walnut and balsamic dressing.
  • To serve, place the warm apple and goats cheese in the center of the plate. Put the potato galette ontop of the goat’s cheese. Top with coated rocket leaves. Or place the warm apple and goat’s cheese on top of the leaves. Top with the potato galette.

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