Provence is for pink - and it really is, with about 90% of production devoted to making the ultimate pink wines that we crave the world over. Provence is by far the largest single rosé-wine-producing region in the world. Sun worshippers have been enjoying Provence pinks for over 2000 years, with or without food. What makes the region so special is obviously climate: the vines are bathed in 3000 hours of sunshine every year and much of Provence is swept by breezes that come off the hills, combining perfectly to create ideal conditions to grow fruit.
The 2022 vintage is worth mentioning for it did have an impact on the wines. Heat was a factor as, more importantly, was drought. A near-absence of rain during the spring reduced the size of the crop by as much as a third. What was picked though was immaculate and it produced wines that have clean, precise fruit flavours. In other words, a perfect vintage.
This is the second selection of Provence pinks that we’ve introduced from this vintage, and includes wines that needed just a little more time in bottle, including top wines from Domaines Tempier and Miraval among others.
Provence encapsulates the Mediterranean ideal like nowhere else, with its climate, lifestyle and food. Provençal cooking is colourful, varied and full of flavour and Rosé de Provence is the perfect partner, accompanying fish soups, salads and grills with consummate grace and ease.
Few wines work with tomatoes or garlic as well as rosé, and it suits all styles of cooking, from classical Mediterranean, to Asian and fusion, and even simple roasts. And of course the wines are refreshing and actually rather fun to drink, before, during and after the meal. Here are a couple of recipes to favour your posh pinks.
Scallops in a saffron sauce
(prep 20 mins/cook 6 mins)
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 700g scallops (without their shells)
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 4 shallots, finely diced
- 200ml single cream
- a pinch of saffron threads (approx. 1g)
- salt & black pepper
- fresh chives, to garnish
Wash the scallops in cold water then leave to drain on kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and gently sauté the shallots until translucent. Add the scallops and cook for no longer than 2 mins on each side. Remove the scallops and keep warm. Deglaze the pan with the cream, add the saffron and allow to reduce a little. Season to taste. Arrange the scallops on plates, pour the cream around them and then place chives decoratively on top. Serve with basmati rice and a glass of chilled, elegant rosé.
Recipe from the team at Château Vignelaure, Aix en Provence
Tomato, thyme and goat’s cheese tart
(prep 10 mins /cook 40 mins)
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 375g pack of ready-rolled puff pastry
- 3 or 4 flavoursome tomatoes, sliced
- 150g goat’s cheese, sliced
- couple of sprigs of thyme
- extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- runny honey
- 1 egg
- salt and black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Lay the pastry on the baking sheet, crimp up the edges a little. Arrange the tomato slices over the pastry, leaving a border, and season. Next arrange the slices of cheese over the tomatoes, sprinkle over some thyme leaves followed by a drizzle of oil and the merest touch of honey. Brush the whisked egg around the edges to glaze. Bake for approx. 40 mins, checking that the pastry doesn’t get too brown. Serve warm with a rocket salad and your Med pink of choice.