Cocoa & Lavender

Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Tasting Tavel

Four years ago, almost to the day, I was at a dinner party for which each of the eight guests was asked to bring a rosé to include in a blind tasting. The wines came from all around the world, and no one wine was duplicated. One of the wines presented was a Tavel; its dark hue was unfamiliar to us and assumptions of sugar content and
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

And the Oscar Goes To…

The other night, we had some friends over for l'Apéro - a wonderful French convention that gathers people for an hour (or so) to share a nice beverage and some nibbles. Often, a digestif such as Pastis, Lillet, or Campari is served, but it can just as easily be a wine. Susan wrote a wonderful piece on l'apéro several months ago - you can
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Versatility

This month I tried something different. I tested one wine with two very different dishes to learn what affect food really has on the taste. This all started because I had a bottle of 2015 Pétale de Rose from the well-known Château La Tour de l'Évêque, a bottle I can't easily get here in the Southwest where I live. I wanted the pairing to be special, and
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Wine for Food

I was perusing the rosé section at Total Wine last weekend in search of a bottle to have with my Moroccan harira, a soup I enjoyed when traveling in Morocco in 1991. The thing I love about winter - even here in Tucson - is that the stock of rosé wines is good. But this is also dismaying to me, as people - people who should know better - say
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

It’s a Family Affair

It isn’t often – at least, I don’t think it is – that I get to taste a premier vintage from a vineyard. But that is exactly what I did this week. It's a new wine from a debut vineyard, yet created by a family that is a leading producer of some of Provence's best rosés. It is a joint effort by Château la Tour de l’Évêque (Régine Sumeire) and
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Babette’s Blunder? Or mine?

In the 1987 film BABETTE'S FEAST, our protagonist serves her quail dish (Cailles en Sarcophages - the recipe can be found on Cocoa & Lavender) with a Pinot noir. Specifically, it is an 1845 Louis Latour Clos Vougeot. I decided to do the same, but found a more recent Pinot noir vintage from the Verdon, in the Var: a 2012 Louis Latour Domaine de Valmoissine.
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Muscat Love

It's been twelve months of Provençal wine and food pairings now, and I imagine you have seen some patterns. I love pairing special meals with special wines, and sharing the experiences with special people. Which makes me chuckle when I think of how the French use the descriptor "special" in not so nice a way. «Ouai, ça c'est très SPECIAL...» But, I digress...
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

A Special Occasion

Special wines, and special foods, should be saved for special occasions. Today is the 10th anniversary of Mark's and my move to Tucson, and we wanted to celebrate in an appropriate fashion. The wine - a 2007 Château Vignelaure Coteaux d'Aix en Provence - was chosen to mark the day, and the meal to go with it had to be equally special. I chose to serve a roasted pork tenderloin crusted in Provençal herbs
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Jumping to Conclusions

I did it. I jumped to a conclusion. I made an assumption. And I was wrong. I have been eating lobster most of my adult life, and as far back as I can remember, Viogniers were among the wines of choice to pair with lobster. I assumed that was a good idea when I made Lobster Thermidor, as I had a lovely Viognier from
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