Wine & Food Matching

Drink Pink with Thanksgiving Feast, Say Chefs and Sommeliers

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Written by Aksel Ritenis

Berard-Courgettes-7

Provence rosé is versatile and food friendly, offering the character of a red wine with the crispness of a white.

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, America’s thoughts turn to preparing for the feast. A host’s perennial question is what wines to serve with the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, a meal involving varied flavors – savory, sweet, and tart. Chefs and sommeliers consistently cast a vote for Provence rosé, a dry, elegant wine that pairs well with a range of foods.

Following are some Thanksgiving pairing notes Vins de Provence has received this season from distinguished food and wine professionals:

“Provence rosé is an elegant wine choice to be served with turkey and the accompaniments of a traditional American Thanksgiving meal. Its character and crispness make the wine well suited for the classic dishes served during this holiday dinner.”

—Chef Michel Roux

Acclaimed founder of The Waterside Inn in England, the only establishment outside of France to have retained three Michelin stars for 28 consecutive years; awarded Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur and Officer of the British Empire

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“An exceptional addition to any Thanksgiving dinner is Provençal rosé – simple, elegant, and classic. Its delicate red fruit aromas coupled with crisp and refreshing acidity help navigate it through the myriad of dishes found on any table over the holidays.”

—Sommelier Erik Johnson

Head sommelier at the award-winning Bouchon Bistro and former cellar sommelier at The French Laundry, both located in California’s Napa Valley and part of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group

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“When I celebrate Thanksgiving here in the U.S., I find Provence rosé is the perfect wine for my table. The light, refreshing taste of rosé pairs perfectly with the typically savory foods of Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a lighter alternative to red and more complex than a white.”

—Chef Patrice Olivon

Culinary arts program director at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland; former White House chef for President Clinton; former executive chef at the French Embassy in Washington, DC

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“Rosé wines are a great pairing for turkey and Thanksgiving in general. They are fresh and aromatic, with a combination of red fruits, spices, floral aromas and hints of wild herbs. Because of their bright, palate-cleansing nature, everything from turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and stuffing to the next day’s leftovers are a great match. And because they are usually low in alcohol, they are made for an all-day affair like Thanksgiving.”

—Chef Vikram Sunderam

Group Executive Chef of Rasika and Rasika West End in Washington, DC; three-time James Beard Foundation best chef award nominee; named “One of The Hottest Restaurants in The World” (Rasika) by Food & Wine magazine

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“Provence rosé wines are the perfect choice for Thanksgiving dinner. They are so versatile and pair well with a wide variety of foods. They are bright wines with very good acidity and a wide range of fruit. From the simple turkey to more savory brussels sprouts with bacon and chestnuts, or just for sipping before dinner, you can’t go wrong.”

—Chef Alain Allegretti

Executive Chef at New York’s Bistro Promenade, formerly La Promenade des Anglais

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Provence, the oldest winegrowing area in France, is the world’s only wine region that specializes in rosé wine. Provence rosé is made from red grapes, just as red wine is, but rosé producers keep the dark grape skins in contact with the pale juice for only a short time – just long enough to achieve the wine’s lovely pink color and distinctive flavor. Exports of rosé from Provence to the United States have grown at double-digit rates each year since 2003, according to reports from Ubifrance, the French agency for export promotion.

The Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence (CIVP), known in the United States as the Provence Wine Council, is an organization representing more than 600 wine producers and 40 trade companies from the Provence region of France. Its mission is to promote and advance the wines of the region’s principal appellations. The organization’s members together produce 96 percent of Provence’s Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC) wines. More information can be found online at www.winesofprovence.com or www.facebook.com/winesofprovence.

 

Submitted by Mary Frances Duffy – mfduffy@connoisseur-magazine.com

Photography courtesy of Francois Millo / CIVP

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Aksel Ritenis

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