Tasting and eating wine

My husband queried “Are you sure Petit Ballon are happy with you cooking rather than drinking with their wine?”  “Of course”, I replied, “We are actually doing both”.

Fanette from Le Petit Ballon with useful tasting notes
Fanette from Le Petit Ballon with useful tasting notes

Each month, Petit Ballon sends subscribers two specially selected wines. These are wines that you might not usually come across. If you are like me, someone who enjoys wine, but is no expert, this is a lovely way to discover something new. It’s rather like a book club. Everyone read the same book and it’s often something you’d not normally choose. Then the magic happens, you discover an author (or a wine) that you’d like to find out a lot more about.

I particularly like Petit Ballon’s tasting notes written by Jean-Michael Deluc. Dip in and you’ll see a brief description such as Fruity, Light, Refreshing; the temperature it is best to serve at; grape variety and even how long you could keep it for. For me, I particularly like the Food and Wine pairing section.

Ready to taste the Fanette
Ready to taste the Fanette

In my box I received a red, Le Gaillard 2014 and a rosé, Fanette from Domaine Terre de Mistral. I taste the Fanette. It’s light and fragrant. I’d bought a particularly lovely John Dory fish and could just imagine a simple wine sauce made with the rosé to serve with it leaving the Le Gaillard for another day. Some people think John Dory ugly, but set that aside, it has a wonderful taste and is now in season.

We cook our fish in a sous vide machine (a water bath). The beauty of a sous vide machine is that it is practically impossible to overcook fish. You probably have seen them being used on programmes such as Masterchef.

If you’re not using a sous vide machine, make sure you have the sauce ready to go before you pan fry your fish. Any delicate white fish will go nicely – try gurnard or whiting for a change. I have chosen to use red onions. These are both sweeter than white onions and the colour is just perfect for the rosé wine. The key to this dish is really soft onions and finishing with butter.

White fish with Rosé Sauce

Serves 2
Sauce preparation time approximately 20 minutes


Two fillets of fish (150 gr to 200 gr) eg John Dory, Gurnard or Whiting
2 medium size red onions
2 standard wine glasses of Fanette
1 standard wine glass of water
60 grams of butter (30 gr for the sauce, 30 gr for cooking)
Salt and pepper to taste.
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Vegetable oil for frying if you are using that method.

Make sure the onions are really soft before adding the wine
Make sure the onions are really soft before adding the wine


  1. If you are using a sous vide machine, pre-heat the water to 60ºC. Vacuum pack your fish fillets and cook for 30 minutes once the machine has reached temperature.
  2. If you are pan frying, cook the sauce first and set aside whilst you cook the fish.
  3. Finely chop the onions. Heat half the butter very gently in a saucepan and add the onions. Cook slowly until the onions are soft. Add a saucepan lid if you have one. Do not allow to colour. Do not be tempted to add the wine and water until the onions are completely soft.
  4. Add the wine and water and cook slowly until reduced by half. Add salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon to taste (if using). Set aside if you are pan frying your fish.
  5. To pan fry, heat the oil and cook the fish gently approximately 3 minutes each side. Keep warm whilst you add the butter to the sauce. Reheat the sauce a little if it has cooled. Cut the butter into pieces, then add one by one into the sauce beating all the time. Serve with the fish, new potatoes and mangeout or beans and of course a glass of Fanette Terre de Mistral.
John Dory with Rose Sauce
A delicious dish of John Dory with Rose Sauce

Find out more

Check out my series of posts and those of Caroline von Schmalensee on sous vide coooking on Edinburgh Foody if you’d like to know more.

If you enjoy a Le Petit Ballon wine, you can purchase additional bottles at less than the non-subscriber price – typically 20% cheaper. Subscriptions are from £24.90 per month plus postage.

Danielle received one subscription box from Le Petit Ballon. As always, views are my own.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. They always say, don’t cook with a wine that you wouldn’t drink, so I guess if you want a great sauce, make it with a great wine. The soft pinky-apricot colour of the wine is just gorgeous – I can only imagine how divine it tastes!

    1. breadbakerdanielle says:

      It does taste rather wonderful! The beauty is, it is SO easy to make!

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