Here are a few moments from a fabulous lunch in the village of Gigondas. Michelin starred L’Oustalet (awarded earlier this year) is a collaboration between the Perrin family of Chateau Beaucastel (Chateaneuf-du-Pape fame) and highly acclaimed chef Laurent Deconinck who has been expressing his interpretation of Provençal cuisine for over a decade. The wine list boasted a fabulous assembly of 1200 labels but importantly, featured boutique wines from around the Rhöne Valley and the South of France, as well as a modest selection from further afield.

To partner Gressins aux Olives Noires and a handful of delicious citrus and thyme flavoured tuiles, we opened a Côtes du Rhône Blanc by Domaine la Manarine. I find that testing an entry level white in a fine dining establishment offers excellent insight into the enthusiasm of the sommelier. Alongside pan fried rabbit in a nettle and celeriac pesto and guinea fowl in a sage and butter spelt risotto we partnered an evolved, now ethereal 20 year old Châteauneuf-du-pape from Domaine Font de Michelle. To finish, eucalyptus meringue in a white cheese sorbet with a splash of Beumes de Venise. Lovely stuff!!