L’Auberge du Père Monnet

If you’re travelling down through France this summer or doing a bit of wine tourism in the northern Rhône (in which case, why haven’t you been in touch?), you could do far worse than take lunch at L’Auberge du Père Monnet in La Roche de Glun. It’s a few minutes from the A7 autoroute, but a world away from the traffic roar, overlooking the water in the centre of the old village.

Monday lunchtime at Père Monnet

I stopped there on a mid-March Monday, expecting to find it fairly quiet. But the place was buzzing with locals (including a few winemakers), most of whom were sitting down to the 14,50€ set menu, which that day consisted of a creamy quiche flavoured with tuna and lots of mustard plus a side salad, followed by bœuf bourguignon  and finally apple crumble (the French have gone mad for “croomble”). It was all home-made and, if the food wasn’t worthy of a Michelin star, it was good, honest cooking at a very reasonable price. And the service was friendly and efficient.

That day’s lunch set menu

But the best reason to go, especially if you’re not the driver, is the brilliant wine list. The photo below shows just the Croze-Hermitage reds section, and that alone runs to almost 40 wines.

39 (count them) different Crozes-Hermitage reds, including the super Christelle Betton. Then you start on the St. Joseph…

The patron suggested a glass of Matthieu Barret’s “Petit Ours Brun” (Little Brown Bear) 2011 Côtes du Rhône, a 100% biodynamic syrah from vines planted in (I seem to remember) Cornas. There had been no attempt to make a big, burly Cornas – but the wine was lively, juicy, aromatic and full of personality. And just the sort of thing to go with the beef (and it worked surprisingly well with the tart).

Little Brown Bear. It’s not just obvious choices on the list.

Including a coffee and that glass of wine, a meal for two came to 34€. If someone hadn’t come up with the phrase first, I’d say it was worth a detour.

Note: This is the blog of Rhône Wine Tours, where we write about all things Rhône-related (and quite a bit that isn’t). If you’d like to experience the region and its wines first-hand, visit our website – www.RhoneWineTours.com – where you can read all about our tours and tastings. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more of this sort of thing.

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