Celebrate the Chartres Festival of Lights & Autumnal Equinox with a Food & Wine Tasting Masterclass

Join us at the Chartres Festival of Lights 2013 & Autumnal Equinox for a
Food and Wine Tasting Masterclass, given by Jonell Galloway, master food taster, and James Flewellen, master wine taster

The Beauce and the Loire Valley: Taste Unlocked

19 to 22 September 2013

 

A romantic getaway, a tasting Masterclass, and a big dose of
Druidic and Christian history, all in one long weekend at the autumnal equinox

Chartres Cathedral Lighted, creative common license, photographer unknown

 

Package:A 4-day Food and Wine Tasting Masterclass in the romantic, historical setting of Chartres. Classes are held in a 1,000-year-old chapel converted into Jonell’s home, just 2 minutes’ walk from the world-renowned Chartres Cathedral and 10 minutes from the train station. The Masterclass is held during the spectacular Chartres Festival of Lights, celebrated every year since 2003 on the weekend of the autumnal equinox.

Date: 19 to 22 September 2013

12 – 14 hours of instruction and workshop tasting, including discussion periods and Q&A

Lodging is in B&Bs and hotels within walking distance of the event, but lodging is not included in our price. Click here to find accommodations in all categories.

All meals and wine are included, except breakfast.

Price per person: 750 Euros

Limited to 12 participants. Early booking strongly advised.

Down payment: 250 Euros on reservation, remainder 30 days before event.

Possibility of purchasing the wines tasted during the weekend.

See details of programme and wine below.

Click on the Paypal button at the top right of the sidebar to pay by Paypal or credit card, or the  blue Contact Us button at the top right of the home page to pay by bank transfer.

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Video Highlights of Festival of Lights 2012

 

THE SETTING

Chartres Cathedral is on UNESCO’s world heritage list. It is a pinnacle of French Gothic art, and is considered to have the most beautiful stained glass in the world. The city is thought by many to be built on sacred ground, and has been a site of pilgrimage for at least 5,000 years – long before Christianity – at least from the time of the Carnutes, the ancient Celtic tribe who lived here. Although the Carnutes were pacified by the Romans, the city was Romanized, but never fully conquered, and was allowed to remain self-governed. Evidence of this colourful history can be seen in the stone labyrinth in the floor of the cathedral itself; the Druid well and processional hall under the cathedral, and the brick-and-stone Roman walls near the Druidic structures.

Chartres Labyrinth Illuminated, creative common photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Tasting Masterclasses will concentrate on food and wine from the surrounding region. Chartres is located in the Beauce, the bread basket of France – and one might say, Europe – so bakeries use local flour and compete for not only the best baguette, but the best bread in general, giving rise to a plethora of types of bread you’ll find no where else in France nor in the world. Other crops grown in these vast, flat fields include sugar beets and all sorts of root vegetables, many not found elsewhere. The flat wheat fields are not propitious to dairy cows, so cheeses are limited, but we have access to cheese from the best local artisanal cheesemakers. Pigs live in perfect harmony alongside the wheat fields, as do wild and domesticated fowl, so many of the meat dishes are based on them.

Traditional pâté de Chartres, made with partridge and foie gras in middle, a pâté en croûte

Traditional pâté de Chartres, made with partridge and foie gras in middle, a pâté en croûte

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In today’s Chartres, Loire Valley wine is considered local, since the Loire region starts about 45 minutes down the road and no wine is grown in Chartres due to the climate. As a result, the local sommeliers and wine merchants specialize in Loire Valley wine. Our tasting will focus on the “art of tasting” in general, starting with our perceptions of taste in food, and working up to our perceptions of tasting wine. The two are inseparable, since wine can only be appreciated to the maximum when paired with food.

loire_valley_wine_map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the food tasting Masterclass will be based on scientific research, but most on an intuitive approach, where you will become aware of why you like and dislike certain foods, textures, smells, etc. in food, with hands-on workshops to help you understand the complexity and individuality of taste in general.

For us, food should be a pleasure, and Western culture has neglected to train our taste buds by feeding us too much processed food. This workshop will help you reawaken your taste buds and sensory perception of food so that you will go away with a different perception of what real food is. Tasting will become a conscious process that not only serves the purpose of filling your belly, but brings you pleasure and enjoyment that industrial food will no longer satisfy.

English for kids - the 5 basic tastes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through a series of tutored wine tastings you will learn how professionals taste wine, what makes a ‘good’ wine, and about the aromatic, flavour and structural components of wine and how they interact with food. We will also focus on local wines through an in-depth Masterclass on wines of the Loire, as well as pairing these wines with cheeses, main courses and desserts throughout the weekend.

