Vigne en foule | Bar a vins | Natural wines | Gaillac | France Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Vigne en foule HeartHeart
Restaurants and bars
Location: 43.900308, 1.898146
Open: Lunch and dinner Mon - Sat
Price: Moderate

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +33 5 63 41 79 08
Address: 80 place de la Liberation
Gaillac, 81600
Country: France

Vigne en foule is named after a very old method of close planting grape vines that has long since been abandoned in France. This pleasant bistro in the centre of Gaillac serves up very smart food at amazing prices. The wine list highlights the growing number of natural wine makers in south west France and beyond.
The team of owners are chef Julien Bourdaries, local distiller Laurent Cazottes, Fabien Loubiere and vignerons Bernard Plageoles, Patrice Lescarret and Michael Issaly.
When you walk from the pleasant central square you will notice jars of preserved grapes above the kitchen - these are examples of ancient varieties from the area that the owners are trying to restore to their former glory (Gaillac was one of the most beloved wine producing areas in Europe centuries ago).
So much attention is being given to varieties such as Braucol, Duras, Ondenc, Prunelard, Jurancon, Alicante and many of the other varieties that were being pulled up in favour of the international varieties such as Chardonnay and Shiraz.
The wine list however explores more widely than Gaillac with old favourites such as the wines of Catherine and Dominique Derain, Chateau Cambon, Thierry Puzelat, Domaine de Belliviere, Gilles and Catherine Verge, Domaine Gramenon and Jean Foillard gracing the list.
We spied a bottle of the Hegoxuri produced by Domaine Arretxea from Irouleguy. This crisp, intensely mineral white wine from the French Basque country on the Spanish border is made from Petit Manseng, Gros Manseg and Petit Corbu and is a perfect food wine.
The food here is particularly good with the chef being a rising star in France.
We began with crunchy "croquettes de pieds et de tete de cochon" served on a vibrant green herb sauce. The walnut sized croquettes were crisp on the outside and meltingly soft and unctuous inside.
Our other first dish was "langue de boeuf tiede sauce moutarde", The warmed tongue was coated with a finely made mustard sauce which was strewn with herb flowers and a grinding of pepper. This was an excellent dish!
Next came "blanc de sieche a l'americaine, mousseline de pois chiche aux herbes". This dish saw perfectly tender pieces of cuttlefish served in a rich shellfish sauce in the style of Sauce Americaine over a creamy mash of chickpeas. This dish had well-developed flavours offset by comfort from the perfect mash.
The second main course of "'curry de porc' pommes allumettes" saw pieces of tender pork enhanced by a mild curry sauce with a dish of potato fries on the side.
Desserts were a dish of "Ils flotante praline rouge" which was presented in a deep white bowl where the whiteness was relieved by the red praline that was strewn over the top.
The other dessert was a perfect "pain perdu fraise, sorbet fromage blanc" where the spicy bread was topped with an elegant sorbet made from fromage blanc.
This was a very good meal in a very relaxing natural wine bar. The food is a cut above average for country France and it is a place we hope to return to often.
Disclosure: We dined with one of the owners Patrice Lescarret.
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