Match of the week
Red mullet, tapenade and white Saint Joseph
Last week I was in the Northern Rhone where the biggest challenge, from a food and wine matching perspective, is what you eat with its distinctive whites which are made from Marsanne and Roussanne
The confusing thing is that they’re all different. Some producers favour 100% Marsanne, others add up to 50% of Roussanne and a few focus on Roussanne exclusively.
It’s the Marsanne and Marsanne-dominated ones which are tricky. They’re rich but quite low in acidity and have a touch of bitterness on the finish which doesn’t make them an obvious match for normal white wine go-to’s such as salad and seafood. Red mullet, however, is a distinctive slightly earthy fish which, accompanied by tapenade (both black and a very garlicky green), made for a really good pairing. There were even preserved artichokes and sundried tomatoes on the plate which didn’t throw the wine off its stride.
The wine was Joel Durand’s 2013 white Saint Joseph which is 70% Marsanne, 30% of which is aged in wood. Unfortunately although Berry Bros has his reds it doesn’t appear to be available in the UK. In France you can buy it from Les Caves du Roy for 19€ or from the cellar door in Chateaubourg.
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