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Vacqueyras Wine Pairing a Virtual Dinner with Friends

Le Clos de Caveau is one of the first wineries I visited after starting Provence WineZine. The story of this Vacqueyras vineyard — a stone’s throw from Gigondas — is best told over a glass of this excellent red blend of Grenache and Syrah called Fruit Sauvage. Henri Bungener, psychologist-turned-winemaker, told us the history of this property over a memorable lunch on the terrace overlooking the vines.

Vacqueyras and Dinner

While the last two years has made in-person dinners more challenging, we have been creative. In this case, each of us had a bottle of the Clos de Caveau Vacqueyras “Fruit Sauvage,” and we decided to create a meal around it and share the experience virtually. What a great way to start the New Year!

When considering a pairing for a wine that is 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, I know that I want food that has a bit of spice. It really accentuates the flavours in the wine. Coincidentally, I was working on rebooting a recipe I created back in the mid-90s: Cinnamon Chile Chocolate Pork. Both Susan and I thought it would make a great pairing with the Vacqueyras. Find out how the meal turned out.

Wine Details

Winery: Le Clos de Caveau
Cuvée: Fruit Sauvage
Appellation: Vacqueyras, Southern Rhône
Type: Red
Vintage: 2017
Grape Varieties: Grenache 60%, Syrah 40%
Alcohol: 14.5%
Average Retail Price: U.S. $44

Southern Rhône Valley

As the river valley widens and the steep slopes give way to rolling hills, you have arrived in the Southern Rhône Valley. Encompassing vast geography, the Southern Rhône eclipses the north with 95% production. As a result, many more grape varietals are grown, although each AOC dictates the types and amounts permitted within the guidelines. Except for Châteauneuf-du-Pape, most of these appellations include rosé production.


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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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