Match of the week | Lebanese mezze and Côtes de Provence rosé

Match of the week

Lebanese mezze and Côtes de Provence rosé

Since I was in Provence for three days last week you might have expected me to come up with an all-Provençal pairing as my match of the week but in fact it was a lunch of Lebanese mezze that provided the best partner for the local rosé we were tasting.

Of course it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. I’ve drunk Lebanese rosés at Lebanese meals very happily before but hadn’t drawn the obvious conclusion that Provençal rosé, which are made in a similar style but are generally of better quality, would be just as successful.

The domaine which brought it to our attention was Château Coussin from the Sainte Victoire sub-region of the appellation which makes four different rosés, all of which I liked though it was the 2008 Château Maupague which I found myself reaching for most often. It was very light and crisp with fine, delicate strawberry fruit but a surprising intensity.

It handled all the mezze which included baba ganoush (aubergine purée), hummus, taramasalata, tabbouleh, stuffed vine leaves (very good) and an amazing tomato and burghul salad together with some little cheese and spinach and spicy sausage-filled pastries. The wine picked up on the freshness and delicate spicing of the food and proved a perfect companion to the meal.

At the moment this wine is not on sale in the UK but the domaine will be supplying a similar rosé called Cabaret to Oddbins in a couple of weeks’ time, I’ve been told.

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