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PROVENCE: GEOGRAPHY MATTERS
“Provence” has more efficacy as a "brand" than as a place. One rarely if ever hears any residents of the Vaucluse say that they live in "Provence." The word is heard frequently in its adjectival form: provençal.
As geography, the term "Provence" suffers abuse. The French consider contemporary 'Provence' to take in three administrative department:
Confusion pops up due to the administrative region PACA: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
When "Provence" is employed for the department of the Var (Toulon, St, Tropez) or the department of the Alpes-Maritime (Côte d'Azur) or even the five departments of the Languedoc-Roussillon, it is the "brand" asserting itself.
This is a regional distinction that Peter Mayle buys into 100% in his book Provence A-Z. In fact, if Mayle had been 'geographically-correct,' his iconic best seller would have been titled "A Year in the Luberon."
The Luberon and the Comtat Venaissin, referred to as the “Comtat,” are the two large regions within the Vaulcuse,
Tag Archives: Pairings
Provence Pairings: Escalope de Veau and Ravoli Saint-Jean with an “Imagine,” a Red Vintage of Vindemio by Jean Marot
A quick recipe for a warm September evening: grill veal scallops in a pan with a bit of olive oil; cook small Saint-Jean spinach ravioli, a speciality “Dauphiné” (the ancient roman province) from Romans-sur-Isère; sauté mushrooms in olive oil, and mix … Continue reading
Chèvre, or goat cheese, is an acidic cheese in search of a naturally acidic wine. The white wines of the Southern Rhone often lack acidity due to nighttime temperatures that do not dip low enough for white grape varieties to … Continue reading
PROVENCE FALL PARINGS: ENTRECOTE AND POTATOES DAUPHINOISE WITH A CHATEAU NOEL SAINT LAURENT 2006 “MATADOR” COTE DU RHONE
The road to tasting a great wine — the 2006 Matador pictured above — began by an engagement to taste Côtes du Rhône wines in Avignon at the ban des vendages where PVB encountered Didier Noël of the Château Noël Saint-Laurent whose AOC … Continue reading
PROVENCE SUMMER PAIRINGS: BLANQUETTE DE VEAU WITH A CHARDONNAY FROM THE DOMAINE LE SERRE DE CONDORCET OF NIELS LA COUR
At the Domaine Le Serre de Condorcet (DSC), the vintner Niels la Cour cultivates a terroir of chalky clay in the foothills of the southern Alps where the soil favors Roussanne, Viognier and Marsanne. At an altitude of 1400 feet … Continue reading
PROVENCE SUMMER PAIRINGS: STUFFED SMALL MARSEILLE PEPPERS WITH A FRUIT-INTENSE RED — AN AMIDYVES FROM OLIVIER B.
Stuffed small green peppers — Petit Marseillais are a Provencal delicacy. From three to four inches in length — Petit Marseillais are found at the stands at farmers’ markets in Provence during the summer. If you rent a gite in … Continue reading
PROVENCE SUMMER PAIRINGS: A DAUBE PROVENCAL WITH AN AOC VENTOUX SAINT JEAN DU BARROUX BY PHILIPPE GIMEL
A Daube is a slow-cooked red meat stew which calls for marinating the meat, usually beef, for eight hours. Cooked in a “daubière,” this typical Provencal dish is served with pasta and grated cheese along with a sauce made from … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
PROVENCE SUMMER PAIRINGS: “LA SOUPE AU PISTOU” AND A FRUITY AOC VENTOUX RED FROM THE CHATEAU UNANG OF JAMES KING
Everyone in Provence has his or her own recipe for the classic Provençal vegetable soup, “La soupe au pistou,” made from a market-fresh assortment of beans, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes and onions along with a small amount of macaroni or … Continue reading
For a bracing summer tonic, perk up servings of fruit or fruit tarts with a Muscat de Beaumes de Venise from the AOC Beaumes de Venise. Produced from the Muscat grape, this wine of velvety texture and of moderate sweetness … Continue reading