Food and Wine Pairing:
Fireplace String-Turned Roast Chicken with
Puréed Squash and Chateauneuf-du-Pape

food and wine pairing
March 1st, 2007 Food and Wine Pairing

It probably seems like I drink a lot of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Bandol! Well I do! Especially during the cooler months of the year. They are so hearty, warming, smokey and downright delicious that they pair beautifully with many foods, especially the grilled and roasted types! Also, their dark, brooding character is perfect for cool winter or spring nights to keep warm.
This dinner of fireplace string-turned chicken paired with puréed winter squash is a favorite in my home, especially in the Winter holiday season. The flavors are very Provençal and pair beautifully with wines from the Mediterranean basin of France. The fireplace string-turned roast chicken recipe and puréed squash recipe are both discussed elsewhere.

The Wine: Domaine de la Charbonnière Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Hautes Brusquières Cuvée Spéciale 2003

This is a Chateauneuf from a small producer who makes great wines at a reasonable price. It is fairly unique for a CdP in that it is composed of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, a higher percentage of Syrah than is typical for the region, without any of the other grapes typically blended in CdP. It comes from the Brusquières plateau in the Northern part of CdP. It is aged in a combination of oak barriques and foudres.

This wine starts out with great meaty and spicy aromas. Almost more Bandol than CdP in its meatiness with maybe a slight hint of Brettanomyces which adds to the complexity. I was cooking with almond wood in the fireplace for this food and wine pairing but this didn't smell like almond wood smoke. Rather it smelled liked smoldering rosemary and thyme from the Provençal garrigue. Definitely a mouthwatering nose!

In the mouth this has a "high note" (as my wife put it) of ripe black and blue fruits. Rich and young but elegant and quite silky for a CdP at the same time. Very nice!

The Food and Wine Pairing

Frankly, its hard to go wrong with a Provençal wine with almost any southern French cooking. This is a great pairing and was perfect for washing down the aromatic and smokey fireplace roasted chicken. The ginger and tarragon flavors in the chicken are a natural match, as is the slight smokiness. The squash, lightly spiced with onion, pepper and nutmeg is warming and creamy. The acidity of the wine is a great foil to the richness of the food.

chicken recipe



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