Chablis wine bottlesRecipes from our nearest continental neighbours have been pushed aside in favour of Italian, Chinese and Indian foods. So it’s time for a revival of French foods as they can always be relied upon to be tasty – a large glug of wine added to each recipe sees to that.

Plus as most of their dishes are based on simple ingredients and herbs you’ll have no problem rustling up a French meal from what’s in your larder.

cockerel for the potMany classic French dishes were originally peasant meals, designed to be thrown together in the morning and then cooked slowly through the day, their owner then coming home to hot meal after a day in the fields. Coq au vin – cockerel cooked in wine – is a perfect example of this.

An ancient, stringy old bird would be sacrificed for the pot. Cooked slowly in wine, the meat tenderises and moistens, as well as becoming infusing with wonderful vinous flavours.

To make this dish yourself chop up a chicken, then add onions, mushrooms, garlic, red wine and seasoning and cook in a low oven for an hour. You needn’t cook this all day as modern birds cook more quickly than old cockerels.

Try the French Wine Guide website to get you started:
Classic wine and food pairings with popular French dishes – simple tables show wine for fish, meat and the top 25 most popular French cheeses. Links to French recipes.

And then some Frenchie wines to follow:

Aldi Pardon My French wine labelPG Wine Tips

Aldi Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie
£5.69 Aldi
Sur Lie on the label just means that the wine has been kept on the dead yeast cells while it was being fermented from grape juice into wine. This isn’t a bad thing. Quite the reverse – it adds a creaminess to what could otherwise be a bland wine.

Aldi Exquisite Bordeaux Blanc
£5.99 Aldi
A Sauvignon Blanc by any other name. Greengage and apple flavours.

La Vieille Ferme Blanc/La Vieille Ferme Rouge, France
£6.75 Co-op (down from £7.75 until September 24)
Both this red and white from the Co-op are easy to spot with a chicken on the label, and are great to drink with their sophisticated flavours made from grapes you’ve never heard of.

Les Perruches French Vouvray 2017
£8.50 Co-op
Tastes of melon, tart apple and a bit of brown sugar. Nice bit of sweet-sour thing going on.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk