I selected the Mas de Bressades Rosé 2007 to pair with the artichokes. Mas des Bressades is considered by many as one of the top estates in Costières de Nîmes, located 35 miles southwest of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, on the western side of the Rhône.
All of their wines are worth seeking out because they are consistently well made and very good values. Their rosé is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 20% Cinsault and is vinified completely in tank. Some people might equate pink wine with sweet, but it is a dry rosé. Raspberry and strawberries come through on the nose. On the palate, it is loaded with lychee and raspberry as well as rose water, wet stone and a hint of white pepper.
Rosé wines are usually great food wines and pair well with most foods. In my opinion, rosés work especially well with dishes that have salty or spicy components or garlic components. I tend to think of artichokes as usually being bit salty or at least tasting best when they are well salted — and the recipe calls for some Italian parsley, basil and garlic.
In my experience, artichokes make wines taste sweeter. So the first tip is to pick something dry. Artichokes are also said to be a challenging pairing. I often consider a rosé with a difficult pairing as it they are considered to be great food wines and pair well with a variety of food (except steaks and heavy, red meat based dishes).
In regards to wine pairings, I read an article that suggested while it is important to compliment, accentuate, and play off the flavors and characteristics of the food — it is also critical to keep in mind that there is a critical third component as well — the people drinking the wine.
A good sommelier or wine merchant, should always ask what types/styles of wine you enjoy as their first question. I would be a bit reluctant to follow their advice if they don’t ask you what wines or types of wines you enjoy. Their first job is to get a sense of your palate. Once they have done that, and only then, can they begin to consider the food and suggestions for a wine pairing.
For example, Sauternes and Foie Gras is one of those classic pairings; however, some people do not like or simply will not eat Foie Gras. People generally understand that and will probably think about their guests and whether or not they would eat Foie Gras before deciding to serve it. But when pairing a wine, people usually are more focused on the food, rather than their audience. Some people don’t like Sauternes, and maybe something like a Chenin Blanc, that usually has just a bit of sweetness might be a better pairing in some situations.
In a forum such as this that isn’t possible, but is something to consider when you selecting wine and suggested pairings, they are only one possibility — your palate and that of your guests need to be taken into account as well. All of this being said, I think it is also always a good idea to try new things and expand your palate — and let your sommelier or wine merchant now that you are open to suggestions that fall outside of your usual preferences — and also to encourage your friends and guests to try new things as well. After all, some of the best memories are often the most unique as well.
Rosé, Rosé, Rosé
I have been a big fan of rosés for quite a while. Summer is a great time to stock up on rosé. In addition to the Mas de Bressades, I will always recommend the Chateau D’Esclans Whispering Angel, Bonny Doon’s Vin Gris, Robert Kacher Selections always has some great rosés (and great values) in his portfolio. Kacher imports more good French rosé than just about anyone, highlights include:
– Mas de Bressades
– Mas Carlot
– Domaine des Corbillieres
– Domaine de Gournier
– Mas de Guiot
– Domaine de la Petite Cassagne
I also just got a few bottles of Bernard Baudry’s Chinon Rosé that I am very excited about. Bernard Baudry is one of the newer stars of the Chinon scene — he makes outstanding Cabernet Franc and offer tremendous value, like many wines from the Loire.
About the wine pairings with Design*Sponge
I will be providing wine pairings for some of the recipes edited by Kristina on Design*Sponge. The In-the-Kitchen-With column appears every Friday at noon, and features the recipes of design*sponge readers’ favorite designers. Design*Sponge is a daily website dedicated to home and product design run by Brooklyn-based writer, Grace Bonney. Launched in August of 2004, Design*Sponge features store and product reviews, sale and contest announcements, new designer profiles, trend forecasting and store/studio tours.