Wine and food pairing tips
Food and Wine Pairing
  Southern Rhône Wines  
Chateauneuf wine and food pairing

Châteauneuf du Pape

The most famous cru of the southern Rhône takes its name from the location of a summer residence for the pope. More than 120 producers grow and bottle Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is the uncontested star of the southern Côtes du Rhône wines, both in its red and its rarer white forms.

Red wines can be made from as many as 13 different grape varieties, including 4 white varieties. The style and quality vary considerably, but the appellation generally produces strong red wines, mostly from Grenache (50 to 70 percent), Syrah (10 to 30 percent), Mourvèdre and Cinsault, with aromas of cherry, leather, licorice and spices.
White wines produced primarily from Roussanne are full-bodied, rich and complex. Most are at their best at 3 or 4 years of age, some can age for 10 years.

Tips: Serve with duck, lamb and beef. Unoaked or lightly oaked red wines can be enjoyed with broader range of lighter dishes such as poultry, veal, and even fish.
Gigondas, Côtes du Rhône wine and food pairing tips


This appellation is located 10 km northeast of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Gigondas wine can be red or rosé. Grenache predominates with at least 80 percent complemented with a blend of Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes.
Although some wines are produced in a light and fruity style, most are full bodied with highly concentrated fruit flavors, firm tannins and aromas of black cherry, blueberry and cassis with a touch of spice and earthiness.

Tips: These robust reds are perfect with a variety of red meat dishes including peppered steak, lamb and duck.
Vacqueyras wine and food pairing tips


The appellation stands at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail mountain, only a few kilometers north of Gigondas. Red, rosé and white are all recognized, though the reds account for 95 percent of the volume produced. These range from the fresh fruit and easy-drinking style to robust and intense red wines with ripe tannins.

Tips: Can be enjoyed on their own or with a variety of red meat dishes including peppered steak, lamb and duck.
Côtes du Luberon wine

Côtes du Luberon

The Côte du Luberon AOC is located in the south-east of the Rhone valley. It produces red, rose and white wines in 36 communes of the Vaucluse department. These wines are generally consumed while they are still young.

Red wines are made mainly with the grapes varieties of Syrah and Grenache Black (60% of which Syrah minimum 10 percent), complemented with Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault. Luberon reds are well-rounded, easy-drinking and full of fruit, with flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry and raspberry.
Rosés wines are predominant and use the same grape varieties as for the reds. Their color range from the palest to the deepest pink. They exhibit typical red-berry-fruit flavours and in some cases more exotic notes.
White wines are produced from Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Vermentino, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Ugni Blanc and Viognier. They are fresh and well rounded.

Tips: The reds as the rosés are perfect for outdoor eating: grills, provençal stuffed vegetables. The whites go well with a seafood salad or goats cheeses.
Côtes du Ventoux wine

Côtes du Ventoux

Ventoux AOC (formerly Côtes du Ventoux AOC) produces wines in 51 communes of the Vaucluse department on the hillsides of the Mont Ventoux and the Vaucluse mountains.

Red and rosés wines are made from Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, and Carignan (maximum 30 percent) grapes. Other varieties may be used up to 20 percent. Red wines (approximately 80 percent of the production) are light and fruity when young. As they age, they reveal powerfull aromas of black fruit, spice, and pepper.
White wines are produced from Clairette blanche, Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, and Roussane (maximum 30 percent) grapes. They are full of personnality with aromas of whites flowers, almonds and citrus.

Tips: Reds are best served at 14 to 16 degrees, with charcuterie (all pork cooked meats), grills, and white meats. When young, as the roses, they are delightful summer wines, served well chilled. The whites go well with white meats, fish, lightly spiced dishes, Provençal-style food., and are excellent with cheese (especially goat cheese), Served at 12 degrees.
Côtes du Rhône wine and food pairing tips

Côtes du Rhône

Côtes du Rhône is the basic AOC wines of the Rhône region including northern Rhône. It produces red, white and rosé wines.

Red & Rosé wines are generally dominated by Grenache and blend of Syrah and Mourvèdre. They are made for early consumption, and present red and dark fruit aromas with little or mild tannins.
White wines are produced from 4 grapes varieties (Grenache blanc, Roussanne, Viognier and Marsanne) and vary in style. Most are fruity and rather full bodied, though there is little to no oak aging.

