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Château de Brézé has a long and storied history, first being mentioned in texts in 1068, lauded by King René of Anjou in the 15th century and served at all the royal courts. In 1957, when the AOC of Saumur Champigny was established, the owner of Château de Brézé refused to be part of the appellation, saying that his estate's vineyards were the best and deserved an appellation all their own. And he was probably right. Unfortunately, the wines from those exceptional vineyards were terrible. Lucky for us, the winery sold in 2009 to Le Comte de Colbert, who recruited Arnaud Lambert from nearby Domaine de Saint Just to make the wine. He changed the vineyards over to organic farming and began producing truly stellar wines worthy of their source. The 2012 Château de Brézé Clos David is all estate-grown Chenin Blanc raised in stainless steel to preserve freshness. It has the slightly-oxidized note of a great White Burgundy and a lovely richness that allows it to pair with a variety of foods.

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« Thanksgiving Wine & Cheese Pairings with the Cheese Handler | Main | Talking Turkey: An Ex-Pat Thanksgiving »

Talking Turkey: Gougères from Bethel Heights 

Image courtesy of Karen Low at Citrus and Candy.

Editor's Note: Everybody celebrates Thanksgiving just a little bit differently, which is why we've been hitting up some of our winemaking friends for some of their Thanksgiving recipes and wine pairings, which we'll be featuring over the next week. This time we reached out to Mimi Dudley Casteel, the second generation at Bethel Heights Vineyard in Oregon's Eola-Amity Hills. Mimi, along with her father Ted Casteel, tends the vines that have made this winery's offerings among some of the best over the past 30+ years. Her gougères are the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer--easy to make, sophisticated and a mouthwatering match for the 2008 Bethel Heights "Estate" Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (or both).

From Mimi:

All I can say about these is they go with Pinot or Chardonnay, and I can never, ever, ever get enough of them.  And if I can make them, anyone can.  This we adapted from the Silver Palate cookbook, my go-to cookbook. These are like heroin, so I put them out there with caution.       



1 cup milk

1 stick sweet butter

1 t salt

1 cup sifted unbleached, all-purpose flour

5 eggs

1 ½ c grated gruyere (Swiss or Parmesan or some combination works, but gruyere is my favorite) plus additional for topping puffs (optional)


  1. Combine milk, butter, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the flour all at once.  Whisk vigorously for a few moments, then return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the batter has thickened and is pulling away from the sides and bottom of the pan – 5 minutes or less.
  2. Again remove the pan fro the heat and stir in 4 eggs, one at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before adding the next.  Then stir in the cheese or cheeses.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°.  Lightly butter a baking sheet.
  4. Drop the batter by tablespoons onto baking sheet, spacing the puffs about an inch apart.
  5. Beat remaining egg in a small bown.  Brush the tops of the puffs with the beaten last egg.  Sprinkle with extra cheese if you wish.
  6. Set baking sheet on center rack of the oven, reduce heat to 350°, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until your puffs are puffed and nicely browned.  Serve immediately.  Makes 20 puffs that will be gone in an instant.  Be prepared to make multiple batches, depending on your company.

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