Top pairings | What are the best pairings for Provence rosé?

Top pairings

What are the best pairings for Provence rosé?

Provence rosé has a particular character. It’s much crisper and drier than most rosés on the market, more like a white wine than a rosé - though within this style there are variations between the lighter, less expensive wines or ‘vins de soif’ and the more structured ones, which the local refer to as ‘vins de gastronomie’.

Here, listed from A-Z, are the dishes and ingredients that I think work best with the 3 appellations: Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence and Coteaux Varois-en-Provence though some would obviously go equally well with other southern French rosés.

Anchovies - especially fresh ones and anchoiade (anchovy spread)
Asian-influenced food - a rather vague concept but think in terms of westernised dishes with Asian influences. Authentic Thai food for example is too powerful.
Artichokes - raw, grilled or preserved in olive oil (not boiled)
Asparagus - grilled or with a vinaigrette rather than with butter
Aubergines - cooked lightly as a purée (baba ganoush) or grilled rather than as a bake with cooked tomatoes and cheese
Brie - though don’t let it get too runny
Cake’ - the French word for a savoury, usually cheese-flavoured loaf served with an aperitif
Carpaccio - beef or salmon
Chicken - cold e.g. as a terrine or in a salad
Courgettes in most forms, especially lightly cooked e.g. courgettes à la grecque
Couscous and bulghur salads - e.g. tabbouleh
Crab - esp the white meat. Think crab salads and crostini
Crudités - raw vegetables such as celery, cucumber and peppers. Take care any accompanying dip isn’t too strong though
Dim sum, steamed rather than fried, especially with seafood
Fennel - especially with fish
Goats’ cheese, especially younger or herb-coated ones
Herbs - fresh rather than dry, especially basil, mint, rosemary, tarragon and thyme
Lamb - roast or grilled rack of lamb, esp with herbs, served rare
Lebanese (and probably Greek and Turkish) mezze
Moroccan food especially cooked salads, pastries, fish dishes and lighter tagines e.g. chicken and lemon
Olive oil - esp fresh grassy ones
Olives, esp green olives and green tapenade
Parmesan biscuits or tuiles
Pesto - and Pistou (the Provençal equivalent)
Pink peppercorns
Pissaladière - made the traditional way with onions rather than tomatoes
Parma ham - and similar air-dried hams, esp with fruits like peaches and figs
Pasta - with light sauces e.g. with fresh tomato, prawns
Plateau de fruits de mer - raw shellfish platter
Porchetta - roast pork with herbs, served lukewarm or cold
Prawns - as in griddled prawns, prawn cocktail, Chinese-style prawn toasts (It’s the colour thing too)
Provençal-style stuffed vegetables
Rabbit - rillettes or paté
Red mullet, grilled
Risotto - light seafood and vegetable versions
Salads - especially Asian style salads, avoiding heavy dressings (so not blue cheese or thousand island, for example)
Salmon - served raw, cold, poached or as a mousse. Also salmon tartare and smoked salmon
Satay - if not too spicy
Seabass - grilled with oil and lemon
Spices - used with a light hand - especially coriander, cumin, saffron and zatar
Strawberries - on their own, with a little fromage frais or in a sharp ‘fruit soup’. Not in a tart or with meringues and cream
Tomatoes, especially fresh tomatoes, as in tomato salads, a fresh tomato sauce, Tomato ‘tarte fine’
Tuna - fresh or tinned. Grilled tuna, salade niçoise
Veal - served cold as in vitello tonnato
Vietnamese spring rolls with herbs and mint
Zucchini (see courgettes)

What doesn’t work so well
Cream or butter based sauces (though yoghurt, crème fraiche and fromage frais work well)
Red meat
Ratatouille (although the French would almost certainly disagree, I find it too heavy for this style of rosé)
Hot curries
Strong cheeses, especially blues
'Winter food' generally

I travelled to Provence as a guest of the CIVP

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