Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

by David Scott Allen

Winery: Domaine Guy Mousset
Appellation: Côtes-du-Rhône
Type: Red
Vintage: 2019
Grape Varieties: 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah
Alcohol: 14.5%
Average Retail Price: U.S. $15

As you know from Susan’s recent articles (“A Perfect Storm Hits the Southern Rhône Valley” and “Fear and Angst in the Vines in Provence”), the South of France — and the entire country of France — was really hit hard by recent frosts. In these two regions, one night of sub-freezing temperatures severely affected the vines, which will affect this year’s harvest. Today, to show support of vintners from the Southern Rhône Valley, I am pairing my meal with a Côtes du Rhône from Domaine Guy Mousset.

Considering the high percentage of Grenache in this particular wine, I opted to go for a bit of sweet spice with my food pairing. I find that cumin goes really well with Grenache and, as I have been playing with a recipe for Cumin-Roasted Pork Chops, I decide to put them to the test. For the recipe, please visit Cocoa & Lavender.

The wine has a deep ruby color, and earthy aromas of leather and moss with lots of black cherry, blackberry, and grapefruit. The grapefruit surprised me a bit, as I don’t recall encountering that with a red wine before. I found the palate to mirror the nose — with the addition of some nice peppery notes. When first opened, it was a bit rough but, within an hour or so, it mellowed nicely. The wine is very drinkable now, but I think would benefit from some time in the cellar.

Overall this pairing was good — but I wouldn’t say great. While cumin is, to me, a sweet spice, there is a hefty dose of it in the recipe and it may have longed for a bit more of the Syrah. A “good” pairing is fine with me — not every pairing can be perfect. After all, this is how we learn how to pair food with wine.

I liked the wine very much — it was much more complex than I expected, and I think a simpler preparation of the pork on my part would have brought out a bit more of the flavors in the wine. And what is nice about this wine is that it is readily available here in the U.S.. I definitely recommend the wine.

In addition to this wine, I recommend finding some other good Rhône wines and doing your part to support our friends in the Southern Rhône Valley.


  1. Thanks for the reminder re. supporting our friends in the southern Rhone. We’ll happily oblige.
    PS the meal looks amazing.

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  1. What’s For Dinner? – Cocoa & Lavender

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