There is pleasure in the predicable: visiting a castle in Ireland a pig scampers across the hallway; sipping bitter served lukewarm at a London pub, or relaxing in Provence at “l’heure d’apéro,” the late afternoon early evening tradition of taking your leisure at a café or at a home, by sharing a bottle of rosé, which you have been told is a typical provençal aperitif.
At your gite or home, a tomato tart (une tarte de tomate) makes for an ideal pairing with rosé. Simple is (ingredients) as simple can (recipe): purchase dough — pate feuilleté (flaky) not brisé (pie crust) at the grocery store, and place it in a round baking pain for tarts; rub a small amount of mustard onto the dough, fill the pan with slices of tomatoes, add slices of onions (optional), sprinkle on olive oil and basil leaves, and cook at 184C or 340F for half-an-hour, then add grated cheese, emmental or gruyère, for ten minutes. Serve at lunch with a green salad and rosé, or cut the tomato tart into small portions to serve with rosé for an aperitif.
Accompany the tomato tart with a quality rosé such as a 2009 Seigneur de Fontimple Vignerons de Caractère, produced by a cooperative nonetheless, a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah. Tasting notes: A complex nose with notes of raspberries and red fruits. On the palate, fruity and well-balanced with more texture than the ordinary cooperative-produced rosés.
Most wine cooperatives in the Vaucluse do not export their wines. Thus, it is rare to discover a wine cooperative, in this instance the Vignerons de Caractère, that produces quality vintages and whose wines find a place on the shelves of wine stores in the U.K. and in the U.S. No middling operation, the Vignerons de Caractère has more than 1,100 acres in production of vintages from Vacqueyras and surrounding appellations, including northern Rhones wines from St. Joseph and Crozes Hermitage.
Vignerons de Caractère: BP1, Route de Vaison la Romaine, Vacqueyras
Tél 04 90 65 84 54, website
U.S. Importers: Fruit of the Vines, Long Island City, NY; tel. (718) 392-5640; and Vintner Select, Cincinnati, OH; tel. (800) 597-1491, among others.
Nine colors of rosé wine: here