Summers are the season of nostalgia for most, and Stéphane is no exception. He can’t talk about summer without talking about his Mémé. She is the knower of all things useful, the keeper of all things secret. She imparted in him her zest for life, her love of family and her passion for good food and drink. She spoiled him rotten.
Everything tastes better at Mémés. Her house is nestled in the sleepy countryside on the outskirts of Saivres, an hour north of Cognac, where even the air seems slightly sweet. She is a magnificent gardener who has been doing “farm-to-table” her whole life. For us, it’s just as decadent to dine at Mémé‘s table as at any of the divinely delicious restaurants in France. Her “touch” for gardening is equaled by her “touch” for cooking.
After playing in the garden or running wild with the soccer ball, Stéphane would enjoy a piece of homemade cake affectionately known as Mémé gateau. This secret family recipe has been passed to Stéphane’s father so now it is referred to as Papy gâteau, but one day in the far off future it might be named Lucile or Armand gâteau. The basics are in this art we had made for Stéphane’s papa. It’s a secret, so we know you won’t pass it along.
Mémé turns 100 this year and we look forward to sitting outside with her before dinner, sipping on * Pineau des Charentes and making more memories.
Stéphane was first introduced to Pineau des Charentes by his Mémé who enjoys this fortified sweet wine before dinner. It is a blend of grape juice and brandy. Stéphane met a man who pushed him to make this magical potion of his youth, followed closely by one who knew where to get California’s best brandy. The result is Sexton Vivier.
Sexton Vivier teases the senses with notes of dried Turkish apricots, concord grape and pomegranate seed, spiced up by hints of black tea and orange peel.