It has been more than three years since I last selected a Côtes du Rhône for the Explorer Club so we are overdue for a feature. The reason is that I consider the red wines of the Côtes du Rhône to be something of a “universal donor” when it comes to food pairing. These wines, which have moderate body, tannin and acidity, work well across the foods of almost any cuisine, from Asian flavors like soy and hoisin, to European flavors like tomatoes and herbs. And of course these wines also work great with just about anything that has some char from being cooked over an open fire. Versatility be thy name.
This month we will sample two sides of the Côtes du Rhône category; the first a mature but hardly old example of a red. Then we turn our attention to an excellent bottle from the lesser known white Côtes du Rhône, made by one of our favorite estates in the region. Both are extremely versatile although space only allows for a recipe for the red wine. However, the recipe from last month, the Pasta alla Nerano would be excellent with the Espigouette Côtes du Rhône Blanc.Download Full Club Write-up