Wednesday, August 10, 2016



By Catherine Fallis Master Sommelier, Planet Grape

Please indulge me and let me start out with a little story from my days as Wine Director/Sommelier at a famous Bay area restaurant. One day a new owner appeared, a French Chef who had his own Somm coming in a few months. I felt obligated to stay on, though it became more challenging by the day. 
One evening a group of his chef buddies came in and he was showing off by mixing up the ten course tasting menu. Instead of finishing with the biggest richest meat dish, which was paired with a big bold red, he ended with Bouillabaisse, the traditional Provençal fish stew. The classic pairing for this is the crisp white Cassis Blanc, but to end with a light white was something I just couldn’t stomach, so I compromised and brought out Rose de Provence. When Chef saw me pouring it he came right up to my side and said very loudly, “What are you doing? We don’t serve bitch wine here! Take it away.”

At that moment the entire dining room came to a standstill, and I walked quickly away to find something else to offer them. That’s when it hit me. He wasn’t saying “bitch wine.” He was saying “beach wine” but his accent was so thick it came out like “bitch.” Speaking of the beach, and Provence, here are a couple of exotic burger recipes to pair with some sophisticated Rose wines from Provence. The wines are light, crisp, minerally, and fresh and are made of red grapes so they show of the quality of the meat and can handle the tricky toppings. Enjoy!

Asian Inspired Ramen Burger
Farm Egg, Sriracha Hot Sauce, Pickled Radish, Shitake Mushrooms, Serve on a Bun made of Ramen Noodles
Pair with the 2015 Maison Belle Clair Rose Cotes de Provence, $18, which is light, dry, tart and savory with notes of citrus, raspberry, strawberry, peach, pink & yellow rose, violet, cumin and chalk.
2015 Maison Belle Claire Rose Cotes de Provence

Provencal Inspired Burger
Caramelized Onion, Arugula, Fig Spread, Goat Cheese or Brie, Serve on a Brioche Bun
étiquette Mas de Cadenet Rosé 2015
Pair with the 2015 Mas de Cadenet Rose Cotes de Provence Sainte-Victoire, $22, brisk, bone dry and age worthy with notes of Aperol, orange peel, pink rose, black pepper, and sea spray.
2015 Mas de Cadenet Rose Cotes de Provence Sainte-Victoire

Southwestern Inspired Burger
Grilled Jalapeno Peppers, BBQ Sauce, Fried Shallots, Pepper Jack Cheese, Avocado, Serve on a Pretzel Bun
Pair with the 2015 Chateau Pigoudet Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, $15, light, tart, fresh and dry with notes of lemon, lime, just ripe guava, sage, brush and crushed rock.
2015 Chateau Pigoudet Classic Rose Coteaux d’Aix en Provence

Images, recipes and wines provided by Vins de Provence France and Calhoun & Company Communications. Bon Appetit!

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