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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Les Petits Farcis Niçois + Two California Chenin Blancs #Winophiles

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

This month the French Winophiles group didn't a have a set theme for their virtual gathering. Since we had looked at Springtime in Paris and Summer in Provençe, I tossed out the theme of Fall Around France.


On such short notice, here's the line-up of the dedicated #Winophiles and their offerings...



In my preview I offered up a hint for pairing white wines with Fall dishes...


Pick a white wine that has been aged on the lees to match Fall dishes!

Two California Chenin Blancs


A couple of months ago, I daytripped to Paso Robles to meet up with two of my wine writing colleagues: Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm and Lori of Exploring the Wine Glass. Lori also owns Dracaena Wines, so we converged in her newly-opened tasting room. Wendy brought a charcuterie platter; I tossed together a salad; and Lori poured her beautiful, delicious wines.


Though I left with several bottles, I squirreled away the 2020 Chenin Blanc and the 2022 Chenin Blanc for a side-by-side comparison. I wasn't sure what I was waiting for. It turns out - this was it!



Chenin Blanc is a white wine grape variety that hails from France's Loire Valley. Dracaena Wines sources their Chenin from the Wilson Vineyards in California's Clarksburg AVA. Even though the vineyard isn't certified, it is farmed using organic and sustainable practices.


I already mentioned that I poured both the Dracaena 2020 and the 2022. I am going to focus on the 2022 because it is unfiltered and that, in my estimation, made it the perfect Fall wine.


This is a single varietal, made of 100% Chenin grapes. They harvested on August 20, 2022 before being aged in both stainless steel and neutral oak barrels. They bottled on March 2, 2023.


While Chenin Blanc is often known for its notes of honey and straw, this bottle captivated me with its complexity. This was simultaneously creamy and floral, like a fine cheese. There was a perceptible minerality and a tinge of tannins that you find in quince. But it was the roundness from being aged on the lees that took this wine over the edge to deliciously decadent and a perfect match for a Fall meal.



Les Petits Farcis Niçois


When I was trying to figure out a good Fall dish from France, I landed on Les Petits Farcis Niçois, they seemed a perfect collision of Summer into Fall. Traditionally, they are made with summer garden vegetables such as tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers. Looking towards Fall, I also stuffed a honeynut squash and a portabello mushroom.



Vegetables

  • tomatoes

  • zucchini

  • sweet peppers

  • portabello mushrooms

  • honeynut squash


Stuffing

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced

  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 1 pound ground pork (or you can use beef)

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan


Vegetables

Prep the veggies...

Cut the tops off of the tomatoes and peppers. Scoop out the insides. Chop the insides and set aside to sue in the filling.


Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Spoon out enough of the insides to form a 'boat.' Chop insides and save for stuffing.


Slice the honeynut squash in half lengthwise. Spoon out the seeds and drizzle the cut-side with olive oil. Place the squash on a baking sheet and roast in a 350 degree Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.


Stuffing

Place breadcrumbs in a medium mixing bowl. Pour in the milk. Mix in the egg, ground meat, onion, garlic, and herbs.


Stuff all the vegetables with the meat mixture, sprinkle with parmesan, and bake in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned. Cover with foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes longer.



Serve hot. These are also delicious cold as leftovers, if you fancy a Fall picnic.


The group will be back next month looking at Cru Bourgeois with Susannah at Avvinare leading the discussion. Stay tuned!

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4 Comments


Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
Sep 16, 2023

What a great photo and great memories. I always enjoy getting together with you so much. Not sure when my next trip out will be. They are having an 80th birthday blast for Mary next month but we are just getting home from Egypt so cannot attend.

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Camilla M. Mann
Camilla M. Mann
Sep 17, 2023
Replying to

I would NEVER have guessed that Mary is 80!! I love seeing you, too. Let me know whenever you are in town...you know I'll clear my schedule for you. XOXO

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Terri Steffes
Terri Steffes
Sep 16, 2023

Oh yummy! I am in love with the label. Sometimes I buy wines because the label is perfect. Hopefully the wine will be, too!

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Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
Sep 16, 2023
Replying to

Lori's wines are amazing Terri.

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