Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Enfin du vin!

… Wine, at last!

Not unlike Turquant, but on a smaller and less organized scale, the village of Candes Saint Martin hosts several artisans’
(work)shops too. Across the road from the church is a jewellery maker. Next door you’ll find a pottery store and a bit further down the road is a furniture store, which also accommodates an unusual tearoom and a winery. At the top of the steep alley next to the church is another pottery.

After taking a ‘digestional’ walk along the river bank and the little port of Candes, we dropped in at the furniture shop; simply to have a look around. There were some fabulous pieces of antique which had been done up in an extraordinary and yet contemporary way. Against the back wall stood a large glass-and-wood cupboard that had been restored after a previous life in a castle kitchen. It would have looked great in my living room. And I could certainly have used the space it offered to stock my collection of 30 cm diameter dinner plates! But then, as J.L. reminded me jokingly, there was not enough room in the car and he forgot to bring the trailer!

Enfin du vin, the winery in Candes Saint Martin.

We moved on to the basement where the winery with the appropriate name ‘Enfin du vin’ is located. It has a very low ceiling and the floor is covered in shingles. The racks along the walls hold a large assortment of mainly Loire Valley wines, although other wine regions are well represented as well. I was pleased to see that the ‘Hurluberlu’ which we had for lunch at L’Hélianthe two years ago was part of the collection. Next to it sat a Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil by the same winemaker, with yet another unusual name: ‘Ni Dieu, Ni Maître’ (No God, No Master). The label was very cute too: roughly drawn sheep on a bright green background.

A real connoisseur would never even consider tasting a new wine solely based on these two criteria (a funny name and a cute label). But as we don’t pretend to be connoisseurs, this didn’t bother us. So we each bought a glass of the ‘Ni Dieu, No Maître’. It was a slightly more tannic than I’m used to, and I found it a bit too powerful to have on its own. It would have been perfect with a nice meat dish, though. While we were finishing our glasses, I had a look at the other wines that were for sale. I came across an unknown brand of Champagne. As my friend collects the metal caps that sit on top of the cork, I bought him a bottle of this special cuvee named ‘Sagesse’.

The winery also had a nice collection of professional photos for sale. When I rejoined my friends after buying the Champagne, I found them browsing through a photo book, with a very peculiar theme: outdoor toilets! Some of the pictures were amazingly aesthetic and the texts that came with them were just too funny. J.L. and B. bought a copy of the book to put it as reading material the littlest room of their house!


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