Taste Loire Valley

  • © Atout France/Joºl Damase

    © Atout France/Joºl Damase

Taste Loire Valley loire valley fr

Wine

The Loire Valley is the third largest area of appellations in France with a wine route of over 800km, and is one of only 10 European winegrowing regions to have UNESCO World Heritage status. It’s also recognised as France’s leading area for wine tourism – 250 million bottles of wine are produced each year and sold in 140 countries – a rate of 8 bottles per second.
 BourgueilChinonVouvrayChevernySancerre ...  these names will likely be familiar to most wine-lovers, and they represent just a fraction of the Loire Valley wine output. Local winemakers open their doors for tastings of everything from deep, fruity reds and intense whites to light rosés and gently sparkling Crémant de Loire. One of the best ways to experience the essence of the Loire Valley atmosphere is to sip a glass at a guinguette, one of the unique riverside bars; some of the most popular are situated at Blaison-Gohier, La Poissonnière, Tours, Orléans, Baule and Rochecorbon.

Freshwater fish

The Loire Valley is famous for its wonderful variety of fish populating its rivers. You’ll find truite (trout), anguille (eel), brème (bream) and brochet(pike) on menus everywhere, delicately cooked and often served with a rich butter sauce known as beurre blanc.

Asparagus

Both green and white varieties of asparagus are grown in the Loire Valley – but did you know they are in fact the same plant? It’s simply the way they are grown than differentiates them. Green asparagus is allowed to grow up out of the soil and be exposed to sunlight, while the white version is grown beneath the ground and never sees the light of day. Both are equally good to eat if prepared and cooked well, although the white requires a slightly longer cooking time.

Try Loire asparagus hot with melted butter or cold with mayonnaise or vinaigrette. Délicieux.

Goats’ cheese

Love goats’ cheese? You’ve come to the right part of France! Creamy Loire chèvre comes in five different AOC variations: Crottin de Chavignol (a small, round, bulging delight), Sainte-Maure de Touraine (a log-shaped cheese tied with a strand of hay), Selles-sur-Cher (round with a fine blue crust), and two pyramids: Valençay with its sliced-off top, and Pouligny-Saint-Pierre with its point intact. To this mix we should add Trèfle, a relative newcomer to the goats’ cheese family, and also cows’ milk cheeses such as Cendré d’Olivet and Feuille de Dreux.

Pâté de Pâques berrichon

Similar to a pork pie in the UK, this Indre speciality comprises minced meat (such as pork or veal) and boiled eggs encased in puff pastry. Although it’s known as a pâté de Pâques (‘Easter pie’), it’s too good not to eat all year round! Pack a slice or two for your picnic by the river.

Andouillette

This tripe sausage may be somewhat of an acquired taste and has a very strong smell, but it’s a true delicacy in many parts of the Loire Valley,typically hailing from Jargeau east of Orléans. It contains 20-40% of lean pork and is often served grilled. We challenge you to try it…

Additional resources

Things to see

Point of interest