In a nutshell: Homemade Crème de Cassis is combined with rosé Pineau des Charentes vinegar for a very fine and fruity vinegar to use in vinaigrettes and with chicken liver salads.
Vinaigre de Pineau à la Crème de Cassis is made from rosé wine vinegar and blackcurrants. AOC Pineau des Charentes, the famous and delicious local aperitif wine of the Cognac region, is aged for four years before acetification in old oak cognac barrels for a further four to five months. Then bottled unfiltered, it has a bright rosé colour, fruity flavour and aroma. It is then combined with blackcurrants that have been gently boiled down to a concentrated must. The delicate acidity of this sweet and fruity vinegar is perfect for sensual vinaigrettes and marinades. Deglaze pans after cooking red meats, game, chicken and guinea fowl. It's brilliant with calves liver and pan-fried apples or pears! We like to add to flash-fried chicken livers in the pan and drizzle over smoked duck breast carpaccio.
We discovered the wonderful Fleuriet vinegars on a sourcing trip in France. Philippe and Françoise Fleuriet live in a charming old house in Rouillac deep in the heart of the 'Fins Bois' area, one of the six crus (delineated growth areas) of the Cognac region. The couple left their jobs in northern France 25 years ago to move to this quiet area. Their vinegar-making adventure began a decade ago when they accidentally created a vinegar mother out of Pineau des Charentes, the local aperitif made with wine fortified with a little cognac. Their production is small, ageing four-year-old white or rosé AOC Pineau des Charentes in old cognac barrels, each given names like 'Camille' and 'Pierre', in their vinaigrerie (vinegar cellar) next to the house. The vinegar then undergoes a slow, natural acetification for a further four or five months before bottling, unfiltered and without preservatives, or turning into a superb range of fruit flavoured vinegars. In their kitchen, they also use it to make small-batch additive-free confits, chutneys, jams and soups with home-grown seasonal heritage vegetables and fruits from their garden. Listed as one of top 100 French artisan producers by the prestigious Collège Culinaire de France - one of the best culinary institutes in the country founded by chefs like Alain Ducasse, Paul Bocuse, Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy who all use their vinegar in their restaurants.