Loire Valley Wines, photo from The Telegraph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loire Valley Wines, photo from The Telegraph

Click on the Paypal button at the top right of  the sidebar to pay by Paypal, or the  blue Contact Us button at the top right of the home page to pay by bank transfer.

 

LOCATION

The event will take place in Chartres, France in a 1,000-year-old chapel Jonell converted into her home.

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RueStPierre2MB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Masterclasses are held in this historic monument, just a two-minute walk from the cathedral and 10 minutes from the train station.

Lodging is in B&Bs and hotels within walking distance of the event, but lodging is not included in the price, although we can help you find accommodations. SINCE THIS IS A FESTIVAL WEEKEND, PLEASE LET US KNOW IMMEDIATELY IF YOU REQUIRE HELP WITH ACCOMMODATIONS. We are located in the St-Pierre neighborhood, half way between the cathedral and the St-Pierre Church at the bottom of the hill.

Package: A 4-day Food and Wine Tasting Masterclass in the romantic, historical setting of Chartres. Classes are held in a 1,000-year-old chapel converted into Jonell’s home, just 2 minutes’ walk from the world-renowned Chartres Cathedral and 10 minutes from the train station. The Masterclass is held during the spectacular Chartres Festival of Lights, celebrated every year since 2003 on the weekend of the autumnal equinox.

Date: 19 to 22 September 2013

 12 – 14 hours of instruction and workshop tasting, including discussion periods and Q&A

Lodging is in B&Bs and hotels within walking distance of the event, but lodging is not included in our price. Click here to find accommodations in all categories.

All meals and wine are included, except breakfast.

Price per person: 750 Euros

Limited to 12 participants. Early booking strongly advised.

Down payment: 250 Euros on reservation, remainder 30 days before event.

Possibility of purchasing the wines tasted during the weekend.

 

Cultural and historical walking tours are available on request, as are cooking classes. Contact us for more information.

Click on the Paypal button at the top right of  the sidebar to pay by Paypal, or the  blue Contact Us button at the top right of the home page to pay by bank transfer.

 

JAMES FLEWELLEN, MASTER WINE TASTER

James Flewellen photo ID, The Art of Tasting Wine: James Flewellen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr James Flewellen is a biophysicist at the University of Oxford. James learned his trade in taste through the Oxford Blind Wine Tasting Society, of which he was the President from 2010-2012. During his term, he represented Oxford at many international blind tasting competitions – twice winning the prestigious ‘Top Taster’ Award in the annual Varsity blind tasting match against Cambridge University and captaining winning teams in competitions throughout Europe.

One of James’s goals is to clarify the complex and hard-to-navigate world of wine for both novice and experienced tasters. He applies his scientific training to wine education, illuminating concepts of taste, tannin and terroir in an approachable, entertaining manner. James runs wine education courses in Oxford through the Oxford Wine Academy and is completing the WSET Professional Diploma in Wine and Spirits. He is the regular wine writer for The Rambling Epicure and is the founder of The Oxford Wine Blog. He is also currently co-authoring The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting – a book surveying the wine regions of the world and how to blind taste.

 

JONELL GALLOWAY, MASTER FOOD TASTER

Jonell Galloway, Editor, The Rambling Epicure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonell Galloway studied classic French cooking at the L’Ecole du Cordon Bleu and La Varenne in Paris, and wine tasting at Steven Spurrier’s Academie du Vin in Paris, doing numerous wine internships all over France, and at CAVE S.A. in Geneva and Gland in Switzerland. In France, she worked for some years as a contributing editor for the English edition of the GaultMillau restaurant and hotel guide and as a food translator, while running a small cooking school called “Spontaneous Cuisine” in a château near Paris, and now, at a 1,000-year-old chapel converted into her home in Chartres.

She divides her time between Chartres and Geneva, where she is ambassadress for Les Artisanes de la Vigne et du Vin, the Swiss women’s wine producers association, and is active in Slow Food. She publishes the real food and wine site The Rambling Epicure, an e-zine for cultured gastronomes. She is also an active member of IACP, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and works as a freelance writer for numerous food and travel publications.

Her recent publications include Ma Cuisine Méditerranéenne in collaboration with Christophe Certain and Le tour du monde en 80 pains / Around the World with 80 Breads published by Orphie, in collaboration with Jean-Philippe de Tonnac. She also collaborated on a review of the life work of Swiss sculptor André Raboud, published by Edipresse.

 

PROGRAMME FOR 3-DAY MASTER TASTING WEEKEND IN CHARTRES

Click on the Paypal button at the top right of  the sidebar to pay by Paypal, or the  blue Contact Us button at the top right of the home page to pay by bank transfer.

