Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

As Summer Fades…

The construct of time is odd these days. Having been indoors (for the most part) since early March, it has been difficult to conceptualize the change of seasons. Calendars don’t seem to make a difference, and clocks and watches don’t really mean much now, either. The thermostat is at a constant and perfect 76°F; is it summer? Winter? I just don’t know. For me, though, one way to track the seasons is through food and wine.

As 2019 was an exceptional year for rosé wines from Provence, I knew that I wanted to feature them during our summer months of June, July, and August. The rosés kept me seasonally anchored throughout the summer and, although summer has not officially ended, I always see the first day of school as a gateway into autumn. Am I to be set asea again in the nebulous season-less year of...



New York, New York  August 9, 2020 – During the long, hot days of Augusts past, coveted pink wine from Provence flowed so briskly that the greatest source of anxiety among millennials from the City was that supplies would dry up in The Hamptons, just a short ride on the Jitney from Manhattan where I write now. In 2014, I recall my daughter confirming New York Post reports that desperate Whispering Angel fans were sent on frenzied searches for more rosé. Not this year. (Oh, to have such problems this year!).

With the global shutdown, probably coupled with President Trump's ill-conceived import tariffs on French wine below 14%-alcohol, it seems that there was barely a trickle of Provence rosé to wine shop shelves and, of course, bars are not open and restaurants are just limping along with service limited to outside tables.  There is a particular lack of high-quality rosé. Such a shame, especially because the 2019 vintage from Provence is stellar.

Will this state of affairs lead marketers to focus on meditation and journaling in their advertising rather than pool quaffers, as Katherine Cole suggests in her SevenFiftyDaily piece (May 25, 2020)? Or, also as Cole wrote, will there be a greater emphasis on quality, including characteristics such as terroir which is not generally discussed in rosé reviews?  Alternatively and far less palatable, Cole also touches on an inchoate practice that some...

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Nobody’s Perfect

You might think that I like any wine that comes my way. I can see why you might think that, because mostly what you see here in this column are positive reviews and pairings.
,/br> But it’s not true. For one thing, when creating a pairing, I try to choose carefully so that I have something good to offer you. I certainly have control...

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

A Transcontinental Tasting

A couple of weeks ago, Susan and Towny, along with several other friends, met with me and Mark on Zoom to cook a meal, taste some wine, and dine together — as if nothing about this was unusual. At times, it almost seemed as if we were together in the same room. But, every once in a while, there would be a hiccup in the ...

Cassis: A Timeless AOC

Cassis is the most beautiful AOC (appellation d'origine contrôlée) in France: the vineyards cling to the slopes of a magical amphitheater that plunges towards the shimmering Mediterranean. The Phocaeans (ancient Greeks from Asia Minor) must have been enchanted with these slopes when they first saw them 2,600 years ago. And they did well to plant them to the vine. The perfect exposure, dry and nutrient-poor soils and the cooling Mediterranean...

Hermitage – the finest manifestation of Syrah and Marsanne

Standing guard with a fabulous view looking south over the Rhône Valley is the magnificent hill of Hermitage, crowned by the famous chapel of St Christopher.

Geologically, the hill was part of the right bank Massif Central until the Rhône River burrowed its way to the west, ensuring Hermitage as the only granitic terroir...
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