Here at Domaine du Grand Mayne we’ve long been of the opinion that there are some wonderful food pairings for our wines. That’s why we were particularly delighted when renowned sommelier and journalist Olivier Bompas listed us in his recent article about the delights of wild boar.
Whilst wild boar might not be an easy find here in the UK most supermarkets and butchers offer a wide range of artisan sausages. So why not make the ultimate bangers and mash to eat with a glass of Domaine du Grand Mayne?
You can read the full article here, in French, or below in an English translation.
AGREEMENTS: THE AUTUMNAL PLEASURE OF WILD BOAR
The boar symbolizes hunting and local cuisine, large tables, steaming sauces and clinking glasses!
by Olivier Bompas
300 kilos, 2.6 metres nose to tail; you may imagine this jogger’s surprise last March when he stumbled across this unusual animal. Fortunately for this Ardèche native, who was running in the little wood of Laoul by the town of Bourg-Saint-Andéol, the beast was dead. The police who had hurried to the scene wasted no time in identifying this curious creature: an impressive example of the Iron Age Pig, known in French either as a cochonglier or as a sanglochon, which is a hybrid of a pig and a wild boar. There is nothing particularly original or contrary to nature in this. Pigs and boars can breed together easily and, unlike mules, their offspring will be fertile.
Their meat is renowned for being tasty and finely veined, and chef Éric Garand of the restaurant Le Plaisir Gourmand in Québec has made it one of his specialities, offering diners ‘a loin of free-range Saint-Camille sanglochon, parsnip puree with pastis, beet carpaccio, crispy vegetables and balsamic veal jus’. Closer to home in Belgium, and more precisely at Verlaine, La Ferme des Sanglochons (The Sanglochon Farm) is entirely dedictated to the animal; simultaneously a breeding ground, an inn, a butchery and a museum. In France there is nothing. This type of breeding is forbidden, essentially to preserve the genetic purity of the native wild boar, an animal reared for hunting and therefore destined for release into the wild.
That said, less scrupulous breeders practise illegal hybridization, the crossing enabling them to produce large numbers of animals which grow more quickly than pure breeds and which are also more fleshy. So where did the monster of the little Laoul wood come from? Fortunately, to the joy of lovers of authentic game, one can hardly avoid purebred boar in the woods, living in groups and present in large numbers. An animal under six months of age is properly known as a marcassin (boar). Their tender and delicate meat is delicious grilled and cooks very quickly. An animal aged between six months and two years is known properly as a bête rousse (red beast). Their meat works excellently in all different types of preparation, from cured meats and terrines to serving in sauce via roasting. In addition, if you try it simmered after several days of marinading, you will be forever lost!
From the cellar:
Cured wild boar in terrines and other pâtés needs expressive red wines with a slight tannin content which will balance the fat in the meat. For example, from the vineyards of the South West, a Côtes de Duras from Domaine du Grand-Mayne, which has a chewy and spicy character, or in the same spirit a Gaillac from Domaine Rotier. For dry-cured charcuterie such as ham or sausage one would want the freshness of a Coteaux du Lyonnais from Domaine de Sainte-Agathe, or one of Brice Omont’s delicious Cuvée Amethystes from Domaine des Ardoisières in the IGP Allobrogie at the heart of the vineyards of Savoie. Roast boar works very well with a juicy and dense wine like a Fronsac from Château Clos-du-Roy in Bordeaux, or, from the Rhône valley, a Cornas from Domaine du Tunnel. Finally, casseroles and stews need mature wines with animal and undergrowth notes, like a Château Sainte-Anne from Bandol in Provence, or a Saint-Chinian from the Roquebrun cellars of the Languedoc.