DAY 1 – Thursday

ARRIVAL afternoon / evening (take people to their B&Bs or hotels near the event in heart of Chartres)

7:00 PM COCKTAIL – We meet over a Loire white wine for an informal introduction to the weekend ahead.

8:00 PM DINNER – At home, wines paired with courses, followed by walk to see lights of cathedral

DAY 2 – Friday

9:30 AM – 12 PM FOOD TASTING WORKSHOP

Flavour “dictionary” for food: certain tastes that do and do not go together in just about everybody’s vocabulary and culture. Flavour awakening workshop.

1:00 PM LUNCH

2:30 PM INTRODUCTION TO WINE TASTING (1.5 hours)

We explore how professionals taste wine over 6 wines from around France. We’ll discuss aromas, flavours and structural elements such as acidity, alcohol, sugar and tannin as well as covering what makes a ‘good’ wine and how wines interact with food.

8:00 PM DINNER AT RESTAURANT ST-HILAIRE

Set menu using only local products, paired Loire Valley wines. We’ll explain why we have chosen each wine that accompanies each dish.

DAY 3 – Saturday

10:15 AM-12:15 PM FARMERS MARKET

Application of the flavour awakening we’ve learned in Friday’s workshop, taking into consideration the sensual aspects of food. We’ll choose ingredients using all the senses and observing what attracts you most. You’ll think with your taste buds and imagine how ingredients can be combined to construct a meal. Afterwards, comparison of individual reactions. We’ll use the ingredients to make Sunday’s meal.

BREAK

1:00 PM LUNCH

2:30 PM WINE TASTING 2 – Masterclass on the Loire (1.5-2 hrs)

You’ll learn about how vines grow, how wine is made and how the choices made in the vineyard and winery impact on the flavours, aromas and structure of the wine. Over several flights of wines, we’ll discuss the unique features of wines of the Loire Valley and how these are expressed in the glass.

4:30 BREAK

6:00 PM

1) Light dinner with discussion of wine

2) We taste a range of local cheeses and wines, discuss cheese and wine tasting philosophy, practice and pairing.

7:30 PM FETE

Evening free to enjoy the festival.

DAY 4 – Sunday

12:00 PM DEGUSTATION LUNCH

We begin with a sparkling wine aperitif and discuss how sparkling wine is made, what the differences are in tasting practice and the impact the bubbles have on food and wine pairing.

We then move to a three-course dégustation lunch where each course is carefully paired with two wines, served simultaneously and blind. You have the opportunity to use your newly acquired knowledge to explore the taste interactions of wines and food and we will discuss and unveil wines during each course.

SYNOPSIS bringing food tasting, wine tasting, and pairing together, by both Jonell and James

SHORT QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION

16:00 FINISH

 

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MEALS:

Breakfast in hotel

Thursday dinner: traditional dishes from this region (to be defined)

Friday lunch: Must be easy or prepared ahead of time, since I’ll be doing the morning class

Friday dinner: Restaurant St-Hilaire, full meal, traditional local dishes using local ingredients, Loire Valley wines

Saturday lunch: Local cold cuts. The region is known for its pork products and bread, so an assortment of them all, with local bread of course

Saturday dinner: Light early dinner and cheese platter. Possibly salmon smoked by St-Hilaire with some crusty local bread.

 

Click on the Paypal button at the top right of  the sidebar to pay by Paypal, or the  blue Contact Us button at the top right of the home page to pay by bank transfer.

 

SAMPLE OUTLINE OF WINES (subject to change, depending on availability) and SCHEDULE

Day 1

  • Cocktail
    • local white
    • Dinner together, made by Jonell
      • To be selected, depending on seasonal, local dishes

Day 2

  • How to Taste Food: Morning Workshop
  • Introductory Tasting
    • ‘neutral’ white
    • aromatic/off-dry white
    • oaked white
    • light-bodied red
    • full-bodied red
    • tannic red
    • Dinner at St-Hilaire
      • wines from St-Hilaire’s list

Day 3

  • Tasting Applied: A Trip to the Farmers Market, Selection of Food for Sunday Meal, More Discussion about How to Taste Food
  • Loire Wine Masterclass, with wines such as:
    • Muscadet Sèvre et Maine
    • Touraine
    • Sancerre/Pouilly-Fumé
    • Savennières
    • Vouvray
    • Sancerre Rouge
    • 2 Chinon/Bourgueil from different vintages
    • Wine and Cheese tasting, light dinner (Depends on cheese, but include dry white, sweet white, red)
    • Celebration of Festival of Lights, individually or with a guided tour in English

Day 4

  • Lunch
    • Crémant de Loire + Champagne (?)
    • 2 different Loire whites
    • 2 different Loire reds
    • 2 different Loire sweets