Tag Archives: Provencal Rosé

What we’re drinking: Commanderie de la Bargemone

Since it’s summer, or at least we’ve seen some days trying to resemble summer, we’ve shifted our drinking preferences to Rose.

For this week’s what we’re drinking post we opted to review a Rose from Brynn’s beloved Aix-en-Provence.

It’s because the wine is from the Coteaux d’Aix en Provence that Brynn bought the bottle while on a recent trip to Whidbey Island’s Langely. Heck it could have been sugar water and she probably would have paid an arm and a leg for it, purely because it was from Aix.

Luckily the Commanderie de la Bargemone, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence 2010 Rose is far from sugar water. Instead it has a nice acidity that shines through on the finish and balances the hints of sweetness that are noticed on the mid palate.

The color is a beautiful pale pink, looking more like a pink rose kissed the clear juice, leaving the faintest remnants of its pale pink color.

This is a versatile wine that can match any food pairing, but would also be perfect to sip on a hot afternoon or on the porch during sunset.

We snacked on fresh green beans from Mary’s garden and a block of cheddar cheese from Fred Meyer while trying this wine. Both went well with the Rose, showing its versatility.

Here’s Mary’s thoughts on the wine:

“I was surprised at the initial sweetness of it. The color is what the French would term, ‘eye of the partridge.’ It has this most wonderful fragrance of flowers. It’s amazing to me that you get such weight and body in this wine. When you look at it you think it’s kind of that insipid color, but it has so much flavor and aroma and body. It’s a nice acidity too.

“It’s a perfect French wine.”

Here’s what the winemaker says about the wine:

“Offering classic aromas of wild strawberries and red currants, with a light floral character and a crisp, bone-dry palate, this is a rose of reference, to be enjoyed year-round on its own or with a wide range of lighter fare and Provence-inspired cuisine.”


What wine goes with watermelon?

Wine and watermelon? This week’s wine pairing might border on the impossible.

Watermelon lovers enjoy the fruit because of its simplicity, its juice and refreshing quality.

Similarly, wine lovers enjoy wine because of its juice and in the case if white wine, because it’s refreshing. Unlike watermelon, wine is often enjoyed for its complexity.

So, how do you make watermelon and wine perfect companions?

Find a wine that will highlight all the things we love about watermelon, while still offering enough complexity to stand up to Ann Vogel’s Watermelon Salad and Summer Soup recipes.

In keeping with the pink theme, we recommend a Provencal-style Rosé.

We’ve recommended Rosés before, but this is one of the few wines that could go with a watermelon salad or soup. It also is the best wine to enjoy during the summer because it balances the complex character of a red wine, with the crispness of a white.

There are different styles of Rosé, depending on the type of grape used and how the winemaker chooses to make the wine — will it be dry or sweet?

The best match for Vogel’s dishes is a Provencal Rosé. These wines are typically made from Rhone varietals, and offer a dry palate that quenches thirst and leaves you wanting more. They’re also food-friendly wines.

While we’d love to tell you to head to France’s Provence region — especially Brynn’s former temporary home of Aix-en-Provence — to find the best Rosé, airfare and travel expenses sadly prevent most of us from getting to experience Rosé in true Southern France fashion.

But the good news is, you may only have to travel as far as your local wine shop or grocery story to find a good French Rosé. According to the Provence Wine Council, an organization representing more than 600 Provence wine producers and 72 trade companies, the number of Rosés exported from France’s Provence region to America have reached record-setting levels in the last year.

Exports of Rosé and red wines from Provence to America went up 132 percent by value and 85 percent by volume last year over 2009, according to customs data released by the council in June.

“These percentages represent greater increases than ever previously seen, and rank Provence as the fastest-growing French region in wine exportation to the U.S.,” according to the council.

The next time you’re in the store, ask the wine steward to direct you to the French Rosé section so you can peruse what made its way across the Atlantic, and the continent, to reach Washington. If you find a Rosé you love, share it with us.

We recently had the chance to try a Central Coast Rosé by California winery Boony Doon Vineyards. It’s one we loved, so we’re recommending it for Vogel’s watermelon recipes.

Winemaker Randall Graham has styled his wine after France’s traditionally dry, salmon pink colored wine.

We recently tasted Boony Doon’s 2010 Vin Gris de Cigare at the Rhone Rangers trade show in Seattle. Unlike the winemakers of France, Graham adds “a dollop” of white wine — Roussanne and Grenache Blanc — to his red varieties.

In case you forgot, Rosé comes from red grapes that, after pressing, only stay in contact with grape skins for around 24 hours. That’s what gives the wine its pink color.

Boony Doon’s Rosé is reminiscent of a Côtes de Provence Rosé with its hints of strawberry, white cherry and apple blossom. The wine is dry, which makes it a great pair for the watermelon and sweeter red onion notes of Vogel’s salad. It retails for around $15.

If you’re looking to add a little pizazz to the soup or salad, also consider a Rosé Champagne or Sparkling Wine. The bubbles will add yet another refreshing twist to the already light soup or salad. (It’d also make a nice addition to Vogel’s Watermelon Slushies, just make sure you select a dry, or brut, Sparking Wine or Champagne.)