Saturday, October 17, 2015

Braised Chicken with a Dual Pairing from Cotes du Rhone with the French Winophiles

Our group is celebrating the Cotes du Rhone region of France this month.  I am amazed at all the different appellations in France.  There are all kinds of regulations on which grapes can be used in which wineries and how the labels will read and which blends can be used.  It makes for interesting reading but really, folks, if you are like me all you really want to know is "is the wine any good?"

That  is why I love this group and that is why you should join us each month.  Christie of Confessions of a Culinary Diva, leads us each month into a new area of France where we try different wines from different wineries and let each other and all of our readers know if the wine was good, if the food we paired it with worked and if we feel it is a good value and would buy/drink it again.  That saves you a lot of legwork.  Thus far we have visited the Loire Valley, Provence, Southwest France and the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

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There is an interesting article all about the Cotes du Rhone at WineFolly.com.  When I was at my local grocer I was very surprised and happy to find wines from Rue de Perle that were marked Cotes du Rhone Villages.  According to the article, this would make the wine middle of the scale with Cotes du Rhone  below it and Cotes du Rhone named Villages above it.  I was tickled pink that I found the wine locally and did not have to travel around this month looking for it.


The store had a red blend that is described on the bottle as revealing "aromatic notes of jammy red fruits, juicy plum and provencal herbs" and a bottle of  Chenin Blanc from the Vouvray region described as having "notes of soft fig and crisp pear with hints of ginger and green apple". 


I was making a lovely dinner of Braised Chicken Leg Quarters with Potatoes, Porcini and Cranberries for my Bloggers CLUE Society so I decided to buy both wines, which were very reasonably priced, and see which paired better.  While dinner was in the oven we opened the bottles and sampled them each finding them both smooth and fruity and delicious on their own.  I finished the sample of white and Frank finished the red while we awaited dinner.


While both wines were very good on their own the dish I made was rich and heavy and paired much better with the red wine.  I was glad that I did this tasting because prior to this I would have served white as I was serving chicken without considering the dish as a whole.  In this case the white wine was much too bright and when paired with this dish was too acidic.  I do think the Chenin Blanc would be delicious with a white fish and I am going to keep it in mind for one of these Fish Fridays.


Let's take a look at what the others found from this region

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10 comments:

  1. I see the Rhone had us both thinking of slow cooking some chicken legs! Not surprised that the red worked better for you dish. Sounds tasty!

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  2. I looked long and hard for a white and never found one. Your chicken sounds delicious!

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    1. Thanks Cam. I was happy to have found them together and locally too.

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  3. What a wonderful comparison. I love how much we learn each month! Your chicken sounds absolutely wonderful too. Perfect for fall!

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    1. Thanks Sarah, I too love this group and all the knowledge they hold.

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  4. Your Braised Chicken recipe looks delicious Wendy! I love doing back to back comparisons. It's a great way to find out what you like and don't like both for food and wine and food and wine together!

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    1. Yes it is Martin. I was pleasantly surprised and my eyes were opened to consider all possibilites.

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