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.