Red Wine Pairings

Red Wines

Any tasting, in general, will be more enjoyable when the wines are accompanied by food that enhances them. First, have wine and food of equal weight, and second, combine similar aromas or contrasting flavors.

Ten Red Wines From A Total Of Five AOPs Are Available For The Tasting.

Fortunately, there are three main red grapes: Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre (GSM). These supply the dominant character to a wine. The other 24 varieties can add minor flavor notes to the blend. In characterizing a wine’s flavor profile and determining what food will pair well with it the main grapes are used as a starting point.

Light Bodied Rhone Red Wines

Chateau La Nerthe “La Cassagne”, Cotes du Rhone Village, (G50 S40 M8) the wine does not see wood, soft, berry (Cassagne means oak tree),bright fruit, ripe cherries, roses.

Domaine Brusset Laurent B., Cote du Rhone, (proprietary G the main grape), aged 6 month in enameled steel, raspberries, soft tannins

These wines have red berry slightly sweet notes with medium acidity.

Suggested pairings are:

Cheese and charcuterie

Poultry and lightly grilled meats or vegetables

Mild soft cheeses: Brie, Fontina
Ham: Prosciutto,  Jamon de Bayonne, pate
Fruits: Apricot, dates, figs

Fricasse Chicken

Basque Chicken

Medium Bodied Rhone Red Wines

Domaine d’Andezon, Cote du Rhone, (G60 S30 M8) aged 5 months in tank, aromas of black fruit plum blackberry, noticeable minerality, rich ..?

Domaine de Beaurenard, Cote du Rhone, (G40 S40 M20) aged 12 to 24 months  in old barrels and vats, high percentage of Mourvèdre power and depth, full of juicy dark red fruit.

Domaine Lou Fréjau, Chateaunuef-du-Pape, (G65 S15 M10), 12 months in large oak casks, deep aroma, woody notes, sweet spices, scents of jams, dry finish.

Carignan has a balanced flavor profile without bitter tannin, and thus the wine tends to act more like an ingredient when paired with food. Because of its medium-bodied style, it will go with big, bold dishes as well as lighter ones.

Some flavors that Carignan adds as a food pairing wine:

  • Red fruit flavors raspberry and cranberry
  • Spice flavors of cinnamon and star-anise
  • Umami flavors of smoke and cured meats

Château de Nalys, Chateaunuef-du-Pape, (G50 S10 M23 plus 10 other varieties), one third is aged for 18 months in oak barrels and vats, silky tannins, rich long finish, blackberry, raspberry, plum.

Cinsault: Classically, the pairing for Cinsault is escargot. Also consider stews or boeuf bourguignon.

Some flavors Cinsault adds as a food pairing wine:

  • Spicy, fruity, and somewhat smoky character.

These wines are a bit fuller, medium bodied, and often are aged for a short time in large casks, adding smoothness to the flavor.

Suggested pairings are:

Cheese and charcuterie

Poultry and lightly grilled meats or vegetables

Aged cheeses: Asiagio, Manchego, Emmenthal, cheddar.
Sausage: Bratwurst, mild salami, sweet Italian, sopresata.
Fruits: Apricot, dates, figs

Lamb and eggplant kabobs meats or vegetables

Full Bodied Rhone Red Wines

Chateau Fortia “Curvée du Baron”, Chateaunuef-du-Pape, (G0 S100 M0) 100% Syrah with 10% of stems added to fermentation, aged 18 to 24 months in oak casks, full rich body, long finish.

Pierre Amadieu “Romane Machotte”, Gigondas (G60 S15 M25) aged 12 months in barrels and casks, earthy full round, black and red fruits, spice black pepper, herbs thyme rosemary laurel, medium soft acid.

Guigal, Gigondas (G70 S20 M10) aged 2 years in large oak barrels 50% new, a powerful wine structured tannins, intense nose, stone fruits, cranberry cherry, clove allspice.

Château du Trignon, Rasteau (G65 S0 M35), aged in casks and large barrels, very ripe red and black fruits, spice leather.

These wines have structure and a lasting finish. They are aged in wood and hold up for many years. They pair well with smokey elements or the crust of grilled meat.

Smokey Beef Short Ribs

Short Rib Stew with Yucca Flour

Country Style Pork Ribs with Yucca Flour

Dry Aged Ham

Sources of dry-aged country hams are: