France: South West France

Gascony and the Basque Country

Wines from north of the Pyrenees
By Paul Strang

This Guide was last updated on 28 July 2011
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Food specialities

Garbure: a rich filling soup made with cabbage, white beans, belly pork and confit of duck. A red Béarn partners this local dish well.

Jambon de Bayonne: cured ham which a dry Pacherenc Vic Bilh or Irouléguy rosé accompany well.

Pipérade: this slightly spicy pepper and egg dish is matched well by Irouléguy rosé.

Poulet Basquaise: a dish of chicken with a peppery tomato sauce that is matched well by an Irouléguy red.

Tripotxa Sausage: made from lamb is best enjoyed with an Irouléguy red.

Steak with Béarnaise sauce: the tarragon flavoured sauce accompanying the steak is enriched with eggs and merits a local red Béarn.

Foie gras of goose or duck: the classic combination when served as a cold starter or an aperitif is foie gras and a glass of moelleux (medium sweet) wine such as an unoakedPacherenc Vic Bilh, or Jurancon. A red such as a Madiran accompanies pan-fried foie gras well.

Confit de canard: duck which has been cooked slowly and then preserved in its own fat. Usually served simply grilled with vegetables this dish needs a red with good tannins such as an Irouléguy or Saint Mont.

Brebis de Pyrénées and Ossau Iraty: hard sheep cheeses, best eaten with a glass of sweet Jurançon.

Gâteau Basque: pastry with a vanilla-almond flavoured filling. Try with a sweet Jurancon or Pacherenc Vic Bilh.

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