On our recent trip to Paris, Ben & I spent some time wandering around the Marais district with friends, ducking into one of a kind shops. Our favorite restaurant in the neighborhood is the Instagram favorite, Merci. The front is a cafe with cozy nooks & book lined walls while the back is a two story shop filed with some really unique clothes & household items. We started off with some wine tasting in the front & little bites. It was so much fun so when the French Ministry of Agriculture wanted to partner on a post, I jumped at the chance to recreate that Parisian cafe feeling with some friends back here in the US. I love being able to bring that French lifestyle into everyday life!
We started off with Mas de Daumas Gassac red and a Mas de Daumas Gassac Rose Frizant. Both wines were from Languedoc, a region in Southern France. The Mas de Daumas is an organic winery that uses indigenous yeast only. This is even an animal run winery! Horses are used to plow while sheep control the grass. All grapes are hand harvested. Mas de Daumas is a ground breaking, revolutionary winery in a traditionalist region. Try it out and let me know if you can taste the difference!
We then progressed to tasting the Whispering Angel Rose from the heart of the world famous Provence wine region in France. If you are a fan of Roses, then this is the wine for you. Chateau D’Esclans was recently awarded Wine Enthusiast’s Winery of the Year. This Rose is crisp, fresh, & dry, not sugary as I’ve found some Rose to be.
Finally, we finished up with a Trimbach Riesling and my personal favorite, Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve 2013. Both are nice dry white wines from the Alsace region in Western France, along the border of Germany. This is a traditional family winery dating all the way back to 1626.
Rather than load up on carbs to go with these wines, I offered up smooth, creamy Le Chatelain brie spread on dried apricots. The super creamy brie paired gorgeously with the sweet, yet tart apricots and gave us a nice light bite that especially complemented the Rose. This brie recently won a Gold Medal from France’s biggest food competition, the Concours General Agricole.
One of the most adorable items on the menu that we had at Merci in Paris, were egg soldiers. Soft boiled eggs were served still in their shell with buttered strips of toast to dip into them. While eggs aren’t a traditional party option, that’s one of the things I love about the French lifestyle. They let simple, good food take the attention. By choosing high quality, yet affordable foods & wines, and keeping things simple, you can have a French party with friends anytime. You don’t just have to save up for a special occasion.
Spread onto the toast soldier is France’s number one butter, President Butter. So good! I’ll be using the rest of this rich, savory creamy butter to make some Madelines!