PURCHASE THE 8-STAGE CURED DE FRANCE!
Welcome to Cured’s 5th edition of the Cured de France!
The Tour de France is one of those summer events that brings people together. Something other than the weather to talk about with strangers on the street, an excuse to head over to a friends house with coffee in hand at 6 in the morning or cancel evening plans to spend the night on the couch with a glass of wine.
There is perhaps no better way to beat the summer heat than by watching some of the world’s greatest athletes fly up mountain passes and wind through tiny French villages. Cured just so happens to have a rather unique insight into the tour, owing to the fact that owner Will Frishckorn has himself not only ridden in the Tour de France, but has also eaten his way across the entire country during his racing career and knows the best, and most interesting, offerings from every region. In honor and celebration of this year’s Tour de France, we’ve put together a tour of our own…one that is a bit more accessible for the mere mortal. All you need to partake is a love a cheese, a passion for French wine, and a good appetite.
As the cyclists make their way around France, so do we, only our trip is a bit more pleasing to the palate and less punishing to the legs…
A Brief Overview of the 2017 Tour de France
The Tour de France has taken a liking to kicking off in a foreign country. It helps them gain an extra hit of TV income, and selfishly, we’ve taken fondly to this as it often gives us a fun opportunity to bring in a new and different pairing. This year’s Tour begins in Germany, far to the North in an area that is known for great beer and happens to make some amazing cheese not far down the road. This is where we’ll start our tour this year!
The Tour de FRANCE really starts on the 4th when the race crosses back into it’s home country, heading across the rolling hills of North-Eastern France, not big wine country at first, but quickly diving down through the rolling hills into Nuits-St-Georges, the true heart of Burgundy on the 7th. Needless to say, there will be some Burgundy and seriously guilty Triple Crème Cheese in our your future….
A couple of brutal days in the Savoie region give us the opportunity to enjoy our Burgundy before the riders hop a flight west towards Bordeaux, where we quickly find ourselves immersed in another famed part of the wine world. We’re bringing in a special treat this year on the cheese front from famed French Affineur Rodolphe le Meunier.
A classic Tour de France stop in Pau, the heart of Foie Gras Country, lets us fatten ourselves up a bit as well, savoring the last bites of Rodolphe’s magic before the riders head across the Pyrenees, through some of the world’s finest blue cheese country, and touching on Cahors, the region where the Malbec grape first made its name and truly calls home.
Next up the Tour crosses right through the heart of the Northern Rhone Valley, straight up into the hills of the Savoie, before getting to enjoy a quick day in the Provencal sun. They then hop a flight to Paris for their final stage while we get to enjoy our traditional Champs Elysee-appropriate bottle of bubbly and Brie to cap off the successful completion of our adventure. While the riders might finish their three weeks bouncing down the cobblestones of the Champs, we don’t giving your champagne the same treatment before popping the cork!
Stage 1 from July 1st-3rd Will feature Alex, a beautiful washed rind, raw cows milk cheese from Southern Germany. It is dense, creamy, fruity and rich with umami. We’re pairing Alex with the hugely guilty Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock, an example of the big beers that Germany does so well in addition to their crisper styles often considered their focus.
Stage 2: 4th-6th Is a pairing of the classic Burgundian washed-rind Trou de Cru, a rich, umami laden nugget of joy, with Domaine Lelievre’s edgy, nervy, Gris de Toul Rose. This wine is made as far north as any in western Europe and the racy acidy comes through in a way that just screams for food. Fortunately you’ll be well equipped.
Stage 3: 7th-9th Burgundy pulls on many of our culinary heartstrings, and guilty pairing of a Demi-Brillat Saverin Tripple Crème Cheese with Paul Pernot’s opulent 2015 Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay seems only appropriate. The baby-Brillat’s are perfect, guilty, luscious and creamy, and Paul Pernot is one of our favorite Puligny-Montrachet producers. His 2015 Bourgogne Blanc has even more generosity than normal due to the warm and relatively easy vintage, pleasing lovers of Burgundy and California Chardonnay alike.
Stage 4: 10th-13th We are partnering up Rodolphe le Munier’s Sheep Milk Tomme Brûlée and the Chateau Couronneau’s Merlot dominant Bordeaux Rouge for a pairing of true French aristocracy. Rodolphe is a famed affineur who ages cheeses from all over France in his caves. His Tomme Brulee is akin to Ardi Gasna, but unlike any Sheep’s milk cheese we’ve ever experienced in it’s refinement. Chateau Couronneau is one of the few Biodynamic wineries in Bordeaux and their Merlot based red is an example of the incredible values that Bordeaux CAN offer when you hunt for them.
Stage 5: 14th-16th This is our one blue cheese in this year’s tour, Bleu de Bergers, and we’re pairing it with a Malbec in a style like they should all be made! Blue de Bergers is a fantastic Pyreneean Sheep’s Milk Blue, not dis-similar to Roquefort, but a touch friendlier and more delicate. Château Combel La Serre’s Cahors is Malbec from France, its original home, and delivers incredible freshness and energy…a perfect summer red without the typical tannic grip many associate with the grape.
Stage 6: 17th -20th From time to time there is a region whose cheeses we just can’t get here in the states in good condition. Rather than serve up sub-par cheese, we’re excited to highlight a French style goat milk cheese made here in the states. This year, our NON French cheese is the goat milk based St. Albans from Vermont Butter and Cheese. We’ve paired it up perfectly with Thillardon’s stunningly elegant Moulin aux Vent Beaujolais. Paul-Henri is a young standout in Chenas, but his Moulin au Vent struck a chord with us for it’s incredible femininity and grace. You might want two rounds of this stage just to be safe 😉
Stage 7: 21st -22nd Abbaye de Tamie, one of our favorite Savoie friendly-funky cheeses is paired up with one of our favorite wines for summer, Jean Masson et Fils Apremont Traditionnelle. Think of mountain flowers and minerality captured in a bottle, and then think about finding another cold bottle of it quickly. Sometimes the age old adage “drink together what grows together” actually hits the nail square on the head.
Stage 8: July 23rd This year we’ll cap our Cured de France with Fougerus, a fern adorned Brie style cheese, with a split of Champagne Sanger 360. Fougerus could be one of the most elegant wheels you’ll ever drop on your table, and Sanger is the wine label of the non-profit Avize Viti Campus that teaches most producers of grower champagne their craft. The 360 is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Munier all, with fruit all coming from graduates within 42 villages of Champagne. Proper Brie and Bubbly to celebrate your successfully completed Cured de France? Of course!
How to Partake
The Cured de France is $50 a stage, with a discounted bundle of $350 for the entire tour. Shipping is available within Colorado Only for a flat fee of $95 for whole tour purchases. Bundles of 2-3 stages at a time will be shipped for arrival on the 1st, 11th, and 18th.