On a miserably muggy rainy night in London we were transported to the shores of the Mediterranean by Christophe Renard of Domaines Ott to launch the 2015 vintage of their Clos Mireille Rosé and their new rosé By.Ott.
We were fortunate enough to be tasting the range with the full Goedhuis team again in a more formal environment the following day so proper tasting notes on the wines will be written up separately. Christophe shared all sorts of inside information starting with the founding of the domaine in 1896 by Marcel Ott after a prolonged peregrination from his original home in Alsace through the vineyards of France to their ultimate home in Provence, with a key stop off in Bordeaux directly influencing the cepage of both white and red blends, via all sorts of technical detail on vineyard management and cellar practices and finishing with the bottle shape, designed byRene Ott and inspired by the shapes of cypress and pine trees and the gently rolling waves of the Mediterranean!
After possibly more rosé than is really ideal for people about to be in control of very sharp knives we moved to the kitchen classroom where John, Emily, Rachel and their delightful team talked us through the steps for making a classic Bouillabaisse, the traditional fish stew from the Marseille region. Recipe below – it really is worth giving this a go, it was much easier than you might have expected and seriously delicious, particularly when teamed with croutons, a fabulously garlicky rouille and grated gruyere…
We were absolutely convinced that our sauce was unbeatable and were gutted when a combined Google Food and MMD team pipped us to the post. We were awarded a consolation prize for the best prepped fish and drowned our sorrows in more of the marvellous 2015 Clos Mireille Rose. If you want to organise an evening of good food and wine with a bit of a difference it’s definitely worth talking to the team at Food at 52 or just try out one of their timetabled classes.
Bouillabaisse with Pernod and Orange
Makes 4 servings
A selection of skinless and boneless fish
Prawns (raw with heads and shells on) and/or squid, uncooked
1 medium bulb of fennel
1 medium onion
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 litre fish stock
Shot of Pernod
Slice the onion and fennel into half-moons, keeping any fennel sprigs to one side. Sauté in oil and add the star anise. Cook until the vegetables are soft but not coloured, then add the stock and a can of tomatoes. Cook for 20 minutes.
Zest the orange and set to one side with the fennel sprigs. Juice the orange and add half of the juice to the simmering tomatoes and vegetables. Add a shot of Pernod and season with salt and pepper. Remove the star anise.
Add the fish and prawns and poach (just below simmering) very gently until flaky.
Dry the prepared squid, heat a little oil in a large frying pan or wok. When smoking, hot fry the squid in batches for about one minute, until they turn white. Add the squid to the Bouillabaisse.
Check the seasoning and add more orange juice or Pernod to taste. Garnish with orange zest and fennel sprigs.
Top Tip! If you are using whole prawns, remove the heads and shells and fry them for a minute or two in oil, cover with boiling water, and add to your stock. You can also do this with fish bones (be sure not to use the heads) or shellfish such as mussels or clams.