Provencal Pairings: Wine with Food

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

As Summer Slips Away…

I suppose, in the end, the title of this post should have been, "As Summer Sips Away." We often think of rosés as "summer wines," and we rue the end of the long, hot, languorous days, and our sipping of that wonderful, pink, Provençal nectar. But, unlike putting away your white pants and shoes, you don't have to stop drinking rosé; it is a year-round wine.
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

A Perfect Picnic Pink

When I saw this bottle of Cloud Chaser at my local upscale market for $15.99, I immediately called my friends at the Provence WineZine to ask their opinion. I had never heard of it and, as it had an English name, I was a little suspicious. The folks at PWZ hadn't heard of it either, but did a little research for me on the spot and found great reviews. They also let me know the price I had here in Tucson was excellent. I bought, I sipped, I liked. (My version of Veni, Vidi, Vici.)
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

On the Marc

Unless you are headed to France, or know someone who brought back a bottle (that was my method!), you probably won't be sipping Domaines Ott's Vieux Marc Rosé. Sadly, it is not imported to the United States! I paired this vieux marc, made from the skins of grapes used to make rosé, with a really old-fashioned dessert: Crêpes Suzette. Although my recipe is toned down in its buttery sweetness, it still requires something special for pairing.
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Casual Elegance

I love arriving at a dinner party knowing that it isn’t going to be a “state affair.” I want to relax – from the apéros to the dessert – and none of it need be fancy, especially the food and wine. (N.B. I still want crystal, silver, and linen…) Today, I made a Crumble au Poulet – simple, elegant, and very tasty fare. To serve, I wanted something that would match the simplicity of the meal, and yet be sophisticated and complex. I also needed something to go with a bit of spice, as the crumble topping is laced with a sweet curry. I chose a 2013 Domaines les Fouques Cuvée de l’Aubigue, and was not disappointed. On the nose, I was greeted by honeysuckle and a dish of cinnamon.
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

The War of the Rosés

The battle began in a civilized fashion. The candles were lit; the table was set with a Provençal cloth. A large platter of Cailles aux Riz à la Provençale was set down in the center, and the guests were poured a glass of each vintage. Then, the gloves came off. I have been drinking Bieler Père at Fils rosé for quite a few years now. It has been reliable, easily found, and - in our most expensive stores - at a price point that makes me happy. This is, however, the first time
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Upgraded to First Class

Imagine that you are at the airport ready to board your flight, having paid coach fare. You step onto the plane only to be surprised by the flight attendant; you have been upgraded to First Class. That is exactly how I felt when I took my first sip of this 2013 Château La Tour Sainte Anne rosé. The price was coach ($12.99) but the luxurious taste and velvety feel in my mouth told me I was in the First Class cabin. For my previous posts, I learned about the wine and then made a meal that I felt would be complimentary. This time, I needed a wine to go with a tricky dish: Oysters Rockefeller. Oysters, on their own
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

The Blonde Bombshell

Until Susan sent me this bottle, I had never even heard of a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. She was very excited for me to try it and, in fact, asked me to move my intended March pairing to April. I asked her about the wine and one description that kept returning was "full-bodied." And full-bodied it is. The color that poured from the exquisite bottle was much richer than I expected from a French white. It is the color of honey, one of the two prominent flavors in this powerhouse of a wine. The other - actually, the dominant flavor - is pear. I hesitate to say this because I don't want you to think this wine
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Surprise Me!

When you have a 2006 Côtes du Rhône in the wine rack, you don't just serve it with anything, especially if it is a Rasteau. This is a wine for certainty, not a wine you pull when you're serving a frozen dinner. (Okay, I know anyone who reads this blog is most likely not making a TV dinner, but you get my point.) If I were to think of things to serve with a Rasteau, salmon would not leap to mind. Yet, I do know that, if your guests are solely red wine drinkers, a Côtes du Rhône is a good choice for salmon. So, for today's pairing I actually surprised myself, and in a good way. I decided to put my
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

A Hearty New Year Greeting (and Pairing)

I can't think of anything I enjoy more than lamb with a rich, full-bodied red wine by its side. A bottle of 2007 Éternité has been sitting in our caves (okay, it's a wine rack) waiting for the right meal. It's Christmas, and Provençal lamb shanks have been braised; the Éternité joined the celebration. With its blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, this Rhône wine was perfect for the earthy, tomato-y, citrus-infused lamb. The nose was deceptively light, but the first taste was full, fruit forward (blackberry and cherry), and spicy. After a taste of the lamb, the intensity diminished only
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