Perfect Food & Wine Pairing from the Loire Valley region


Michael Hepworth



West Hollywood(Perfect Meal Today)5/10/16/–We recently got the chance to meet with representatives from the Loire Valley in France to taste some of their wines at Ivory on Sunset in the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood.  includes towns and cities like Nantes, Angers, Saumur, Tours and Amboise, Orleans and Bourges. The luncheon was co-ordinated by sommelier Matthew Kaner who is passionate about the wines from this region. He is also the owner of two Highly thought of wine bars in Los Angeles, Covell and Augustine, and he also did an outstanding job with the food pairings.

There are five wine sub regions in the Loire Valley-Pays Mantais, Anjou, Saumur, Touraine and Centre-Loire. Pay Mantas is centered in Nantes and has been producing wine since Roman times and has a maritime climate with volcanic rock. Anjou has a milder climate and is known for sweeter wines and famous for a dry Chenin Blanc. Saumur is the regions largest producer of sparkling wines, and the area also inherited hundreds of miles of underground tunnels now functioning as cellars. Touraine I known as the ‘garden of France’ and famous for castles and chateaux. Centre-Loire is geographically centric in France and produces Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Gamay from the limestone soil.

First wine tried was the Brut Sparkling Cremant de Loire (24.99) imported by Vintus with 60% Chenin Blanc and 20% each of Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay. A lovely crisp wine That went perfectly with the Hamachi Crudo, and frankly ridiculous value. Next up came two wines paired with the Spring Crab Salad-a Sancerre 2014 from Domaine Sylvain Bailly, and a Rose from Emile Balland “Les Beaux jours 2015.” Again these wines were Exceptionally fresh tasting with the Sancerre retailing for $19.98 and the Rose imported by Bonhomie wines for $22.99. Most of these producers are of the small batch variety.

A third course of ,again came with two wines, a Reuilly from Domain Cordet 2014 and Rose d’Angou from Famille Bougrier, 2015. Rose sales in the USA continue to rise about 6% each year and the Loire Valley is now the biggest source after Provence. This was followed by a Crispy Rainbow Trout that was served with two more wines- a Caves Louis de Grenelle Cuvee from Saumur and a 2015 Chinon Rose from Domaine de La Lysardiere. The sparkling Rose from Saumur is imported by USA Wine West for $27.99 and the Chinon Rose had literally had just arrived in the country (one bottle only).

The dessert course of delectable Tart Tatin with Glazed Gala Apples and Cinnamon Chantilly Cream came with a Cremant de Loire Deligeroy Brut Rose, a very dry wine with amazing acidity and a joke price of $12.99.

Needless to say we are now a huge fan of these wines we tried, and it will be hard to find comparable value elsewhere. Ivory on Sunset is also a must visit if you can handle all the traffic and massive construction in the area. Brian Malarkey has created the menu which complements the comfortable space.


Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211


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