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The Concept of Lutte Raisonnée and Braised Pork Paired with a Frémillant #Winophiles

Jeff of Food Wine Click! is hosting this month's edition of the French Winophiles. You can read his invitation here. We are looking at low-intervention, organic, biodynamic wines from Languedoc.

If you are reading this early enough, feel free to jump in our our live Twitter chat on Saturday, August 20th at 8am Pacific time. Follow the hashtag #Winophiles and be sure to add it to anything you tweet so we can see it. Here's the line-up of articles for this event...

The Concept of Lutte Raisonnée

After I found the bottle of wine I wanted to pair - Château Coupe Roses Frémillant Rosé 2020 - I started doing some reading on the concept of Lutte Raisonnée that the domaine employs. Totally new to me! 

Lutte Raisonnée translates to 'reasoned fight' or 'supervised control' in relation to the use of chemicals in farming. This is a more pragmatic approach to farming; chemical treatments are used, but only when necessary. The domaine encourages biodiversity in the vineyards by planting cover crop, plowing the soils, and using manures and natural composts to fertilize the vines. Often, Lutte Raisonnée is a farmers' first step towards fully organic or biodynamic farming. Or it's a logical compromise between conventional farming methods and the rigid guidelines required by organic or biodynamic certifying agencies.

There are some certifying agencies such as Terra Vitis who offer a specific set of guidelines and requirements. Alternatively, some farms operate independently by following mostly organic and biodynamic methods and only using treatments when required.

Château Coupe Roses has been in the Le Calvez family since the early 17th century. Managed by Françoise Le Calvez and her husband, oenologist Pascal Fissant, their 16 acres on the high plateau around the historic village of Minerve are cultivated by Lutte Raisonnée. In 2013, the domaine earned organic certification for its farming practices. In 2016, Françoise’s son Mathias took over as cellar master when he moved into the direction that all ferments in the cellar are spontaneous, without the additions of yeast or enzymes. All of their grapes are hand-harvested.

This wine is a Frémillant, an old Occitane word referring to light red wine. A direct-press rosé is a blend of 40% Mourvèdre, 30% Cinsault, 20% Grenache, and 10% Syrah. The pale hue of the wine belies its depth of character. Complex notes of summer melons and berries are balanced an intriguing salinity and minerality. This is a food-friendly wine that I paired with a heavier dish. It held its own to a delightful result.

Braised Pork

I love matching long-braised pork with a complex Rosé. So I braised chunks of pork with a variety of herbs and spices, added in some earthy cabbage and served it all over creamy mashed potatoes. It was delicious!

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds pork (I used boneless ribs)
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup organic white onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted until fragrant and coarsely ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted until fragrant and coarsely ground
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 to 2 bay leaves
  • 3 to 4 cups rough chopped cabbage
  • 2 cup stock (I used chicken stock)* 
  • 1 cup wine (I used leftover white wine)
*You really just need 3 cups of liquid. You can use any combination of stock, water, and wine that you wish.


Place toasted cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dried oregano and dried rosemary in a mixing bowl. Roll the pork pieces in the spice mixture, coating all sides as much as possible. Rub the spices in and set aside.

Melt butter in olive oil in a Dutch oven or other pot with a tight fitting lid. Add pork and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown meat on all sides, approximately 1 to 2 minutes per side. The more you let it brown, the better the flavor!

Add onions and bay leaves, then pour in the stock/water/wine mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
Let the meat braise for 90 minutes; the pork should be tender and easy to break apart. Break the meat into chunks. Stir in the cabbage, cover, and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Serve over mashed potatoes or pasta if you like.

That's a wrap for my offering on low-intervention, organic, biodynamic wines from Languedoc. The French Winophiles will return for the third weekend in September with a look at French grapes that have crossed continents. I am hosting. Stay tuned for more information.


  1. I applaud wineries that go the extra mile for certification of any type. It's about having a third party check on the methods for me. But, I do understand small vignerons, not wanting to spend the time or money for certification, especially if they have been using these methods for a long time anyway. I guess that leaves it up to us to research a bottle before purchasing to check on the vineyard and winery practices.

    By the way that wine and the pork, look delicious!

  2. The question of how much sustainability effort is enough is a reasonable one. I'm glad to see Château Coup-Roses has gone all the way to organic certification. Lutte Raisonée and many other sustainable programs are awfully loose...

  3. Pork and Cabbage are a marriage made in heaven and this rose sounds like a wonderful way to toast the match.

  4. What a great pairing to transition into fall!


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