I spent last week in the Languedoc where we visit quite regularly so there weren’t many new food and wine discoveries to be made but I think the most thought-provoking match was a main course dish of roast turbot with girolles and a bottle of Château Cabezac 'Alice' 2008 from the Minervois I had at a restaurant in Agde called Le Bistrot d’Hervé.
Turbot is a fine fish and this was by no means a major wine but it was in the right register. It was an unoaked blend of Grenache Blanc, Muscat and Bourboulenc - earthy rather than fruity - which suited the slightly meaty texture of the fish and richness of the accompanying mushrooms. A better match would have been a fine white Rhône such as a Hermitage or Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe, a white burgundy (or similar cool climate Chardonnay), a traditional oak-aged white Rioja or a bottle of Champagne which, by coincidence, was what the table next door were drinking with their turbot (Pol Roger, to be precise).
I bet they paid a fair bit for it. I like the food at this restaurant but the mark-ups are excessive, even allowing for the exchange rate. The Cabezac ‘Alice’ sells at €5.50 from the domaine and they’re selling it for 21€, almost four times as much.
Starters are pricey too for a bistro - between 12€ and 16€ and there’s no set menu on a weekend evening. It seems that bistrots, spelt with a ‘t’ are as little related to bistros as gastropubs are to pubs these days. Even in a small town in France.