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More evidence that rosé wines pair fabulously well with food and are at the ready to add colour into the wintry months. Scottie Gregory explores three fine pinks from Provence with some mouth-watering dishes.

Three more Provence Rosés well worth trying are Le Grand Cros L’Espirit de Provence; Chateau St-Maur Cru Classé and last, but not least, La Sangliere Speciale.

Le Grand Cros – L’Esprit de Provence, Côtes de Provence, 2019

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Le Grand Cros is a delightful rosé so evocative of lazy, summer days but equally at home in the warmth of your sitting room. Made of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Rolle (Vermentino) it is a beautiful pale pink. On the nose, apricots and a faint trace of fennel are detectable. On the palate, strawberries, melon and peaches make this a silky, smooth and elegant wine with a fine balance between fruit and acidity which lingered a long while after each sip.

It went wonderfully with Moules Mariniere that we had to start our meal, but I think it would go equally well with a creamy seafood pasta dish such as the one I cook with scallops, lobster, prawns and dill.

Château Saint Maur, Saint M, Côtes de Provence, 2019

Chateau St-Maur Cru Classé is pale orange/pink rosé and is made from Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Tibouren, Mouvedre, Rolle and Carignan.  It is, however, quite silky and refined. The nose displays hints of citrus, geranium, spice and peaches and on the palate, I tasted strawberries, raspberries, peach, lemon sherbet and pepper.  Again, this rosé was exceptionally long on the palate. This was an impeccable match For English Rosary Goat’s cheese. It also went well with the salmon en croute with cream, white wine and parsley sauce we had as a main course and the Moules we had to start. But the star combination was the Goat’s cheese, a match made in heaven!

La Sanglière, Cuvée Speciale, Côtes de Provence, 2019

Finally, our feast of rosés came to an end with La Sangliere which was a pale, shimmering salmon pink. This is made from 60% Grenache and 50% Cinsault This is a rosé that benefits being served at about 12C to capture the flavours that gently bombard the palate. On the nose it displays pink grapefruit, , peaches and spices. On the palate grapefruit, rhubarb, peaches, spices, among them cardamom, jostaberries and a smooth minerality. This wine went really well with all three courses of our meal, so it is a good one to select if you want an “all-purpose” wine.

A few years ago, we would probably not have thought of having rosés in winter; fixed in everyone’s mind as “forever summer”. But they really do hold their own in winter, if not too chilled (not room temp if you have the central heating on!) and I can commend them as an alternative to both white and red.

 

UK Stockists:

Faulkner Wine, Le Grand Cros – L’Esprit de Provence, Côtes de Provence, 2019, RRP £17.95 at BBR

La Sanglière, Cuvée Speciale, Côtes de Provence, 2019, RRP £22.95 at South Down Cellars

Château Saint Maur, Saint M, Côtes de Provence, 2019, RRP £18 at L’AMI JAC

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As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.

 

 

Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!

 

Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.

 

Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.

 

The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.

 

Driving into the Entre-Deux-Mers region from the north, the vineyards roll out like a bright green deep-pile carpet across the undulating land. It’s hard not to be excited about tasting wines with so much heritage, as we head to Chateau-Sainte-Marie to meet with 5th generation owner, Stéphane Dupuch. 

 

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