A land of wines & tastes: matching Roussillon wines with local dishes
Knowledge of wines should go hand in hand with knowledge of food; together, they help us to refine our tastes and enjoy the rituals of good eating.
The correct combination of food and wine is vital for a good meal.
We do not intend here to go into great detail about matching dishes to wines, but it may be helpful to offer a few guidelines: food and wine should never contradict each other. If a dish has a very strong flavour, the wine should be chosen to match it, whereas a “grand cru” will not go will with simple food. Simple dishes require a fairly robust accompaniment, while fine gourmet food demands a more refined wine.
On the other hand, with spicy foods, where the wine’s character is likely to be lost, it is a good idea to serve a “fresh”, easy-drinking wine. There should also be harmony between the colour of the wine and the colour of the food.
The high alcohol content of Rivesaltes, Maury and Banyuls make them an excellent aperitif without affecting the taste of the wines to be enjoyed with the meal. During the meal, it is worth following the following serving rules: white wines before reds, young wines before old, dry wines before sweet. There is an exception to this rule however when serving melon or foie gras as a starter, as these dishes go beautifully with Fortified Wine (Banyuls Grand Cru, old Banyuls or Maury in particular).
A fresh, well-balanced Côtes du Roussillon white will go beautifully with fish and shellfish from sea or lagoon. It combines particularly well with braised sea bass with fennel, due to the combination of Grenache Blanc and Macabeo grape and aniseed flavours. Spicier fish dishes (bullinada, crayfish stew, fish soup, etc. require a rosé or light red wine served chilled.
Côtes du Roussillon reds generally go well with young white (or pink) meats (veal, lamb, poultry, etc.) and accompany red meats very happily. Côtes du Roussillon Villages and Collioure wines are at their best with game dishes.
Vins Doux Naturels may also be called upon to accompany sweet-and-sour dishes (such as duck with figs, grapes, cherries, orange, etc.). At the end of the meal, remember that some cheeses (goats’ milk and blue, Roquefort-style) go particularly well with an old ‘Hors d’Age’ or ‘Rancio’ Vins Doux Naturels. Fruit and pastries may be enjoyed with various types of Vins Doux Naturels, especially Muscat de Rivesaltes, whose sensual freshness adds just the right note.
To know more:
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