If you say JC le Roux to me, then it takes me straight back to my childhood, when a sip of La Chanson or Le Domaine was a special treat at Christmas time or birthdays….sweet, fizzy and delicious.

My tastes have changed over the years (thank heavens) so JC le Roux is not normally what we choose when we think of bubbles. But then I noticed that they do some interesting paired tastings and off we went to try them. Their tasting room has been renovated recently with a lovely airy shop out front; a little ‘museum’ to the side, which is rather chilly but has some videos and some information about their range, and then a large seated area where they conduct personal tastings.

We tried the olive (R120) and the nougat (R120)pairings. TBH a lot of their range is still a bit too sweet for me – not cooldrink sweet, but not dry enough. But I thought my mom would love their La Vallée Rosé Demi-Sec, which was paired with rooibos nougat, so we bought a bottle of that for her. I really enjoyed their MCC flagship – Scintilla which is very creamy and soft and you can really taste the Chardonnay coming through. Frans really enjoyed the Pinot Noir Rosé (liking a bit of pink himself). We both thought the olive pairing was very interesting – really changing the flavour of the various bubblies and a surprisingly delicious combination. The olives tended to tone down some of the sweet notes so improved the overall flavor.

It was a fun experience and it seems really popular for big groups celebrating birthdays. We’re glad we tried it and we’ll keep our eyes open for some of their drier offerings on the shelves.