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Get Ready to Uncork, Enjoy, and Pair Some Côtes du Rhône Wines with the #Winophiles

This photo is a view out into the Côtes du Rhône from the village of Gigondas from Jeff of Food Wine Click! This month the French Winophiles are focusing on the wines of the Côtes du Rhône.

First, a mea culpa, I stepped into hosting this month, but I hadn't planned on it, so I had to let go of my usual invitation-preview-posting timing. Though you are still getting enough notice to pop over and read the posts when they go live later this week.

Second, let's answer: What is Côtes du Rhône? It's a wine region whose vineyards straddle the Rhône River. [Maps below from]

Sitting in the Rhône Valley in eastern France, Côtes du Rhône is a region-wide appellation that applies to all colors of wine - from red to rosé to white wines. Introduced in 1937, the appellation was an all-encompassing designation for all the Rhône wines from the valley's lesser known and, perhaps, less prestigious viticultural areas.

And Côtes du Rhône has ancient winemaking ties. The Greeks, Romans, and Medieval Popes all cultivated vineyards in the area. Its inventory of varietals is stunning, too. In the North, you see bold Syrahs and fragrant Viognier. In the South, you have a plethora of red and rosé blends with the most popular varietals being Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah. The Southern white wines are less common, but would include Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier.

With over 5,000 producers, 170 villages, and an appealing price tag, our group had lots of flexibility with this Côtes du Rhône topic. Here's what they have planned...

I can't wait to read about the #Winophiles' explorations, tastings, and pairings. Stay tuned...if you like, 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.


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