A lunchtime visit to Le Rouf restaurant in Sainte Lucie de Porto-Vecchio with our friends Christian and Bergit Imbert, early in May, before hordes of tourist descend, is about as close to gastronomic Nirvana as one gets. Against a backdrop of golden sands and an azure Mediterranean, we are greeted by smiling waiters brandishing wooden platters replete with the freshest fish imaginable which they proceed to grill to order. Sitting in the sunshine toying with a glass of Christian’s pale, herb-scented Domaine de Torraccia blanc
(made from pure Vermentino) as we await our piscine feast is one of those special moments where the anticipation is as pleasurable as the meal itself. As well as Corsica’s wonderful seafood, Christian also champions the island’s charcuterie, avowing that the reason that saucisson sec de sanglier makes such a fine foil for his red wine is because, despite his best efforts, the wild boar feast heartily on his ripening grapes. Christian’s flagship wine, called ‘Oriu’, makes a great partner to the local figatelli
- these rich, dark, curly, pork and liver sausages hail from chestnut-fattened Nustrale pigs and are delicious barbecued over vine prunings.
Like most right-minded natives of the Granite Isle, Philippe Farinelli is appreciative of his culinary heritage. He once sent us a whole leg of air dried ham through the post that had trotter and bristles poking through the string and wrapping paper. How that cleared customs beggars belief, but it was delicious and made a welcome addition to our staff party.
On the Cap Corse promontory Lina Piretti cultivates less than 2 hectares of Muscat vines to produce her decadent, golden-hued Muscat du Cap Corse. Lina also makes a modicum of ultradry, onion-skin hued Coteaux du Cap Corse rosé wine that makes you yearn for sardines on the barbecue and sand between your toes.