Home > Côtes du Rhône, Daily Glass, Food and wine pairing, France, Provence > Daily Glass: Pleasures of a Simple Côtes du Rhône

Daily Glass: Pleasures of a Simple Côtes du Rhône

September 7, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

What do you think of Côtes du Rhône wines? Côtes du Rhône (I like to call them CdR for short) are some of my favorite home wines. A “little brother” of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, they often offer similar, may be a bit less expressive taste profile, usually at a fraction of a price. They are also quite versatile with food, offering a wide pairing range, from lamb to game to cheeses.

I was reminded today of how good these simple CdR wines can be. While traveling (I’m in south of France at the moment, near Nice), I asked for the local red wine at the restaurant. Red Provence (that would be a true local wine) are made in a very minuscule quantities, so it is not surprising that restaurant at a small hotel didn’t have any. I was offered to look at the wines from the neighboring territories, such as Côtes Du Rhône, and I ended up picking the cheapest wine on the menu. It so happened that 2013 Antoine Ogier Artesis Côtes du Rhône AOC (14% ABV, €21 at a restaurant) was an excellent choice. The wine had red fruit on the nose with a touch of lavender, very soft tannins on the palate, soft and silky profile, plums, touch of minerality and excellent acidity, overall very balanced. After about 30 minutes the wine also showed tobacco and touch of pepper on the palate – a very classic profile overall. Drinkability: 8-

Antoine Ogier Côtes du Rhône

What was even better than just a nice glass of wine was that wine worked perfectly with food – this was an accidental success, as I didn’t think about the wine at all while ordering the food. The wine paired spot on with the Rabbit Pate, elevating each bite. It did the same thing with Grilled Veal with Creamy Mushroom Sauce. Believe it or not, but it was not even disturbed by an interesting dessert – a Pineapple Carpaccio (called on the menu “raw marinated pineapple”) with Lime Sorbet. All I can say that this was probably one of the most versatile wines I ever had – kudos to the winemaker for crafting such food friendly wines – I guess 155 years of history mean something.

Before we part, I want to live you with a couple of curiosities. Below you will see the back label of that bottle of wine, providing sulfates warning in 21 languages (I already shared that on Twitter). I find this interesting and a bit ridiculous (sorry – wine always contains sulfates, and no, they don’t cause the headache). The second picture shows an extremely thoughtful presentation of the condiments. I shared this on Twitter too, noting that I like the classy presentation, something which French mastered perfectly, only to be ridiculed by someone asking me if ketchup is a French food. Of course it is not, but think about how many times you were presented with the bottle of ketchup at a restaurant, only to think “where should I put it to – on the plate or directly on the fries” – by the way, both are equally uncomfortable choices? In this case, the problem is solved in the best possible way – here is your personal bottle, and you don’t need to deal with any puzzles, just enjoy your food.

Voilà! I’m done with my “notes from the road”. If you are in US, happy few last hours of the Labor Day holiday weekend. Until the next time – cheers!

  1. September 7, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Love a surprise great find! Enjoy your time in the South of France. Sounds like a lovely start!

  2. September 7, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Ahh, it appears that life is good, dear Anatoli! Eating and drinking in the south of France – sounds wonderful to me! 🙂

    • talkavino
      September 8, 2015 at 2:41 am

      I can’t complain, my dear friend. It is much better to attend technical meeting in south of France than in a middle of nowhere in US 🙂

  3. September 8, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Lucky you! Cotes du Rhones are the only wines my husband drinks, except for some California cabs. Can’t wait to be in Provence myself next month!

    • talkavino
      September 8, 2015 at 8:40 am

      Chef Mimi, don’t worry – I will not be able to drink all the Cotes du Rhone wines even if I will try. There will be enough left for you and your husband 🙂

  4. September 8, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I’m not very familiar with CdR wines yet, but we are thinking of going there on vacation next year. I am surprised the wine worked with pineapple. The only wine I’ve found so far that works with raw fresh pineape is tokaj aszu with at least 5 puttonyos.

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