THE WINES AND THE FOOD
The wines of Touraine are made from the Loire, its climate and its soil. Fruity reds made from red and often mild fruits (Bourgueil, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil and Chinon) are mainly from the Cabernet France grape. From old wines and with the right vinification process, some can become full-bodied, complex wines ideal for ageing. The whites (Vouvray, Montlouis, Touraine) are all produced from the ever so characteristic chenin grape and make good dry, effervescent and soft wines, and in certain years, great sweet varieties. Many winegrowers open up the doors of their cellars in the rocks for hugely enjoyable wine-tasting visits.
As for dining, the fish of the Loire are showcased perfectly by the local restaurants (zander, pike, eel); the geline de Touraine, a very old black hen, is renowned like the crackling, rillettes and sausages; and the asparagus, vegetables and strawberries of the Loire Valley would garnish the tables of royals five centuries ago. The tasty Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine is a semi-fresh goats’ cheese, ash-coated outside and pierced with straw.