Sud de France Sunday: Red or White?

Posted on: October 25th, 2010 by

So I’m going to a potluck later today and have this working in the crockpot:

  • Pumpkin
  • Chicken thighs rubbed with smoked, dried chile powder and cumin
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • A bit of red curry sauce

So what wine with this dish? At first I was contemplating a richer-style white, but with that bit of powerful tomato-based curry sauce, I’m leaning more towards a Grenache-based blend. Luckily, thanks to Sud de France, I have one of each.

The white: 2009 Laurent Miquel Chardonnay Viognier (65% Chardonnay/35% Viognier)

A blend of two-thirds Chardonnay and one-third Viognier, the Laurent Miquel is the kind of white that could make lovers of both zesty and plump whites happy. It’s unoaked, so it’s not too heavy, but the lees maturation and the addition of Viognier gives this wine some body and texture. (Lees are leftover yeast particles from fermentation; you stir them up in the tank to add extra flavor and texture.) This would be a killer white to serve at a party with a group of people with disparate tastes; definitely a crowd-pleaser. I think if I added some apples to the pumpkin stew, this would be a really good match.

The red: 2008 Les Deux Rives Corbieres Rouge (40% Grenache/30% Syrah/20% Mourvedre/10% Carignan)

Now this is pretty cool. The Carignan and Mourvedre go through carbonic maceration, which is a process most widely associated with Beaujolais. (Jeez, “lees maturation” and “carbonic maceration”? I feel like Mr. Wizard here.) It makes for a very fresh, fruity, and easy-drinking wine. And there is nothing wrong with that. The Grenache and Syrah give it a little backbone. Very low in tannin, I’m thinking this is going to be a real winner with the chicken/pumpkin stew. Why? Well, the stew has a little bit of spice to it and I like a smooth, lighter-style red to fan the flames. I think I’d even like to put a slight chill on this wine as well.

Now I’m going to pour myself a little more red, and cozy up to my crock pot full of slow-cooked, fall goodness.

So what wine would you choose for this stew?

Full disclosure: These wines were samples provided free of charge.


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