I’m a great believer in eating and drinking like the locals when I’m on holiday so when we stopped overnight at Le Pot d’Etain in L’Isle sur Serein in Burgundy last week there was nothing for it but to order a starter of snails with the Chablis we were drinking.
I realise this won’t go down that well with some of you - snails apparently topping the list of least favourite foods according to a survey that's just been released - but I must confess I like them.
The taste of course you’re matching is not the snails themselves (though they have an earthy quality that demands a wine of some power and persistence) but the garlic and parsley-flavoured butter that anoints them.
That calls for a crisp dry white in my book and none better than Chablis though the 2007 1er Cru Les Forests (right) from Vincent Dauvissat was probably a rather better example than we needed though it did come into its own with our mains of stuffed rabbit and sea bream with Mediterranean vegetables as you can see on my Facebook page. A young Chablis (2010 at the time of writing) or even Petit Chablis from a good producer would have been fine.
Other options would be Muscadet, Picpoul de Pinet and - oddly - a fresh style of non-vintage champagne like Taittinger which I can remember once drinking with snails in Reims. As you do.
Incidentally the Pot d’Etain is well worth an overnight stay not only for its snails and spectacular wine list but its really excellent cheeseboard which I’ve posted about on my cheese blog here.
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