Saturday, February 15, 2020

Drinking Les Rocailles Apremont Savoie Jacquére and Eating Homemade Fish Paste #Winophiles #Godforsakengrapes #vindesavoie

Les Rocailles Apremont Savoie Jacquere, Fish Burger, Egg Custard, and Fish Ball Soup
Jacquére (jah-KEHR), is the most widely planted white grape in France's Savoie region and is best known from the crus of Apremont and Abymes. #Win0philes bloggers are invited to explore French #godforsakengrapes per our February host, Cam from Culinary Adventures. Also, thank you Jill from L'OCCASION for coordinating a sample of the Les Rocailles Apremont Savoie Jacquére. Let's hear the story of one of France's native sons, Jacquére!
Photo Credit:ère
Jacquére – as French as it gets!
Jacquére, which is believed to be an indigenous grape in France, is considered as a "godforsaken" grape that deserves wider publicity and recognition. More than half of the vineyards in the Savoie region (located at the far east of France - on the French Alps) are growing Jacquère grapes, contributing significantly in terms of winemaking volume and revenue for the area. The Les Rocailles Apremont Savoie 2018 is a divine expression of Jacquére that truly showcases the characteristics of this grape – lightly scented, hints of honey and white flower, crisp, crystal clear, clean and dry. 
Crystal Clear Jacquere! The outline of a fork is visible through the wine! 
Les Rocailles is owned and managed by childhood friends and Savoie native Guillaume Durand and Alban Thouroude since 2006. It is part of the “Vin de Savoie” AOP, nestled in the French Alps.
Photo Credit:
Jacquere Speaks the Terroir of Vin de Savoie
Jacquére is grown in vineyards at between 250 and 450m above sea level in Savoie, which is the smallest and most mountainous wine region in France. This high-yielding grape has been grown very successfully in the diverse soils in Savoie that are rich in limestone glacial materials and scree thanks to the forces which created the Alps during the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods along with movements in the last ice age. Savoie features a predominantly continental climate, with an average temperature around 10°C for the year. Jacquére, which can withstand temperatures of about -15°C, is rarely subject to the risk of frost damage. In fact, snow often protects the grape from freezing.

Homemade Fish Paste Works with Jacquére
Demonstrated text-book features of cool climate wines, Les Rocailles Apremont Savoie Jacquére is lean, clean and crisp, an extremely easy wine to pair with fish and cheese. What I made to pair with this wine is homemade Whiting fish paste – cooked in three different ways, showing three different textures and three different taste profiles.
Spicy Crispy Fish Patties atop with kimchi mayo and sriracha hot sauce on a toasty burger bun
and Cold Jacquere
Compared to store-bought (from Asian grocers) fish paste, homemade fish paste is free of MSG and binding additives that the grocers may add to the paste for the bouncy texture and enticing tastes. At home, I defrosted a bag of frozen Whiting,  cut it in chunks, added corner starch, seasonings (e.g., white pepper, salt, sesame oil), rehydrated Japanese seaweed, Hijiki, and chopped scallion, and grounded it up in the food processor. Once it achieves the paste texture, how you cook it is up to your imagination.
Fish paste made from Whiting fish chunks, grinding up into a paste
First, I used this paste to form fish patties, making fish burgers by simply pan-frying the patties to a golden brown and topping the burgers with kimchi mayo and Sriracha hot sauce. This is the best pairing with Jacquére, out of the three dishes I made as this dry and crisp wine brought out the best texture of the crispy fish patties. Also very obviously, the cooling effect of the wine helped tame the spiciness of the condiments.
Steamy Egg Custard and cold Jacquere
I also really liked the fish paste bites that I dropped in the savory steamed egg custard. Adding also a bit water in the egg batter, the egg custard, after steaming for 10 minutes on the stovetop, was fluffy and creamy. It works really well with the Jacquére too as the egg custard has a very pure and basic taste – eggs, fish and minimal seasoning (i.e., salt and pepper) – that’s all!
Warm fish ball soup and cold Jacquere
Nothing really beats a bowl of “energized” soup in which I put the fish balls (made with the fish paste), organic power greens and a bit of ginger in the organic chicken broth. This soup was extraordinary special as it was light, healthy and ocean flavored. What I needed to call out is the umami and mildly metallic tastes of the Hijiki really stood out. Loving the contrast between sipping the cool Jacquére and the hot soup…a winter comfort at your own home!

Disclaimer: the wine is sample. Opinions are my own.

Check out what our #winophiles friends are having as their French #godforsakengrapes...


  1. I have used fish sauce but have never heard of fish paste. I am not familiar with whiting either. Is it a strong fish or mild?

    1. Whiting is a very mild-tasting fish. I added a picture to show that fish paste is basically grinding up the fish in a paste form so you can mode it into different shape for patties or fish balls. Thanks for reading up!

  2. All of these pairings sound delicious. I've never made my own fish paste before -- I just might have to try it!

    1. Yes, I think that's how people make the fish patties for burgers. The homemade paste makes sure only the best ingredients go in.

  3. I am up to making my own fish paste! We like whiting but don't find it easily in the midwest, at least, in my neck of the woods.

  4. I got my brain all confused reading your title. I had in my head fish sauce, not fish paste and couldn't figure out how it could pair with a Jacquère! Fish paste makes much more sense! I remember the smooth pink and white slices of fish cake that I loved growing up in my ramen or fried noodles. Making a home made version sounds wonderful. I think I might try a fish ball soup!

    1. I think fish cake is a clearer description. I'm glad you got to read my post even though its a bit confusing! This homemade version has a softer texture as there's not additives to make it stretchy.

  5. Sounds fish is another thing to try with Savoie whites!

  6. I tried a Jacquere as well, and I loved your description of the grape and the region. So nice to read! I love fish paste too! Really like your showcasing it in 3 forms. Yum!!