Around and About with Tony Goodman
We make a point of trying the local wines when we visit the surrounding regions on our regular expeditions. Before Bordeaux’s ascendancy, the Gaillac region, just west of Albi produced wines that slaked the thirst of kings, Caesars and popes.
The range of permitted grapes includes local varieties. the wines are stylish and very approachable. I love the lighter mid week strength red wines. The whites can be fig sweet or as crisp and refreshing as a winter’s morning.
On the wine card look for a 100% Mauzac Sec, a green apple and citrus seafood specialist or a deep garnet hued red made using the local Braucol and Dura grapes.
Chatting to the wise and learned, it seems the idea of an item on white wines suitable for the cooler months would be of interest. I totally agree we are too quick to banish the white wine to the back of the cupboard as soon as the first cool breeze arrives.
The region and some of our neighbours produce some very good winter friendly white wines. Time for some research!
As part of the Balade en Terre d’Artists we visited the workshop of Lou Fiszleiber. Her work is absolutely unique. Some of her work has layered imagery which is almost hypnotic, some is powerful enough to launch a space shuttle. Other pieces are deeply reflective of her love of the vast deep deserts of the Australian outback and aboriginal art.
Lou’s pieces have been exhibited all around the world. Her use of colours and natural materials has a rhythm which is impossible to describe, it needs to be experienced face to face.
Why we live here
Two relatively modest outings this week reinforced why we live here. The first was a simple lunch with good friends in the sunshine in the Perpignan’s Place de la Republique. Nothing grandiose just a small piece of grilled dorade from the menu de jour, a small verre of the house white and most importantly an hour of pleasant socially distance conviviality.
The second reminder was a mid morning trip to Sainte Marie la Mer for a paddle, a stroll along the waters edge under a deep blue sky before purchasing the necessary ingredients for a simple lunchtime seafood platter on our terrace.
World opera day was Sunday 25th October with live streams from opera houses and companies around the globe. Featuring behind the scene interviews, small almost personal extracts and big voiced baritones. Soaring arias, rousing choruses and deep rooted melodies from the Russian steppes were all on parade.
During the week I had need of a lutherie, a string instrument maker and repairer. It was a simple problem but it needed an expert’s eye and knowledge. Normally it’s a task to find such a craftsmen, instruments have to be shipped off or a visit to a workshop involves overnight travel. However not here in the PO. No doubt due to the region’s musical heritage I found two within walking distance of the front door. A more complete search found a good handful within a 30 minute drive.
Our hills, meadows and dells are ramping up production. Big fat puffballs, shy girolles and field mushrooms as big as a dinner plates. Hunters are rising before dawn, braving the cold and dark to secure the best and freshest for us. Dial in the Teasmade for early and get to your local weekly market for the best selection.