Drinking and Pairing Southern Rhone with Food

France's Southern Rhône is situated between the city of Montélimar and the Mediterranean coast. While the Southern Rhône produces a small amount of white wine, it is best known for its quality blended red wines using Grenache as a base. By itself, Grenache gives a wine with pale color and often high in alcohol, with aromas and flavors of red fruit, dried flower petals, and white pepper. The catchall Côtes-du-Rhône is the most common example and can be a good value. However, there are many smaller sub-districts within the Southern Rhône, the most famous being Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Châteauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the ruined summer palace of a 14th-century Pope. The area is covered in round stones known as "galets roulé." The full-bodied wines are generally blends with up to 13 different grape varieties permitted. Other wines to look for from the Southern Rhône include Gigondas, Vacqueras, Rasteau, and Lirac.

Due to the weight of Southern Rhône reds, pair them with full-flavored stews, game, and red meat. Avoid spicy heat because the high alcohol content will seem even hotter.

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Southern Rhone pairs well with:

Legumes

Beans/Legumes

French cuisine

Foods cooked via Braise/Soup/Stew

Savory dishes