Lucie Loves... Food & Drink // Cupcake baking & wine-tasting with Eric Lanlard and Jean-Claude Mas at the Paul Mas Bake and how my nose won me a trip to France!
Right! It's got to be said that, as blog events go, they can be pretty hit and miss... that is... unless it's been given the Midas Touch by Mr Wine himself – Douglas Blyde.
Nope. I'm not trying to be overly saccharine – although, it would be apt, given that this particular event at cake boy, with eric lanlard himself and winemaker Jean-Claude Mas was offering up a taste of the languedoc (with an array of Paul Mas Wines), and did involve a good deal of sweetness... But! I genuinely think that if you're a blogger and you find an invite in your mailbox with his name on it, you MUST SAY YES!
Now, I'm by no means the next Mary, Gizzi or Nigella... Nope! I also haven't watched every single episode of Bake Off... But! I do love cake and I do love scent. So when tasked with creating a cupcake whose flavours would complement one of Paul Mas Wines sparkling tipples, I sniffed my way through each of the essences on offer, until I found a combination of fragrances that I felt worked in harmony with one another... and that also wouldn't put me off eating the cake!
To start the evening, we arrived at Cake Boy pretty early, tucked into a selection of the most delectable canapes, and quaffed our first glass of bubbles, whilst listening attentively to Jean-Claude Mas, as he spoke with passion about how he came to be a winemaker. It's in his blood!
Les Domaines Paul Mas is located in Languedoc, which is actually not too far from Montpellier where we visited (or from where we were living in Mazamet) in the early part of this year. Jean-Claude showed us a video of his place in a France that had us all swooning!
Whipping up a sponge mixture, creaming the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy takes me back to being a little girl and standing in my Nan & Grandad's kitchen, under their watchful and nurturing eye, as we baked cakes and spooned globs of strawberry preserve into homemade jam tarts. If you haven't already seen it, please do check out this blog post about my Grandad and his famous profiteroles!
Isn’t it funny how when you think of buying a bottle of fizz we tend to go for Prosecco (if on a budget) or champagne (if we’re feeling flush and want to celebrate!) I think, when it comes to Millennials – or the everyday wine drinker – we rarely consider purchasing a bottle of sparkling wine. Correct me if I’m wrong. But if this wine-tasting has taught me anything, it’s that this effervescent beauty should no longer be overlooked!
Here’s the line-up of wines we got to sample at the Paul Mas Bake:
Sparkling wines of the Languedoc with Jean-Claude Mas
- Paul Mas Vinus Picpoul Chardonnay Frisante (Morrisons, £10)
- Prima Perla Grande Réserve Brut NV (Majestic RRP £13.99/£10.99 mix six)
- Chateau Martinolles Blanquette de Limoux Blancs de Blancs (Jeroboams, £13.95)
- Chateau Martinolles Cremant do Limoux Rosé (Jeroboams, £13.50)
- Astelia Cremant de Limoux Blanc Grande Reserve (£18)
- Cuvée Secrete Pinot Noir Methode Traditionelle (Soho Wine Supply, £12.95)
The time came to announce the winners... I looked around the room at my fellow bloggers and journos, each waiting with baited breath to hear who had been crowned Paul Mas Bake cupcake king or queen.
and then I heard my name... uh oh! What had I won!? “You’re going back to France, Lucie...” pipes up my curly-locked friend, Editor of The Wharf Magazine, Jon Massey.
“What!? I thought I was going to win a crate of wine...” I exclaim, incredulous, bursting into fits of laughter!
Watch this space for more updates about my upcoming trip to France and follow me on Instagram @LucieLoves.
Photography - Lucie Kerley