Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

When in Paris…

by David Scott Allen

Winery: Château Romanin
Cuvée: La Chapelle
Appellation: Les Baux-de-Provence
Type: Red
Vintage: 2012
Grape Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault
Alcohol: 13%
Average Retail Price: FR €14.00

Mark and I spent the week of Christmas in Paris. We found a really beautiful one-bedroom flat in our favorite neighborhood – the Marais.

This pairing was a really lucky guess on my part. I had already chosen the menu for the Christmas dinner we would be having and had shopped for the ingredients at the contiguous Marché Beauvau and Marché d’Aligré – markets I highly recommend! The menu: Saumon à la Crème d’Oseille with glazed French breakfast radishes.

I popped into a wine store about 50 paces from our apartment to choose a wine and asked what wines they had from Provence; aside from a nice collection of rosés, they had only four – two red, two white. I chose one of each and was on my way.

I used the white to accompany some succulent Saint Jacques for Christmas Eve, and held onto the red from Les Baux for our Christmas dinner. It was a good choice… lucky, but good.

The wine and château were completely unknown to me, and I had no resources (no wifi, thus no internet) when buying it to make an informed decision. The good news was that, if it was horrible, I still had half a bottle of the white from the night before.

The color is that of deep garnet. The nose was bright, red fruits such as cherry and redcurrant dominated, and there was some nice spice as well – cinnamon and clove. It’s not an unctuous wine by any means, but it isn’t thin, either. Silky is the best way for me to describe it. The red fruits remain prominent on the tongue, with additional notes of black pepper and anise. I liked it very much, and was glad I made the choice. The finish wasn’t long, but very pleasant.

I knew immediately that my concerns about how it would pair with the salmon were unfounded, but I still had a hint of worry about the lemony sorrel cream, to which I (sillily) added extra lemon. In the end, maybe the sauce wasn’t the perfect pairing, but it was by no means wrong. In fact, it worked well – the citrus played nicely with the spice and fruit, especially in combination bites with the salmon. For the recipe, please visit Cocoa & Lavender.

Overall, I think very highly of this wine, and would love to know what else Château Romanin has to offer. It would also pair nicely with roasted or grilled meats and poultry.


  1. I love Château Romanin wines, really reds from Baux-de-Provence in general, but Romanin is one of my favorites. Great pairing! Happy New Year, David!

    • Happy New Year to you, too, Jill! Good to know that I chose well – such wonderful depth in this wine! Château Romanin wines don’t seem to be available here in the U.S. – so sad!

  2. Can’t think of a better place to spend the holidays. Though I always have wanted to do New Year’s Eve dancing at a ball in Vienna.
    Second Jill’s comments about Romanin. It’s my second favorite red from Les Baux, after Trevallon. When I was last there in 2015 I picked up a copy of “AGENDA BIODYNAMIQUE – Lunaire et Planétaire 2015.” Seems it serves as a guide in their vineyard management.” I was told they are selling wine in Canada, but have not looked into that further.

    • Ah, yes, Jerry – the Silvesterabend ball would be lovely to attend, especially as I love to dance. But for pure beauty, Paris can’t be beat!

      Perhaps someday we will be able to get Château Romanin wines in the States. Till then, I will just keep going back to France! I will have to look for other reds from Les Baux. Happy New Year!

      • Les Baux reds exist here but not readily available, at least in my area. Look into finding Mas de Gourgonnier. Its has been marketed here for many years. I visited Mas de la Dame in November, and brought back some of their white. They make a nice red as well, notable Coin Caché, which I discovered in Massachusetts some 20 years ago but have not seen around recently.

  3. A delicious post. I have a favorite recipe, Saumon aux Lentilles, which has a mustard-herb butter and lemon sauce. I often debate on red versus white wine for this dish. I’m now anxious to try the Les Baux. I will also check out your recipe. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for this great description. Gives me courage to mix it up more than I might for such a dish. Will also keep my eye open for almost anything from Les Baux-de-Provence here in the States. Cheers.

  5. Your salmon sounds divine, David. I haven’t had this wine but will be looking for it on the shelves. I hope you had a magical time in Paris and it continues through the New Year.

    • Paris was so magical, Pam! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Glad you like the salmon recipe – so simple, and that is often the best!

  6. Back to Mas de Gourgonnier, I see in current issue of Wine Spectator (p. 75) that the 2014 was listed as one of the 11 best quality/value wines to come out of Provence in 2016.

  7. I had the pleasure of tasting this wine at Millesime Bio in Marseille two weeks ago. I tasted several vintages but not the 2014, all excellent. I can understand why it married so well with your salmon!

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