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Debating Provençal Pairings at Acquiesce Winery

Gathering in the Acquiesce Winery tasting room with owner Susan Tipton and Susan and Towny Manfull and the wine lovers behind Provence WineZine was a joyful occasion after so much time apart. However, we were not in Lodi, California for simply a social occasion, we had some wine tasting and food pairing to do.

We descended on Sue and Rodney at Acquiesce Winery for a quick visit. It was a whirlwind weekend, and it started Friday night after we had arrived. In my classic way, I took over Sue and Rodney’s kitchen and made Provençal Feta and Sardines, and Sue and Susan chose two wines to pair, both from Acquiesce Winery: their 2020 Grenache Rosé and their 2020 Picpoul Blanc.

Cuvée: Picpoul Blanc
Appellation: Lodi Mokelumne River
Vintage: 2020
Grape Varieties: Picpoul Blanc 100%
Alcohol: 12%
Average Retail Price: U.S. $30.00

The Picpoul Blanc is a pale, straw-coloured wine that, on the nose, gives off a bit of steel or slate. On the palate, it is pleasantly acidic, with notes of citrus (grapefruit and lemon), green apple, and apricot. With the food, it takes on a bit of a floral note – I got honeysuckle. Commonly grown in the South of France, Picpoul is a grape that thrives in the hot, sunny climate. The wine is medium-bodied, well balanced, and has a soft and enticing mouthfeel. It went particularly well with the lemon zest, lavender (in the herbes de Provence), and the sweetness in the roasted tomatoes.

Cuvée: Grenache Rosé
Appellation: Lodi Mokelumne River
Vintage: 2020
Alcohol: 13.5%
Grape Varieties: Grenache 93%, Cinsault 7%
Average Retail Price: U.S. $28.00

The Grenache Rosé is a beautiful salmon pink colour with aromas of strawberry on the nose; it smells perfectly pink. This Provence-style rosé has the classic bright red fruits of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry on the palate, with a hint of banana. Also well-balanced, this wine coats my mouth beautifully and drinks like a summer day. I feel that the wine went particularly well with the richness of the oil-packed sardines and creamy, tangy cheese; it also worked beautifully with the herbed olive oil.

Continue reading here to find out which wine won the pairing debate.

Provencal Feta and Sardines
This recipe is a French appetizer best served with crusty bread and wine.
Check out this recipe
Provencal Feta and Sardines

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Susan Newman Manfull

It was love at first sight when my family and I arrived in the charming village of Lourmarin for a short vacation, nearly 20 years ago. We returned home to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and the next thing I knew we were planning a much longer sojourn in that village and making arrangements to enrol our daughter in the local school there. That led to buying a maison de village— actually two, then a courtyard, a parking spot, and a bergerie— in our favourite Provençal village where we (readily) adopted that certain joie de vivre, established dear friendships, and, to this day, endeavour to blend in with the crowd at Café Gaby.

We no longer own property in Lourmarin, but we continue to hang our hats there frequently and gather fodder for our souls and for The Modern Trobaors and Provence WineZine. There is never a shortage.

The Modern Trobaors , conceived in 2008, is about all things Provence: its markets, hilltop villages, lavender, art, literature, culture, history, food, wine, and news. Provence WineZine, launched in August 2014, focuses on wines from the regions of Provence and the Southern Rhône Valley—with a special emphasis on Provence's world-renowned rosés—and the men and women who make them.

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