Friday, September 18, 2020

A Trio of Côtes du Rhône Pairings #Winophiles


This month, I am leading the French Winophiles discussion on Côtes du Rhône wines. You can see my preview post here. If you are reading this early enough, join in our live Twitter chat on Saturday, September 19th at 8am Pacific time. Follow the hashtag #Winophiles and be sure to add them to any tweets you post so we can see them.

Here are the #Winophiles' Côtes du Rhône explorations, tastings, and pairings. These articles will be live between Friday, September 17th and early morning Saturday, September 19th...

A Trio of Côtes du Rhône Pairings

When I decided to jump in to host, I figured I needed to try several wines. And, as I have for the past six months of this shelter-in-place order, I was able to find several bottles online at wine.com. Then I set about to pair the wines with a variety of cuisines. I used to stick with the what-grow-together-goes-together 'rule', but I've found that very limiting. Now I just do a little reading and pour wines with what I want to eat. Nevermind any wine pairing rules!

M. Chapoutier Côtes du Rhône Belleruche Blanc 2018 +
Gougères Stuffed with Smoked Salmon Mousse
The first pairing went with my September offering for my Fish Friday Foodies group, #FishFridayFoodies; the assignment was to use smoked fish and posted today. Here's my recipe post for Gougères Stuffed with Smoked Salmon Mousse.


You can read more about M. Chapoutier wines in my post - from January 2019 when this same group focused on biodynamic wines - Learning about Biodynamic Wines + M.Chapoutier Wines withSome Cross-Cultural Pairings. Back then I poured the 2017 Belleruche Blanc and paired it with ginger-poached fish.

As for this vintage, the 2018 Belleruche Blanc, is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier, Clairette, and Bourboulenc; it retails for around $14 on wine.com.

In the glass, it poured a bright straw color and had an intensely complex nose of summer stone fruits with a hint of fennel and flowers. Those aromas were matched on the palate with the sweetness of ripe peaches and the subtle savory of anise. This was an elegant yet easy-going wine and the round freshness was a good flavor foil to my mascarpone-filled puffs.

M. Chapoutier Côtes du Rhône Belleruche Rouge 2018 
+ Lapsang Souchong-Crusted Fish

For that same #Winophiles event in January 2019, I poured the 2017 version of this wine as well. Back then I paired the wine with shredded beef enchiladas. As for this vintage, the 2018 Belleruche Rouge, is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah; it retails for around $14 on wine.com.

In the glass, it poured a deep garnet hue and had intense aromas of black fruit and pepper. Juicy and robust, I wanted to pair this wine with an equally powerful dish.


So, I opted to make a local lingcod that was crusted with a lapsang souchong tea spice blend and quickly pan-fried in a splash of butter. This dish was actually made for an October post, so is not yet available on my blog. I'll link to the recipe here once it's live.

Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2016 +  
Beef Burrito Bowls with Avocado Crema 
and Peach Pico de Gallo

The third bottle I'm sharing is the Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2016 which retailed at wine.com around $15. This is a GSM blend with a composition of  50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvèdre.

In the glass, it poured an almost inky red with glints of blue. The nose was deceptively spicy. On the palate the wine was full-bodied with round tannins and a delightful earthiness. I poured the wine with Mexican inspired flavors that enhanced the experience of this wine. I created this recipe after taking part in a virtual cooking party. Here's my version: Beef Burrito Bowls with Avocado Crema and Peach Pico de Gallo.


That's a wrap on the September edition of the French Winophiles. Join us next month when we head (virtually) to the Jura with David of Cooking Chat leading the discussion. Stay tuned for more information.

8 comments:

  1. You continue to blow me away with your food! I've never been a fan of lapsang souchong tea but to use it as a crust for fish?! And I am looking for that ginger poached fish recipe.

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    1. I don't think I ever posted that recipe, but now I will have to. Nothing fancy. Just a miso broth with fresh ginger slices in it. But SO delicious.

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  2. These are all fab wi es and the pairings all look fantastic. I’m particularly intrigued by the lingcod encrusted with tea. I’ll definitely be looking forward to that.

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  3. Great pairings Cam. Thanks for stepping in to host this month. Much appreciated.

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  4. You have been cooking up a storm through the years! Nice pairings and thanks for hosting!

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  5. Thank you so much for hosting Cam! Great wines & great pairings. Mmmm...salmon mousse and gougeres...that sounds delicious.

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  6. I've enjoyed Guigal wines, too. Solid producer! I like your new pairing philosophy of throwing the rule book out the window. ;)

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  7. The Belleruche blanc sounds delightful and as usual, you've knocked it out of the park with your food pairings! The lapsang souchong fish sounds delicious... I've poached salmon in lapsang souchong but never crusted any fish in it. I will def try it.

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