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Côtes du Roussillon wine and food pairing

Côtes du Roussillon

Sheltered by mountain ranges on three sides, the vineyards are planted in the sunniest region of France. This appellation produces very aromatic wines, which can be red, pink or white with an assembly of at least two grape varieties.
The Côtes du Roussillon with the complementary geographical denomination "Les Aspres", is only produced in red, and requires a minimum of 12 months aging. It is a very elegant, generous wine, with spicy notes and a good aging potential.

Reds and Rosés are obtained from at least three varieties, Carignan (60 percent maximum), Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Red wines account for 80 percent of the production and are fleshy and fruity wines with spicy notes. The rosés are full-bodied and aromatic.
Whites are made from Grenache Blanc, Macabeu, Roussanne, Marsanne, Malvasia Roussillon. They are fine wines, delicate, light and develop aromas of flowers

Tips: When young and light, the reds can be enjoyed with poultry. With age, their full-bodied flavors are perfect with game. Serve between 14 and 16 degrees. The whites and rosés are best accompanied with fish or poultry dishes. Served between 8 and 10 degrees.
Côtes du Roussillon Villages AOC

Côtes du Roussillon Villages

This appellation is limited to 32 communes in the northernmost part of the department, and applies exclusively to red wines. The wines are produced from basically Carignan, Syrah, and Mourvedre grapes, which is the same varieties as the red wines of the Côtes du Roussillon, but production requirements are more stringent, and the wines are generally higher in quality. These red wines are powerful, aromatic and spicy. Some can be enjoyed young, others deserve to be kept for a few years while they develop an intense bouquet and complex.
Four terroirs are distinguished for their originality, their specific production and the high quality of their wines. These four villages are Caramany, Latour de France, Lesquerde and Tautavel and are entitled to add their name to the label.
Wine cooperatives dominate, though the few independent estates include some of the regions best producers.

Tips: These reds can accompany wide variety of dishes but are ideal with game. Served at 16 degrees.
Collioure, Roussillon wine


This beautiful coastal appellation of steep vineyards is located between the village of Collioure itself and the Spanish border at Cerbere.
The AOC Collioure comes in red (2/3 of the production), rosé, and since 2002, in white. Wines of this appellation can only be produced on the four communes of the Vermilion Coast: Collioure, Port-Vendres, Banyuls and Cerbere.

Reds are made from Grenache which brings its power and heat, harmoniously complemented by Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre. These bold reds are often aged in oak, giving fleshy and complex wines with scents of spices and ripe fruit. Some of these wines are to be kept a decade.
Roses are made from the same grape varieties as the reds, with Grenache Gris as an additional option. The wines are fresh and powerful with notes of red fruits.
White wines are produced mainly from white and gray Grenache.

Tips: Collioure wines (red, rosé and white) are perfectly matched with the entire Catalan cuisine.
  • Reds - they accompany grilled or stewed meats, as well as game. Serve them at 15 degrees.
  • Rosés - they go well with the summer appetizers and the fish of the Mediterranean.
  • Whites - they match perfectly with white meats, grilled fish, seafood and cheese from sheep or goat.
Rivesaltes Muscat wine

Rivesaltes and Muscat de Rivesaltes

These appellations are contained to the east by the Mediterranean Sea, to the south by the Spanish border and to the west by the foothills of the Canigou mountain range.

Rivesaltes vin doux naturel (VDN) is a fortified sweet wine produced from several grape varieties, including Grenache noir, gris or blanc, Macabeu, Malvasia and a small quantity of the Muscat in the amber Rivesaltes. The differents wines are : Gold-colored ambres featuring dried fruit aromas, ruby- colored grenats offering aromas of red fruits, and mahogany tinged tuilés with their cocoa fragrances.

Muscat de Rivesaltes is a VDN, exclusively made of the grape varieties Muscat a Petits Grains and Muscat d'Alexandrie. When young, these fortified wines are pale gold with aromas of peach, lemon, mango and mint. After a few years, their color takes on amber highlights and the aromas evolve towards notes of honey and apricot.

  • Rivesaltes - served between 12 and 15 degrees, these wines can be enjoyed both as an aperitif or with foie gras, cheese from sheep or desserts (Catalan cream).
  • Muscat - served chilled (8-10 degrees) as an aperitif. It will also soften the strong taste of Roquefort or enhance fruit desserts.
Faugeres, Languedoc wine and food pairing tips


Maury vin doux naturel (VDN) is a powerful Grenache-based fortified wine. The Maury AOC, previously restricted to fortified wines, now also covers dry wines. Maury's hot climate and slatey soil provide the ideal conditions for the Grenache grape to ripen. The other grape varieties used are Carignan noir, Mourvèdre, and Syrah.
Maury VDNs are either bottled when young and fruity (usually labeled Vintage), or aged for a few years before bottling. Because of their constitution, Maury wines can age for decades. In their youth, these wines are tannic and fruity, becoming more savory and deep in color as they age and show macerated black fruit aromas, cocoa and other torrefied notes

Tips: Maury fortified wines are sweet and wonderful with a variety of fruity desserts, they are perfect companions for chocolate lovers. Served between 13 and 15 degrees.
Banyuls, Roussillon wines and food pairing tips

Banyuls and Banyuls Grand Cru

Banyuls is a "vin doux naturel" wine (VDN), named after the picturesque town with the same name. The appellation area lies at the edge of the Spanish border, where the foothills of the Pyrenees tumble into the Mediterranean Sea. The four coastal communes of Banyuls, Collioure, Port-Vendres and Cerbere form France's most southern appellation.
Banyuls is produced predominantly from the Grenache in red, rosé and tawny wines, with the red being the most famous. They have a surprisingly rich aroma, a natural sweetness and a nice velvety texture. Aged in oak barrels after fortification, they are wines with floral notes mixed with citrus and white fruits.

Banyuls Grand Cru indicates that 75 percent of Grenache enters the blend, and that it has aged at least 30 months in barrel. They are only declared in exceptional vintages. These sweet fortified wines develop aromas of stewed fruit, spices, mocha, tobacco and hints of roasted notes.

Tips: These sweet wines are wonderful with a variety of fruity or chocolate desserts. Try the lighter color wines with sweet and sour dishes or foie gras. Served between 13 and 15 degrees.
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