Wine pairings at home with Le Petit Ballon

My doorbell rings constantly, Amazon drivers could find their way to us blindfolded, there’s the weekly grocery order and copious volumes of nappies and coffee make their way to the 30s residence on a regular basis (the latter needed to cope with the former).

The subscription box is a concept that is really taking off, I frequently use a recipe box service for busy weeks and with subscriptions out there for everything from brownies to nail polishes, it seems only right that there’s a wine box out there with my name on it!

Aside from knowing that I like to drink wine, I’m a bit of a novice so knowing that the Le Petit Ballon carefully curates its wine selection is a major win for me, they’re all chosen by former Ritz sommelier Jean-Michel Deluc and I trust that he’s chosen some fabulous wines for me to try.

When you sign up, you can make notes on your taste preferences so your box can be tailored for you and after you receive your wines, you can even provide feedback so that the service learns your tastes and sends you bottles that you’ll love.


With two kids under 2, wining and dining aren’t regular features so opening our first bottle of wine, the Chateau Le Grand Verdus, felt like a bit of a special occasion and we made Mum’s signature grilled salmon with almond crust and wild rice salad to go with it!

The tasting notes that come with the wines tell you exactly how to drink it and what to pair it with and the wine was exactly as advertised on the tin, refreshing, floral and fruity, going perfectly with the salmon and easy to drink.

The red was calling our name just a few days later and since it was another easy to drink, we relaxed on the sofa with the Okoma Cape Red.


Given that my prior experience in wine selection is sticking with a few brands that I know and don’t deviate from or (gasp) choosing a pretty label, I love that this is a really easy solution to trying new and different wines and expanding my wine knowledge repertoire, all without lifting a finger, everything just arrives at my door!

It also made it seem like a special occasion to be trialling a new bottle that’s been chosen for you and for me, I absolutely loved the white and I thought it went so well with Mum’s salmon, that I’ll be going in for another round of the Chateau Le Grand verdus, what a perfect way to kick off a weekend!

For those interested, I’ve stolen Mum’s recipe for you here:

  • Salmon fillets – 1 per person
  • Mustard

For crust

  • Coarsely chopped walnuts or pistachio or almonds: a little more than half a cup
  • Fresh breadcrumbs: ½ cup
  • Orange zest (or Lemon zest)
  • Fresh (or 1 tablespoon of dry) finely chopped Dill
  • A little glug of Olive oil to moisten and hold the crumb together
  • A dash of salt & pepper

Brown Rice Salad:

  • Cook brown rice according to package instructions.  Cool and add orange segments, chopped red or yellow peppers for colour.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Combine all the ingredients for crust
  3. Apply a thin coating of mustard on the skin side of the fish.
  4. Take a handful of the crust mix and pile and press on top of the fish skin.
  5. Heat a pan (ovenproof) with a little bit of oil, gently place the fish flesh side down and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook further till the crumb turns golden and the fish is cooked to your liking.  I’m a fan of the salmon being just turning opaque, but only just.

Serve on top of brown rice salad.



I was sent my first box of Le Petit Ballon’s wine subscription for review.  As always, all opinions are my own!


One thought on “Wine pairings at home with Le Petit Ballon

  1. I feel like I need this in my life! It sounds like a great way to learn more about different types of wine and how to best appreciate them.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s