Gascony’s alternative to Cognac and the oldest Eau de Vie in France. The locals say it is much smoother and a more refined drink and you may well agree. It is used in preserves as well as being drunk straight as a digestif or found in many aperitif cocktails.
A traditional aperitif combining fresh grape juice and Armagnac, available in red or white and also a terrific accompaniment to Foie Gras, fruit or desserts.
To be found everywhere. Foie Gras dates from long ago and is delicious cold on toasted brioche or pan fried with apples, accompany it with a sweet local wine. Confit is usually duck legs cooked in their own fat to a perfect crispy finish. Magret is a fillet of duck or goose and a wonderful dish to sample.
Vineyards have been present in the area from time immemorial predating the Roman conquest. It is said that the wine was one of the main reasons for the Roman conquest of the area! The wines are now regaining recognition thanks to modern methods and a younger generation paying attention to detail to improve quality. Madiran is the traditional tannic red wine of the area. Pick the vintages with care and you can have a fabulous strong smooth wine at a bargain price. The sweet white wines are the de rigour accompaniment for Foie Gras and the dry whites smell of the lush meadows you drive through.
The rosé wines are quickly developing a name for themselves and can be found in UK stores, be among the first to try them cooled with lunch or dinner the be able to recommend the best to your friends on your return. These do break the holiday rule that things never taste as good when you get them home!
The increase in quality of the other lesser known wines of the area, Cotes St Mont, Cotes de Gascogne, Jurancon, and the Bearn mean that they are now reaching the shelves in greater numbers. Do visit the vineyards to find your favourite, many are open to the public and advertise as such in their local Office de Tourisme as well as along the roadside.