Rhône Wines

COME OVER TO THE DARK SIDE

It’s all about skin contact. Well, almost.

Minimal skin contact is the simplest explanation for the beautiful pale colors of the world’s most popular rosés. Of course I am referring to rosés from Provence, where pink wine has been made for over 2600 years, giving winemakers there ample time to perfect their rosé [...]

A CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE IN HONOR OF POPE FRANCIS

Since the arrival of Pope Francis in Washington, D.C. and his stirring address to Congress—rousing all but the most lackluster members of this elite audience—I have been riveted by his words to each of the disparate groups he would go on to meet. No matter what one’s political or religious beliefs may be, there seemed to be something for [...]

A BARREL TASTING AT THE TARDIEU – LAURENT CELLARS

Tardieu–Laurent is one of the premiere négociants in the Rhône Valley, and their cellars happen to be located in our favorite village Lourmarin. I began to hear about them soon after we discovered Lourmarin in the late-1990s, a few years after Michel Tardieu and Dominique Laurent [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Grape news from Le Clos de Caveau

Up in Vaqueyras, Henri Bungener, proprietor of Le Clos de Caveau, reported that the vineyard is back on track for the usual mid-September harvest. The warm spring, a harbinger of a slightly earlier harvest, was offset by a cool July. [...]
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