Constance sommeliers seek out France’s finest wines

Following his successful trip to VinExpo in Bordeaux last month, Constance head sommelier Jerome Faure has been meeting some of France’s finest winemakers to seek out new and exciting wines to add to the Constance wine lists.

Head Sommelier Jerome Fauré at Clos Vougeot

Castle Clos Vougeot

Jerome reveals the highlights of his tour and the exciting wines he’s bringing back with him to the cellars of Constance Hotels and Resorts:

• Domaine Mas Amiel at Rousillon Village

We visited the winemaker Nicolas for a barrel tasting of all his dry white and red wine for Cotes du Roussillon appellation and Maury Sec, followed by a tasting of his vintage red wines (1973-2000) on the Maury appellation. The sweet red wines have the same style of port wine but with more freshness, red and black fruit flavour with elegant and soft tannin. This wine will be a perfect pairing for some mild spicy food such as the deer dry curry served at the Deer Hunter Restaurant at Constance Belle Mare Plage.

• Domaine de la Grange de Pere at Aniane near Montpellier for the VDP L’Herault appellation

This is a domain which has a big reputation in the wine industry. The owner and winemaker Laurent Vaille welcomed us to his cellar. It was great to taste the white and red wines of 2011 from the barrel. Vaille believes it is one of the best vintages he has ever produced. It was a marvellous tasting wine with different grape variety (Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cournoise, Cabernet Sauvignon) and very elegant, red fruit flavour, fine tannin and beautiful freshness. Vaille also makes a very small quantity of white wine with different grape varieties (Roussanne, Marsanne and Chardonnay) which is very rare to get but you can find it on all Constance hotels’ wine lists.

Tasting the Rousseau at Castle Clos Vougeot

Tasting the Rousseau at Castle Clos Vougeot

• Domaine de la Vougeraie at Primeaux Prissey, Burgundy

In 1999 Domaine Vougeraie was born through the combination of five wineries. They believe in biodynamic viticulture so the first place we visited was their garden where they grow herbs for treatment in the vineyard (lemongrass, lavender etc.). After that we had a great tasting with Pierre Vincent, the director and wine maker. Seventy per cent of the production is red with a typical Burgundy style – fresh, without too much acidity and a very fine-valved tannin. The white wines give a beautiful fruity and crisp taste with a minerality, a very soft touch of cotton Charlemagne which gives an elegant taste.

• The famous Castle of Clos Vougeot

We had the great fortune to participate in the famous music and wine event at the Castle of Clos Vougeot. We were able to taste from different references of Burgundian winemakers such as Faiveley, Grivot, Meo-Camuzet, Rousseau, Dujac, Simon Bize and De Montille. After the tasting we attended a beautiful classical music concert followed by a private diner in the Clos Vougeot castle dining room with all the winemakers and the musicians.

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Wine tasting at Grange de Pere

Wine tasting at Grange de Pere

 

Mas Amiel

Mas Amiel

Top 5 music apps and accessories for travelling

If you like your holiday to be set to your own soundtrack, here are 5 essential music apps and accessories to pack or download before you go.

Relaxing at Constance Tsarabanjina

Relaxing at Constance Tsarabanjina

1. For the love of music

Spotify – At home or abroad this music-streaming app is a must-have for music lovers. Not only does it supply free music on demand streamed direct to your mobile device from its vast catalogue (for a small fee you can download music to play offline) but it also manages your existing library, syncing it with its own. The perfect way to access a huge range of music.

2. For the impromptu party
Beats Pill – So you’ve got all this music on your mobile device but what happens when you want to share it with friends?

You simply plug in your Beats Pill, a compact Bluetooth speaker from the inimitable Dr Dre. With four separate speaker drivers fitted inside its compact design the sound on this speaker is crystal clear. As always with Beats by Dre products this one is slick and comes in an choice of three colours.

3. For the music geek

Traktor DJ – For those who aren’t happy just listening to music but want to mix and and make their own, there’s the Traktor DJ for the iPad and iPhone. Mix tracks from your own iTunes library and add effects to produce a cool sound of seriously high quality. This app is sophisticated enough for professionals but simple enough to use for enthusiastic beginners – it even includes tips and teaching techniques and can suggest tunes from your library to pair up to improve your mixes.

Sunlounger on the beach at Constance Lemuria

Sunlounger on the beach at Constance Lemuria

4. For discovering new music

Shazam – You’re sitting in a bar on a foreign shore and the DJ plays the perfect song, capturing the mood of sunshine and good times.

With Shazam you can capture the moment and the song, simply press the button and the app will tell you the song title and band name, it will even connect you to iTunes so you can buy it. Other features include song tagging and a new map so you can see what music is trending around the world.

5. Best for kids

Bloom HD – From ambient musicians Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers comes this beautiful and creative app for kids combining making music and visual art.

Available for the iPad and iPhone the user simply touches the screen to create a musical sound and a corresponding circle of colour appears, they can then mix this with other sounds and other colours. As you would expect from Eno the sound is calm and chilled, there’s even a sleep mode so kids can fall asleep to their own chill out tracks.