Match of the week
Chicken and vegetable tagine with southern French rosé
Today, as you’ll probably not need reminding, is le quatorze juillet which marks the storming of the Bastille and the start of the French revolution. These days the French are more likely to head for the beach than onto the streets as it’s a public holiday and the start of the month long summer vacation for many but it’s celebrated with street parties all over France.
Here’s an appropriately modern French pairing, which I enjoyed last week in Arles to inspire you if you want to throw an impromptu party of your own. North African food is very popular in the south of France and I ordered this unusual chicken and vegetable tagine in a Moroccan restaurant called L’Entrevue. Normally a chicken tagine has fewer vegetables but this was more like a cross between a classic chicken and lemon tagine and a vegetable couscous. It also contained chicken livers, an unusual and imaginative touch which went very well with the preserved lemons in the dish.
As it was a sweltering 33°C we automatically reached for the rosé, a pale, crisp dry style from Château Mourgues du Grès in the Costières de Nîmes region around Arles. It matched the tagine perfectly, the slight spiciness bringing out all its delicate fruit. The cuvée is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan called Fleur d’Eglantine and is available from vivinum.co.uk and Sam’s Wine and Spirits and Morrell in the US
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