Friday, July 20, 2018

Warm Weather Rosé + Cheese Pairings #Winophiles #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the July #Winophiles event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.

Lauren of The Swirling Dervish is hosting the French Winophiles as we explore Rosés from Around France. You can read her invitation here. And many thanks to Michelle of Rockin Red Blog for arranging samples through Teuwen Communications for the party. Again. They are so generous. Santé!

What the Winophiles are Sharing

A Confession
I admit: I used to overlook Rosés.  They were pink and, I thought, just a diluted form of red wine; I don't remember if I actually thought that, but the only pink wines I'd tried were White Zinfandels and those were so cloyingly sweet. I didn't take them seriously. What a mistake on my part!


I am so happy to have explored true Rosés and expanded my view of these incredibly food-friendly wines.

How Is It Made?
In hue, Rosés sit in the middle of the white-red wine color spectrum. And, as I thought, maybe people think that Rosé is a blend of finished red and white wines.  It's not.  

Rosés are actually made by shortening the grape skin contact that's necessary for making red wine. stage. To make Rosé, red grapes are lightly crushed and left to macerate with their skins for a few days. When the winemaker is satisfied with the resulting color, the skin, pips, and stems are removed. Common grape varietals used for Rosés are Grenache, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Tempranillo.

So, I've discovered that Rosés have the body and sometimes structure of a red wine.  But they are usually served chilled and are refreshing like a white wine. It's actually the best of both worlds in my mind...and absolutely perfect for summertime suppers. 

Bone-Dry Rosés    
So, I already admitted that Rosés were not on my radar for a long time. If you are also in that camp, I concede that there are some truly atrocious Rosés out there. Way too sweet, but typically American-made. Sorry. It's just true. If you're game to pour, I suggest bone-dry Provençal Rosés!

For taking part in the July French Winophiles event, some of us received samples of Provençal Rosés.

Possible Matches
These wines are so versatile and food-friendly. For appetizers, I like serving them with something salty such as my Bagna Cauda-Bathed Egg Salad Toasts. For a salad course, again with the anchovies, I like a Boquerones Asparagus Salad, but Salade Niçoise is a great match, too.

If you are thinking of some ethnic cuisines to pair, Rosés are great with Mexican food, Thai food and Indian food! While I considered a Thai feast with Startled Pig (Moo Sadoong) and Grilled Shrimp Spring Rolls, I wanted to do something simple to showcase these wines.

Cheese Pairings
I know, I know, I'm often guilty of elaborate meals - even on weeknights - but a cheese board or cheese pairings are some of my favorite summer dinners! Here are some suggestions for you as you explore Rosés.

With a fruit-forward Rosé, I suggest an aged goat milk cheese. A citrus-y Rosé is a great match with a semi-firm sheep's milk cheese with or without a seasonal jam or quince paste. A gooey triple cream pairs brilliantly with a Sparkling Brut Rosé while an Off-Dry Rosé complements a bloomy rinded goat cheese. Here are three that I served for this event...

Château  de  Berne  Emotion 2017 + Pistachio-Laden Pecorino


Château de Berne Emotion 2017
Located  in  Lorgues, the Château de Berne estate dates back to the 1100s though the Romans had been tending vines at the site for much longer. Just 25 miles from the Mediterranean, the warm climate and altitudes render grapes that are concentrated, but with good acidity. A blend of 50% Grenache  Noir, 25% Cinsault, 25% Syrah, the grapes undergo a cold-soak maceration for a couple of hours to produce that beautiful pale pink color. It, then, ferments in stainless tanks for two to three weeks before bottling.


This  wine  is  the  quintessential pale pink with fragrance of wild strawberries and summer blossoms. with refreshing flavors of summer melons, I considered pairing it with a goat's milk cheese. But I came across an intriguing cheese: a young Pecorino made with Italian pistachios. Produced by the Fratelli Petrucci, those award-winning artisan cheesemakers who graze their sheep in the mountainous areas between Lazio and Umbria. The pistachios are added to the milk and the resulting pecorino is left to rest for a month until it acquires a semi-soft consistency. The mild yet vivid taste matches the tone of the wine.

Château  de  Berne  Inspiration 2017 + Burrata

Château de Berne Inspiration 2017
Made by the same estate as the Emotion, this Côtes de Provence blend is made from 70% Grenache  Noir, 20% Cinsault, 10%  Syrah. With a pink hue laced with golden highlights, this wine is stunning to the eye and the tongue. It's both delicate and fresh.

I considered pairing it with a Grilled Haloumi-Watermelon Salad, but opted for an easy plate of burrata with garden-fresh tomatoes (thanks to my Wombat's Garden of Edibles!) and sun-kissed peaches from the farmers' market. Burrata is a buttery-textured cheese made from fresh buffalo milk. The outer shell is a smooth mozzarella while the inside contains a more ragged stracciatella mixed with cream. This culinary treasure is credited to the Bianchini family in Andria, Puglia. A little bit of salt and piqant olive oil make this cheese dish and wine sing!

Urban Provence 2017 + Bûcheron 

Urban Provence 2017
Located near the village of La Garde-Freinet, less than an hour from Saint-Tropez, this 100-acre estate was recently renovated and includes a restaurant featuring Provençal dishes served family-style, an amphitheatre for concerts, and an artist-in-residence program. The wine-making side of the estate is more focused; they only produce a single product, Urban Provence.


Urban Provence is a Rosé that blends 45 % Grenache Noir, 35% Cinsault, 15% Syrah, and 5% Rolle grapes into a dry, beautifully balanced wine, boasting both fruit and spice. But it was the tinge of minerality that made me think of Bûcheron, a goat's milk cheese from the Loire Valley with a bloomy rind. When young, it is mild with a harder texture. As it ages, the texture softens and the taste grows more intense. Mine was towards the younger side.

Next Up: Grower Champagne
Next month - August 2018 - the group will be focusing on grower champagne with Martin of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog leading the way. Stay tuned. I'm excited to learn more about these grower-made wines.

Find Emotion
on Facebook and on Instagram
suggested retail price $16.00  |  Imported  by  Provence  Rosé  Group

Find Inspiration
on Facebook and on Instagram
suggested retail price $19.99  |  Imported  by  Provence  Rosé  Group

Find UP
suggested retail price $22.99

*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

10 comments:

  1. Cheese trays and Provence Rose sound like the perfect summertime, al fresco, meal.

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  2. I love your pairings! I searched for an older goat's milk cheese to no avail. I figure if I keep asking for more obscure cheeses at my cheese counter, someone will get the hint! And I would love to find that Pecorino with pistachios!

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  3. Great cheese pairings! The Pecorino with pistachios sounds very interesting, I will look for that one. I think we were thinking the same with a cheese board dinner, it is a nice summer time dinner, with rosé of course!!

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  4. Like you Cam, one of my favorite summer dinners is a nice baguette, tomatoes and cheeses (I lean towards anything goat) which as you share just goes with rosé. Your other pairing ideas are making me hungry!

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  5. Love the pairings! Can't go wrong with rosé and any kind of chèvre, I say!

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  6. Cheese boards and rosé is definitely the way to go in summer! One of my favourite meals too!

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  7. You've provided the road map for preparing the perfect summer dinner. Love the pairings!

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  9. I love your pairing and recommendations for pairing rosé cam. I’ve got some quince paste in my fridge. Wish I’d thought of it sooner. I did have rosé recently with red poppy jelly confit and it was fantastic!

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  10. Good suggestions on the cheese pairings for rosé. Hmm, rosé plus Indian food, I need to try that!

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