Tips: Match the reds with dishes that are typical of the cuisine from the northern area of Provence (any lamb dish), Mediterranean-influenced cooking or North-African dishes. It also pairs well with cheeses such as Reblochon, Cantal, even ripe Camembert.
The white are perfect with grilled fish, as well as with spicy grilled chicken and plain grilled veal chops.
Rasteau, Côtes du Rhône village wine and food pairing tips

Côtes du Rhône Villages

Côtes du Rhône Villages wines are made from a more limited vineyard area and fewer grape varieties. 16 communities enjoy this special status, the most prestigious of these being Rasteau and Cairanne.

Red wines must consist of at least 50 percent of Grenache, with a blend of 20 percent Syrah and/or Mourvèdre, and a maximum of 20 percent of other permitted grape varieties. The minimum required alcoholic strength is 12 percent. They are fuller bodied with more intense fruit, and have more noticeable tannins.
White wines are dominated by Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Viognier. They vary in style, most are fruity and rather full bodied with little to no oak aging.

Tips: Reds can be enjoyed with grilled meats and lamb dishes, and like other Côtes du Rhône wines, they also pair well with Mediterranean or North-African dishes. The whites are perfect with grilled dishes, such as fish, spicy chicken, and plain veal chops.
Tavel wine and food pairing tips


The Tavel vineyards are located around the town of Tavel in the Gard department, across the Rhône river from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Tavel AOC produces only rosé wines and is required to have minimum of 11 percent alcoholic content. Grenache and Cinsault are the main grapes used in the appellation's wine, complemented with a blend of Syrah and Mourvèdre. They are dry with red-fruit flavors, a lovely balance and acidity. Tavel wines are one of the few rosé wines that can benefit from aging and can be cellared, but usually drunk young.

Tips: They go well seafood, egg and light dishes, and also pair beautifully with Asian cuisine.
Lirac wine and food pairing tips


The vineyards of Lirac are located in the low hills along the right bank of the Rhône river, across from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The appellation produces red, rosé and white wines and they are required to have minimum of 11.5 percent alcoholic contents.

Red wines are dominated by Grenache (minimum 40 percent), Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes (minimum of 25 percent together) and blend of Cinsault and Carignan (maximum 10 percent). They often resemble a soft Côtes du Rhône Villages, but the more complex red Lirac wines are similar to the wines from Châteauneuf du Pape.
Rosé wines are made from the same grape varieties as the red wines, and up to 20 percent of the allowed grape varieties for white wine may also be used. Similar to the Tavel rosé, they are dry with red-fruit flavors, a lovely balance and acidity.
White wines are produced from Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Bourboulenc. No variety may be used in a proportion greater than 60 percent.

Tips: These wines go well with Mediterranean-influenced cooking, seafood, egg and light dishes. Lirac rosé pairs beautifully with Asian cuisine.
Costiers de Nime and food pairing tips

Costieres de Nimes

Formerly part of the Languedoc region of France, this appellation is administered by the Rhône Valley wine committee since 2004. The wines actually more closely resemble those of the Rhône Valley in character than of the Languedoc.
Costières de Nîmes specializes in rich, fruity red and rosé wines.

Red wines - Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre must represent together at least 60 percent of the blend, and can be complemented by Carignan and Cinsault. They present a strong character of ripe fruit, with a velvety tannic structure.
Rosé wines - they have aromas of red fruits, light and fresh on the palate.

Tips: Young, the reds accompany grilled meats, while they go better with meats in sauce as they age. They also provide a good match for the North African dishes such as tagines and couscous as well as cheese or chocolate.
The rosé wines are great to drink throughout a meal, especially consisting of white meat and poultry.
Beaum de Venise muscat wines and food pairing tips

Beaumes de Venise Muscat

The village of Beaumes-de-Venise, in the southern end of the region, is famous for its Muscat sweet wine. It is a fortified white wine made from "Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains", one of the few grapes to produce wine with the same aromas as the grape itself. Beaumes de Venise Muscat is a dessert wine with distinctly floral aromas, also has rich nose of dried fruits, raisins and oranges.

Tips: Muscat de Beaumes de Venise can be enjoyed slightly chilled with a cold appetizer such as melon with prosciuto, foie gras, a salmon carpaccio, or with fruit desserts. They are also good companions to Roquefort, Stilton or Gorgonzola cheeses.
  Visit the main site