Provence WineZineTasteWines and Spirits of Provence

Pairing Spicy Food with Wine It’s Tricky

David Scott Allen for Provence WineZine:

Spice and wine are not always fast friends. Admittedly I like both, so my culinary goal is to find the right combination that will showcase both the food and the wine. Hence, the recipe for Spiced Duck with Blackberry-Balsamic Reduction was a challenge to pair correctly. I’m happy to report that the Vieux Clocher red blend (2016) from Arnoux et Fils in Vacqueyras was a perfect partner.

When faced with a recipe that is very spice-forward, I am sometimes at a loss for the wine selection. Spice, in this case, is all spice and no heat. The hottest spice within the recipe is the dried mustard powder. Ancho chile (sweet, not hot), cumin, coriander, and mustard are the other ingredients in the rub. Without the chile, one would take this for Moroccan or Middle Eastern. Does the addition of the chile make it a Mexican or South American?

Read the original Provence WineZine article for full details on this wine.

Southern Rhône Vineyard

The picturesque village of Vacqueyras is home to the Arnoux et Fils 40 hectare vineyard. Since 1717, this family-run winemaking operation continues today. The striking peaks of the Dentelles de Montmirail form the backdrop for the vineyard with a terroir marked by clay-limestone soil. The typical southern Rhône grape varietals (grenache, syrah, mourvèdre, grenache blanc, clairette, and bourboulenc) flourish under the Provencal sun.

Wines of Provence

Millions of years ago, the Southern Rhone Valley was created by geological changes and volcanic eruptions. The soil varieties left behind from this violent environmental activity range from sandy to limestone to clay. It is this diverse topsoil in combination with bedrock that creates an excellent terroir for cultivating grape varietals. Continue reading about the wines of Provence to understand the colours, regions and terminology.


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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 enroll 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 The Modern Trobaors and Provence WineZine. There is never a shortage.

The Modern Trobadors, 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 Provence and the Southern Rhône Valley regions—with a special emphasis on Provence's world-renowned rosés—and the men and women who make them.

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