Thursday, June 21, 2012
On 4:35 PM by The Bloggers @ 67 Wine No comments
by Ben Wood, Wine Buyer | On Twitter: @7stringben
Ah . . .the south of France. A brilliant place to visit, live, eat, and drink! Some of my very favorite wines in the world come from this area. For today’s exploration, let’s delimit "south of France" to the Languedoc and Roussillon.
This part of France, like many others, is where people eat stunningly delicious food – Bourride – fish stew full of vegetables and cooked in wine, garnished with aioli and the famous bouillabaisse and ratatouille of course. Many of these dishes involve fish, which are usually paired with white wines; however, I'd like to suggest some red wine pairings. I'm also interested in suggesting these wines in order to poke a hole in the idea the all reds from this sunny part of france are big, overly rich, dull, and cooked tasting.
|Gilles Chabbert's wines have the goods.|
Minervois, an appellation (AOC) in the Languedoc, boasts red wines which must legally contain a minimum of 40% Carignan, with the rest of the blend being Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah. The AOC rules require blending, so any single variety wine must be labelled Vin de Pays.
As of 1997, there are several new Grand Cru designations within Minervois, and we are finally starting to see these wines in the United States. La Livinière is in the northern part of the Minervois, and Gilles Chabbert’s 2008 Minervois la Livinière is from a hilltop sites and spread between all four villages in La Livinière. Amazingly smooth, with black fruit and structure, this wine possesses a compelling freshness that helps it to match quite well with grilled anything, but I also think it pairs well with the full-flavored and aioli accompanied Bourride, the aforementioned fish stew.
Want to make Bourride? I like this recipe from Epicurious.
Just as Bourride means boiled in Occitan - the original language of the Languedoc area – Picpoul in Occitan means mouth biter. The Oxford Companion to Wine (OCW) offers a slight variation of the translation, suggesting that “Piquepoul meaning 'lip-stinger’ signifying the high acidity of its must was cited as a producer of good-quality wine as early as the beginning of the 17th century.” This brilliant summer white is pleasantly acidic and crisp, with joyful and easy citrus flavors. I love this wine, especially with BBQ. Next time you fire up the grill, don't forget to have a bottle of this with whatever you cook. We currently stock Felines Jourdan and Benau.
Excited about wines from the south of France and want more options? Check our offer on 12 picks we’re drinking right now.
Want to explore more wines from the Languedoc? We stock tons. Find them here.